Chiefland cruises over Wildwood, one win from state

Published: Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 11:56 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 11:56 p.m.

CHIEFLAND — When Adam Boyd arrived at Chiefland High School four years ago, he walked the halls a bit, searching for someone he'd have to look up to see.

That having failed, the boys basketball coach knew what he had to do: push a style based on pace, defensive intensity, shooting and scrambling for every loose ball.

"We had to play hectic," Boyd said.

This season, hectic has turned superlative as the Indians now find themselves 25-1 after never trailing en route to defeating visiting Wildwood, 78-60, on Tuesday night in an FHSAA Class 1A, Region 4 semifinal.

Chiefland advanced to host Crescent City in Friday's regional final with a share-the-load offensive system that has seen seven different players lead a game in scoring and often is predicated by a suffocating press that almost seems to include six defenders.

In all, four players scored in double figures against Wildwood, and G'Angelo McClendon just missed, scoring nine. Kyle Weeks, despite having just one point at the half, led everyone with 19, not much more than Kerry Harris (16) and Deshawn Roland (15).

"We try to play off our energy and keep everyone involved," said Roland, who scored 14 points in the first half.

That comes from a defense that befuddled WHS (16-11) from the start, forcing six turnovers before the Wildcats scored a point.

And when the game slowed down, CHS found itself comfortable in a halfcourt set, playing through 6-foot-5 junior center Willie Brannon (with the 6-2 Harris, players Boyd now can look up to).

Catching entry passes at or near the foul line, Brannon proved adept at finding open teammates, finishing with four of his five assists in the first half. He and Harris also did their jobs on the boards, combining for 23 rebounds.

While Brannon and Harris make the Indians more balanced and complete, they are built from the outside-in, led by Weeks and Roland, the team's only four-year starter.

"We are small and quick, definitely guard-oriented," Boyd said. "And when we get a game that is played the way we want it played, we do pretty well."

CRESCENT CITY 52, WILLISTON 48: Despite holding a slim lead entering the fourth quarter, Williston could not fend off Crescent City in a loss on the road in the Class 1A, Region 4 semifinals.

Senior forward Alex Porter led the visiting Red Devils (16-12) with 13 points and eight rebounds, while sophomore Keith Hardee scored 10.

The Raiders (14-7), who earned their first playoff win since 1994, were paced by Kenton Bibbs’ 18 points and outscored Williston 17-11 in the final quarter.

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