McKay's career night lifts Hurricanes in overtime

Published: Friday, January 10, 2014 at 11:00 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 10, 2014 at 11:51 p.m.

Junior Janiah McKay scored a career-high 39 points, including seven of the team's 12 points in overtime, as Class 6A No. 3 Gainesville pulled out a 62-58 overtime win over 7A Fleming Island in the nightcap game at the 3rd Rob Moramarco Girls Basketball Challenge at Buchholz on Friday night.


Rob Moramarco Challenge

Friday's games
Seffner Christian 50, Winter Haven 42
Jacksonville Paxon 57, Palatka 51
Orlando Jones 71, Buchholz 45
Gainesville 62, Fleming Island 58, OT

The Hurricanes (16-2), who led 38-35 going into the final period, were outscored 12-0 to open the fourth and trailed by as much as nine points (47-38). Gainesville didn't score it first points in the final period until a little more than four minutes left to play.

Down 49-42, McKay scored the remaining eight points for the 'Canes, following a missed free throw for a basket and a driving score with 9.5 seconds to go, tying the game at 50-all and sending it into overtime.

In the extra period, McKay scored five of the last six points for Gainesville, breaking a 56-56 tie with another rebound off a missed free throw for a basket and a 59-56 edge. She hit two of four free throws in the final 18 seconds, missing a possible 40th point inside 10 seconds to play.

“That was certainly her career high,” said a happy GHS coach David Gordon. “We went down to Fort Myers and played in the tournament at the Queen of Palms. We came back and the kind of coach I am, I gave them six days off. Six days too many. And you could see the rust. We have a lot of work to do if we want to continue on the winning side of the game.”

Gainesville's win was the last of four games Friday, with host Buchholz falling to 4A No. 2 Orlando Jones, 71-45. The day opened when 3A No. 4 Seffner Christian topped 6A No. 4 Winter Haven, 50-42, and Jacksonville Paxon defeated Palatka 57-51.

Fleming Island (11-7), which plays in Buchholz's District 3-7A, stayed with the 'Canes pretty much all game, trailing by one after the first (8-7), but leading by two at half (20-18).

A three-point play by McKay gave GHS a 32-26 lead in the third, but Golden Eagles, led by Kenyia Johnson (13 points) and great play off the bench, rallied, and its 15-0 run (end of third, beginning of fourth), put them in control.

But after a timeout by Gordon, the 'Canes' defensive pressure picked up, forcing turnovers and the rally began, with McKay leading the way.

GHS will face Winter Haven in a battle of 6A heavyweights Saturday at 5:30 p.m. at Buchholz.

“I hope this game enlightens us to play better tomorrow and play like I know we can play,” Gordon said. “In the end we showed heart. We were down but didn't give up. They could have collapsed and gave up but they didn't.”

JONES 71, BUCHHOLZ 45: Even though the Bobcats actually scored the first basket, the Tigers (17-1) took over from there, jumping to a 23-8 lead after the first period and never looking back in winning their 17th straight game. West Virginia commit Dominique Simpson had a game-high 24 points

Buchholz (12-7) was led by senior Jazz Rollins with 16 points while sophomore guard Taylor McGee had 10. The Bobcats will play Palatka on Saturday at 7 p.m.

“We didn't play very well and Jones had a very good game,” said Buchholz coach Rebecca Williams. “If we don't step up those are the sort of things that happen. If we don't get back on defense we will never win a game.”

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