Santa Fe used a 24-point second quarter to erase an early deficit and claim the Hitchcock’s Challenge championship on Friday.
The Raiders (8-5) won their sixth straight game – including going 4-0 this week at their home tournament in Alachua – with a 51-45 victory over Jordan Christian Prep.
But it was the Seahawks (13-4) who jumped out to an 11-6 first-quarter lead before Santa Fe got hot, scoring the final five points of the quarter to tie the contest 11-11.
Raiders senior guard Don’trell Jenkins caught fire, scoring 15 of his game-high 20 points in the first half and nine during the second quarter.
“We got comfortable with playing against their bigs and trying to figure out what they were doing defensively and we’ve got some good shooters,” Santa Fe coach Glen Banks said. “So they stayed in zone (defense) and we hit a couple (shots) and then a couple more and then the next thing you know were in the lead.”
Jenkins picked up his second foul with 3:50 left in the second quarter and sat until 12 seconds were left in the half. He then came off the bench and nailed a 3-pointer as time expired, giving the Raiders a 35-21 halftime lead.
In the second half, Santa Fe’s only hiccup came midway through the third quarter when senior forward Kyren Washington collided with another player, hurt his neck and went down. Washington – who finished with 8 points – sat the remainder of the game.
“Our big guy – Kyren – he got hurt and we had to lean on two guys that haven’t played a whole lot,” said Banks, adding Washington was OK and stayed on the bench for precautionary reasons.
The Seahawks would rally late and got within 45-40 at the 3:29 mark and 48-43 with 45 seconds left, but Santa Fe’s offense bled the clock and hung on to win.
Santa Fe junior guard Braylon Guyden added 6 points on two first-half 3-pointers.
In other Hitchcock’s action on Friday, Suwannee (5-9) won its third game at the four-day tournament with a 48-44 victory over Killan (Miami).
“We’ve been playing some really tough teams so it was good to play some good competition and get some good wins just to build confidence in the guys,” Suwannee first-year coach Cedric Booth said.
The Bulldogs were coming off a 54-53 overtime victory over Godby on Thursday and a 51-47 win over The Rock on Tuesday.
“That’s what we need to learn in order to advance,” Booth said. “When you get into playoff basketball in those really, really close games, you’ve got to be able to win. And free throws, turnovers, all that stuff really matters and they did a really good job these past four days of really playing hard for four quarters, getting rebounds and our turnovers were way down, which I’m really happy about.”
Booth pointed to Mikal Lett and Bobby Hawkins as two players who performed well during the Hitchock’s Challenge.
Lett led the Bulldogs with 17 points against Killian, Khyliq Williams had 9 points and Kaden Nash added 8 points.
The Rock School fell to Godby, 56-55, in overtime earlier on Friday.
Boys Basketball scores – Friday, Dec. 30
Creekside Christian Academy (McDonough, GA) 64, Buchholz 56@
Eastside 62, Woodville-Tomkins (Savannah, GA) 60@
Godby (Tallahassee) 56, The Rock (regional team) 55 (OT)^
Santa Fe (Alachua) 51, Jordan Christian Prep (Riverview) 45 (Championship)^
Strawberry Crest (Dover) 80, St. Francis Catholic 33@
Suwannee (Live Oak) 48, Killian (Miami) 44^
Bell Creek Academy (Riverview) 67, P.K. Yonge 61@
^Hitchcock’s Challenge at Santa Fe (Alachua)
@Florida Get Down Holiday Basketball Showcase at St. Francis Catholic Academy (Gainesville)