Gainesville rolls vs. P.K. Yonge
Published: Tuesday, January 10, 2012 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 11, 2012 at 12:01 a.m.
For about half of the first period, P.K. Yonge was standing toe-to-toe against a very talented Gainesville Hurricane squad at the Purple Palace on Tuesday night.
Call it the calm before a storm.
The Hurricanes broke open the contest with a 15-0 run and never looked back, as freshman Ed Porter scored a game-high 23 points with six rebounds in limited action for a convincing 80-36 win over the Blue Wave.
Gainesville (13-4), ranked No. 6 in Class 6A, according to Maxpreps, had opened the season 10-0, but entered Tuesday's game coming off a pair of losses last week at district-rival Leesburg (66-59) and against 7A No. 1 Pompano Beach Ely (80-76 in overtime) at the Dante Anderson Memorial Invitational.
In their first home game in nearly a month, the Hurricanes had no problem dominating Class 3A P.K. Yonge, leading by 16 after the first (29-13), 28 at the half (48-20) and 36 (70-34) after three periods as a running clock went into effect once GHS's lead grew to 35 points.
“You got to play good competition and last week playing Leesburg and Ely, I thought the kids responded really well,” said GHS coach Kelly Beckham. “Hopefully it will help us down the road. We just have to come out and work hard everyday and take care of business when it counts.”
Senior Ryan DeMoss came off the bench to score 13 for the 'Canes, hitting on three of the team's six 3-pointers. Junior guard Michael Henderson also reached double figures with 11.
“We came out a little sluggish at the beginning, but I thought they played with a lot of energy, and you could tell they were having a good time,” said Beckham, whose team will play at city-rival Buchholz on Friday. “We shared the ball really well and pushed it down the court. You are always pleased when you get a victory.”
For P.K. Yonge first-year coach Jeff Myers, whose team dropped its third straight to fall to 4-7 on the season, it was a tough loss but looked at the positives about his team.
“Tonight, Stephen Brown started and he is just a freshman, and I thought he played hard,” Myers said. “I also thought Derrick Crite played hard. It doesn't matter if you are a senior or a freshman, we are looking for true competitors. When you get knocked down, are going to get up and play?
“This doesn't hurt us in the district, but there is pride on this team. We just have to keep working hard and try to get better.”