Gordon finds cause for concern in GHS win


Published: Thursday, February 7, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, February 8, 2013 at 12:30 a.m.

Coach David Gordon’s need-to-correct list is long.

So long that anyone who wasn’t at the Thursday night’s Class 6A regional quarterfinal game would have thought Gordon’s second-ranked Gainesville girls basketball team lost.

“We don’t reach, we play tougher man-to-man defense, we don’t lose our man when cutting to the basket, we box out,” Gordon rattled off after the Hurricanes battled against Inverness Citrus.

Add to the list that GHS turned the ball over 24 times and shot just 18 percent (3 of 17) from 3-point range.

Yet despite their inconsistent play and horrific numbers, the Hurricanes (25-1) defeated Citrus 53-39 to advance to Tuesday’s regional semifinal at home against Leesburg.

“We did a lot of things tonight that are not a part of our makeup,” Gordon said.

Citrus jumped out to an early 6-1 lead, but the Hurricanes went on a 15-8 run to end the first quarter for a 16-14 lead. Asya Smith, the Hurricanes’ leading scorer with 14 points, scored six in the first.

In the second quarter, Gainesville went away from getting the ball inside to Smith and LaShawnda James (5 points) and settled for 3-point shots. The Hurricane misses from deep kept Citrus in the game. Gainesville led at the half 26-19 despite Hurricane guards Kayla Lovett (10 points) missing all five of her 3-point attempts and Marrisa Lee (13 points) going 3 for 7.

“Normally we have a pretty good night shooting,” said Gordon. “What we did most of the week was practice defense; we didn’t do a lot of shooting. In our gym, I thought we could sustain (a good percentage).”

Citrus more then hung around, down 39-30 to start the fourth quarter. The Gainesville gym grew raucous when Citrus Lindsey Connors’ 3-pointer cut Gainesville’s lead to just four, 39-35.

The Hurricanes answered on their next three possessions with the turning point being dealt by unheralded GHS sophomore Janiah McKay. After a Smith put-back, a Lovett layup and a Citrus turnover had Gainesville up eight, 43-35.

McKay took all the sails out of a Citrus upset. Isolated at the top of the key, McKay beat Liz Lynch on a crossover dribble, drove to the basketball, made the layup and was fouled by Lynch. McKay, who scored six of her nine points in the final quarter, made the free throw to put the Hurricanes up 11, 46-35, with 3:39 left in the game

“At the time I knew I had to step up for the team, “McKay said. “We really wanted this win, and I helped them finish strong in the fourth quarter.”

Citrus was held to four points the rest of the game.

Gainesville’s opponent Tuesday is district-rival Leesburg, which beat Ocala West Port 53-33 on Thursday. Tuesday will be the fourth meeting between the Hurricanes and Yellow Jackets. Gainesville won the previous three, including for the district title in overtime (57-51).

Reader comments posted to this article may be published in our print edition. All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged.

▲ Return to Top