CLASS 6A, REGION 2 QUARTERFINAL
Gainesville holds off Citrus
Published: Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 11:50 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 11:50 p.m.
INVERNESS — The Gainesville Hurricanes passed their first playoff test by defeating a competitive Citrus team on the road 82-72 Thursday night in a Class 6A, Region 2 quarterfinal game.
The game featured runs by both squads. Three Gainesville players finished in double figures: Kevin Bolen (24 points), Isaiah Jackson (23 points) and Eric Turner (12 points).
“(Citrus) played incredible as far as shooting,” Gainesville coach Kelly Beckham said. “We got into foul trouble and had to make a couple of substitutions. I thought we came out with a lot of intensity. … We played pretty well in the offensive end, and it was a hard-fought win.”
With Citrus leading 42-40 at the half, Gainesville (19-9) came out of the gate and started the third quarter on a 21-3 run. Bolen had eight points during the run, and Jackson hit a trifecta with 3:50 left in the third to give the 'Canes a 16-point cushion at 61-45. Gainesville went on to lead at the end of the third by a 66-55 score.
In the fourth, Citrus (16-11) outscored Gainesville 17-16, led by Citrus center Ben Janicki's tough play. Janicki scored 11 of his 17 points in the fourth to give the 'Canes a spark, and Citrus cut the lead to 73-70 on a Desmond Franklin steal and layup with 1:30 remaining. But Mike McCray and Jackson sealed the deal, going 5-for-6 at the charity stripe to give the 'Canes a 78-70 lead and eventual victory.
Junior guard Devin Pryor led Citrus with 25 points. Citrus hit seven 3-pointers on the evening, and Gainesville had nine: Michael Henderson (3), Dalton Ely (2) and Jackson (4). The 'Canes shot 17-for-24 at the free-throw line.
“In the first half , we didn't play good defense,” Turner said. “We had to tighten up and slow them down and get rebounds.Overall, we played a good game.”
The 'Canes will travel to Leesburg for the regional semifinals Tuesday night.