GHS topples Buchholz


Buchholz’s Chris Clark (24) tries to shoot around GHS defenders on Thursday.

Tom Gaard/correspondent
Published: Thursday, January 13, 2011 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 14, 2011 at 12:02 a.m.

The streak goes on between Gainesville and Buchholz in boys basketball — good for the Hurricanes and frustratingly bad for the Bobcats.

Despite playing all underclassmen, and led by freshman Isaiah Jackson’s 16 points off the bench, visiting Gainesville handed Buchholz its ninth straight loss in the series, 53-45, Thursday night before a capacity crowd at Bud Seymour Gymnasium.

“We simply can’t finish games, especially city games,” said Bobcats coach Bob Horodyski, whose team dropped its fourth-straight game, falling to 9-5 overall and 3-3 in District 4-5A. “We just don’t have enough guts to pull them out. We knew if we kept our turnovers down to under 15 tonight we would be in good shape, but we had at least 25 turnovers. You can’t win games with more than 25 turnovers.”

The Bobcats, who played without starting guard Zach Schmidt (out two weeks with a concussion), used a 14-4 run in the second quarter to take a 24-19 lead at the half, holding the Hurricanes to just five points in the period.

But GHS more than made up for that early in the third, scoring the first six points to retake the lead, 25-24. The game actually came down to the final period as both teams finished the third tied at 32.

“The second quarter I thought we were a little quick offensively, and we needed to settle down and set up our offense,” said Gainesville coach Kelly Beckham. “If we are going to be a good defensive team we need to create turnovers.”

In the fourth, the ’Canes (10-8 overall, 5-2 in District 4-5A) turned up the defensive pressure and Jackson stepped up his game, scoring eight of his points and hitting on four-of-five free throws.

“Isaiah made some big plays for us in the fourth and really stepped up,” Beckham said. “He took advantage of what was available.”

Chad Milliken opened the fourth with a 3-pointer to put Buchholz ahead. A rebound and put-back basket by senior forward Joe Adel put the Bobcats ahead by six, 43-37, midway through the period. But the ’Canes answered, getting baskets from Calvin Long and Jackson, and a pair of free throws by Tim Norman to tie the game at 43 with 3:24 left. Turnovers and 10-straight made free throws by Gainesville doomed the Bobcats, who haven’t won a city game in two years, and haven’t beaten Gainesville since 2005.

“Our defense was fine for the most part, but offensively we couldn’t hold on to the ball,” Horodyski said. “You can’t shoot when you are turning the ball over. Not having Zach hurt us. He is one of our leaders and we missed him out there. But it was an opportunity for someone else to step up and no one did tonight.”

Marcus Richards and Michael Mccray combined for eight steals for GHS and Calvin Long had four blocks.

Both teams return to district action on Tuesday as Buchholz hosts Middleburg and the ’Canes will face district front-runner Jacksonville Wolfson at the Purple Palace.

“Wolfson is the No. 1 seed in the district right now and I don’t know if we can knock them out of it,” Beckham said. “I really want to compliment Buchholz. They have a great basketball team, and coach Horodyski does a great job with them.”

Contact Larry Savage at 352-374-5050 or larry.savage@gvillesun.com

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