GHS's 11-game streak ends against Choctaw

Brittany Washington, of Gainesville High, sprints toward the basket after making a steal in the final minutes of a game against Choctaw High School in the Rob Moramarco Girls Basketball Challenge, held at Buchholz High School, in Gainesville, Jan. 6, 2012.

Brad McClenny/Staff photographer
Published: Friday, January 6, 2012 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, January 7, 2012 at 12:21 a.m.

The Rob Moramarco Girls Basketball Challenge annually pits some of the area's best teams against some of the state's best.


Rob Moramarco Girls Basketball Challenge

At Buchholz
Friday's scores
Boynton Beach 69, Eastside 53
Orlando Dr. Phillips 69, Winter Haven 59
Choctowhatchee 63, Gainesville 59
Buchholz 82, Pine Forest 65
Archbishop McCarthy 70, Tallahassee Rickards 53
Palm Beach Lakes 47, Tampa Freedom 40
Today's games
Boynton Beach vs. Choctowhatchee, Noon
Eastside vs. Archbishop McCarthy, 1:30 p.m.
Winter Haven vs. Rickards, 3:30 p.m.
Pine Forest vs. Palm Beach Lakes, 5 p.m.
Buchholz vs. Orlando Dr. Phillips, 7 p.m.
Gainesville vs. Freedom, 8:30 p.m.

In Friday's headliner matchup, Gainesville High and Fort Walton Beach Choctawhatchee both came into Buchholz riding winning streaks and high rankings in Class 6A. And the game turned out to be as advertised.

With Florida coach Amanda Butler among those in attendance, she got to see what makes Indians guard Brittany Brown such a special player.

The junior scored eight of her game-high 27 points down the stretch, hitting two critical free throws with the game on the line, as Choctaw beat the Hurricanes, 63-59, snapping Gainesville's 11-game unbeaten streak.

In other area games at Bud Seymour Gymnasium, host Buchholz beat Pensacola Pine Forest, 82-65 and Boynton Beach topped Eastside, 69-53.

GHS (15-2) played the final three minutes without leading scorer De'ja McPhee, who injured her ankle after battling for a rebound.

It was an intense matchup that could be played again in the 6A state semifinals, should both teams advance through the regional round of the playoffs.

“That is definitely a team we could play down the road,” said Hurricanes coach David Gordon. “We came out kind of sluggish.

“It wasn't so much what they (the Indians) did, we didn't run our usual rotation on offense.

“McPhee hurt her ankle, and we are hoping it is only a slight sprain. We will have to see if she can go (tonight). If not, we will go with what we have.”

GHS went on an 11-0 run to cap off the first period to build a 23-15 lead. But the Indians battled back, tying it at 27-all before trailing only 30-27 at the half.

The game was tied twice in the third before Choctaw (16-1) started seizing control, using a 14-1 run to open a 55-47 advantage early in the fourth.

After McPhee went out, Gainesville rallied and closed to within two, 61-59, on a steal and basket by Marissa Lee. But that would be as close as the Hurricanes would get.

McPhee finished with 17 points, while Kayla Lovett had 12 and Lee had 10.

“Anytime you lose, you hope you can benefit from it and see what you did wrong and improve on things,” Gordon said. “I'm hoping we learned from this. We only have about seven regular season games left before we get in the district tournament. We just want to finish strong, set ourselves up in the districts and make a deep run in the playoffs.”

BUCHHOLZ 82, PINE FOREST 65: Mariah Harris led four Bobcats in double figures with 20 points as Buchholz (17-1) won its 12th straight game. Jessica Thomas had 18, Onteria Maddox 17 and Kimberly Sinisterra 16 for the 'Cats.

Jayla King had a game-high 30 for the Eagles. Buchholz, ranked No. 1 in Class 7A, takes on Class 8A No. 1 Orlando Dr. Phillips tonight at 7.

BOYNTON BEACH 69, EASTSIDE 53: Jurnee Pettigrew scored 29 and Tiara Lundy had 13 as the Rams (7-8) fell to the Tigers.

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