Shipman’s alma mater hands Buchholz loss


Published: Friday, January 16, 2009 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, January 17, 2009 at 12:28 a.m.

Down 11 points early in the second quarter to two-time defending FHSAA Class 4A state champion Miami Monsignor Pace, Buchholz shot itself back into the game with 3-pointers.

Unfortunately for the host Bobcats, the uncontested shot from three feet closer did them in late, as Buchholz was beaten 54-50 Friday night.

“Free throws, free throws, free throws,” Bobcats’ coach Bob Horodyski said.

Buchholz (11-6) made just six of 18 foul shots in the fourth quarter, allowing 4A’s top-ranked team to improve to 14-4.

Nonetheless, Horodyski said he was proud of his team’s effort.

“No excuses, but those kids played a lot of minutes,” Horodyski said. “And I know they’re sitting in the locker room just sick about missing those. They know they had a chance to pull this one out.”

At the beginning of the game, it looked like that probably wouldn’t be the case.

With five players scoring in the first quarter, the Spartans took a 16-7 lead. They expanded the margin to 21-10 before the Zach Schmidt Show started.

The sophomore guard drilled all four of his three-point tries in the second quarter with the final one tying the game at 24 with 2:10 remaining before halftime. The Bobcats eventually took the lead on a three-pointer by Bobby Horodyski, but a 16-footer at the buzzer from Darren Stewart gave Pace a 31-29 halftime advantage.

Buchholz led much of the third quarter before 6-foot-8 Louisville signee Rakeem Buckles asserted himself late, scoring the Spartans’ final seven points to take a 43-42 advantage into the fourth.

There, Pace made just two baskets, but its 7-for-11 foul shooting effort in the final eight minutes was enough to hold on for a tough win.

“This was a great test for us,” Spartans coach Mark Lieberman said. “(Buchholz) is one of the best coached teams in the state, if not the country. We’re pretty young, and our guys have not really had to experience battles like this on the road.”

The game against the Bobcats was one of the two reasons Pace is in Gainesville this weekend. The second is to see former Spartan Ray Shipman play for Florida on Saturday afternoon against Arkansas.

Shipman, a UF freshman swingman, watched the first half of Friday’s game from the Pace bench and watched the second half across the court with Gator teammate Chandler Parsons.

“It’s great to be able to get up here to see Ray,” said Lieberman, who also is getting to visit with some of his nieces on the trip. “He means a lot to our program.”

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