For the second time this season the Buchholz-Gainesville boys basketball game came down to a final possession.
Except this time, Buchholz found a way to win it.
Senior Daryus Boyd scored a career-high 31 points as the Bobcats defeated the Hurricanes, 57-55, in overtime, in front of another standing room only crowd.
“Coming into this game I just tried to stay focused,” said Boyd, who transferred from Gainesville last year. “Crosstown rivals. We had to fight through adversity. Our team did that, and we were able to win by two.”
Buchholz (11-12), which lost at Gainesville by one three weeks ago, beat GHS for just the second time in the past 16 outings.
“We needed that one,” said Buchholz coach Blake Golden. “I know we tried to give it away, but we just needed that so bad for the program.”
Boyd set the tone early.
The senior scored nine of Buchholz’s 11 points in the first quarter and had 19 at the half. GHS had just 23 at the break.
“Daryus was awesome,” Golden said. “We told everybody before the game that ‘you’ve got to empty the tank,’ and he definitely did. He was cramping up at the end but was able to get in there and get a huge rebound late.”
Not to be outdone, Gainesville’s Theo Stephens scored 11 of his team-high 24 points in the second quarter to keep the game close.
Stephens also knocked down two free throws with 11 seconds to play in regulation to tie the game at 47-47 and force overtime.
“He’s awesome,” Golden said. “He’s so tough, so even keel, and he just keeps them going. He’s a great player. I just love watching him play.”
Gainesville played without junior guard Seth Childers, who tore his ACL against West Port (Ocala) two games ago and will miss the rest of the season. Despite the loss of Childers, the Hurricanes nearly found a way to win it.
“I’m just really proud of the guys and the way that they fought,” said Gainesville coach Mike Barnes. “I thought Cal (Evans) stepped up tonight and handled the ball handling load a little bit.”
The Hurricanes trailed by as many as 10 points in the opening half. However, junior S.J. Westbrook (14 points) scored with 1:42 to play in regulation to give GHS a 44-42 lead.
However, Boyd got fouled on a basket with 35 seconds left and he converted the free throw for a 47-44 lead with 35 seconds to play in regulation.
In overtime, Buchholz senior Aamari Reaves scored all five of his points, including a 3-point shot for some early momentum. The Bobcats converted five free throws, including two by Colsen Orth and one by Palmer Walton (10 points) during the extra period to snap Gainesville’s six-game winning streak.
GHS (14-8) has a big week coming up with games against 4A state runner-up Santa Fe in Alachua on Monday, followed by a home game against state-ranked Williston on Tuesday, and a trip to crosstown rival Eastside on Friday. All games are at 7:30 p.m.
“We’ll continue to get better,” Barnes said. “It (playing without Childers) was definitely an adjustment. On Tuesday we played Bradford and it was kind of a mess. Tonight, I thought we looked a lot better, a lot more organized. Life goes on. You’ve got to keep playing.”
Buchholz returns to the court on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. for the home finale against city rival P.K. Yonge a day after an emotional win against their biggest rival.
“It was extremely special,” Golden said. “The crowd was awesome. The Golden Boys were unbelievable tonight. It ranks right up there for me.”