Host Rams, GHS fall hard; Hornets, Rock pick up wins

Eastside coach Pop Williams talks to his players during Saturday's game against Miami Norland, the defending Class 6A state champion.

Brad McClenny/Staff photographer
Published: Saturday, January 5, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 6, 2013 at 12:03 a.m.

The final two games of the Sixth Annual Dante Anderson Memorial Invitational on Saturday didn't go well for Gainesville High and host Eastside.


Saturday's scores

at Eastside High
Hawthorne 57, Miami Southridge 53
The Rock 54, Jacksonville North Florida Educational 48
Lake Minneola 76, Williston 69
Lake Wales 70, Gainesville 51
Miami Norland 57, Eastside 22
Leesburg 75, Deltona 57

In the fifth game of the six-game slate, Lake Wales, the defending Class 5A state champions, hammered the Hurricanes, 70-51. The Rams also had a rough night as they were thumped by Miami Norland, the 2012 Class 6A state champs, 57-22.

The event, which is hosted by Eastside and floridaprospects.com, is named after Dante Anderson, the fallen Eastside star who died in a single-car accident on southwest 13th Street in May 2007.

“It was great. It gives the fans a chance to see other basketball around when we bring these teams in here,” said Eastside coach Pop Williams. “This is something that we're going to always have here.

“Norland is a great team. I think we could have at least played a little better than what we did, but this can make us better.”

The Vikings (13-3), ranked No. 1 in Class 6A by SourceHoops.com, led Eastside 14-8 after the first quarter and 25-10 at halftime. Zach Johnson netted 17 points to lead Norland, which outscored the Rams (5-8) 32-12 in the second half. Mal McCrea added 12 points for Norland while Thomas Lundy and Brandon King each had five points to lead Eastside.

Prior to the finale, tournament director Robert Sumpter, also the director of Florida Prospects, introduced Anderson's mother, Sheila Baker, who briefly addressed the crowd. Anderson was a 6-foot-4 swingman who was named the MVP of the FHSAA Class 5A final four in 2006, when as a sophomore, he led the Rams to their only state championship in basketball.

Lake Wales (7-5), ranked No. 2 in Class 5A by SourceHoops.com, used its full court press to cause GHS, No. 10 in Class 6A, problems.

The Highlanders, fueled by Doug Brooks' 13 points, enjoyed a 42-16 halftime cushion. Kevin Bolen scored all 14 of his points in the second half for GHS (10-6). Isaiah Jackson followed with 13 points for GHS, which trailed 70-31 early in the fourth quarter.

“What they do best is trap and rotate very well and take advantage of our weakness, that is our weakness, is pressure,” said GHS coach Kelly Beckham. “What you have to take out of this is for us, we have to be ready to play when we tip it up.”

In the the event's earlier games, Lake Minneola downed Williston 76-69. Earl Brown led the Red Devils (9-5) with 18 points, while Tre Wilson had 15 points, eight rebounds and six assists. Leesburg, Class 6A state runners-up a year ago, downed Deltona 75-57. The Rock's Pape Diatta finished with 15 points, nine rebounds and three assists as the Lions (15-3) edged Jacksonville North Florida Educational 54-48.

Sophomore Ed Porter posted 24 points and nine rebounds as Hawthorne, Class 1A state runners-up last season, topped Miami Southridge 57-53. Nick Chisholm tossed in 14 points for the Hornets (15-1), who are ranked No. 2 in Class 1A by SourceHoops.com.

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