After three tough early season losses, the P.K. Yonge boys basketball team found the win column on Tuesday night.
The visiting Blue Wave broke open a three point game at the half with a 21-point third quarter and pulled away for a 52-37 win at rival Eastside.
“The guys are kind of relieved to get their first one in the books,” said P.K. Yonge coach Boderick Johnson. “We looked back at the last couple of games that we played and tried to revisit some of the mistakes, and we did better tonight.”
Senior Moses Horne scored a game-high 14 points for the Blue Wave (1-3), followed by senior Anthony Delucas with 12 points and senior Randall Robinson with 11 points.
Horne scored eight points in the third quarter, including five in an 8-0 run to start the second half to give the Blue Wave a 26-15 advantage, their first double-digit lead of the night.
DeLucas hit the first of three second-half 3s during the stretch. He finished the game with four baskets beyond the arc.
“I’m happy for Anthony,” Johnson said. “He works hard at it, one of the hardest working kids that I’ve been around, and he truly deserves it. He was rewarded tonight for his hard work and effort that he put in.”
Eastside (1-2), which has been playing without injured senior starter Ben Davis, who will find out on Friday if his foot injury is season-ending, took a 9-8 lead at the end of the first quarter as junior Quashawn Brittingham scored four of his team-high 12 points.
“I was proud of them,” said Eastside coach Herman ‘Pop’ Williams. “P.K.’s got a real good team. We came in to try and slow them down. We knew they wanted to run and that showed in the third quarter. After halftime, they came out really shooting it.”
Delucas drained his third 3-pointer of the game for a 32-19 Blue Wave lead.
But the Rams kept battling, scoring 14 points in the third quarter as Brittingham scored five, followed by Shelton Hall (8 points overall) with four and Hawthorne transfer D.J. Slater added three points.
After Eastside closed the gap to seven at 36-29, Horne hit a top of the key 3-pointer with seven seconds left in the quarter to give the Blue Wave a 39-29 lead at the end of third.
Robinson, who had all 11 of his points off the bench, scored seven in the fourth quarter, and Delucas’ dagger with 2:17 remaining gave the Blue Wave a 50-34 advantage which ended any hopes of a Rams’ comeback.
Eastside will host defending Class 1A state champion Bradford (Starke) on Thursday at 7:30 p.m., followed by a trip to North Marion in Sparr on Saturday to face Lake Weir (Ocala) at 1:30 p.m. in the Tim Brinkley Memorial Classic.
P.K. Yonge has another tough contest as the Blue Wave host defending 3A state champion Florida High (Tallahassee) on Saturday at 6 p.m.
“We’ve still got to get much better in terms of preparation for Saturday’s game against the defending state champion, and they’re loaded again,” Johnson said. “But that’s what we put them on the schedule for to get better and to compete.”