Ridaught: Rivalries highlight hoops broadcasts

Santa Fe's AJ Hall (11) defends the ball against Jordan Christian Prep on Friday.
Santa Fe's A.J. Hall (11) defends the ball in a game against Jordan Christian Prep. Santa Fe is among the local teams Mainstreet will feature in live broadcasts in January.
Photo by C.J. Gish

With high school football officially finished and the holiday hoops tournaments behind us, get ready for a heavy dose of boys basketball broadcasts in January. 

The postseason is just 30 days away, and Mainstreet Daily News will be there for all the exciting action as area teams make their runs at titles. You can catch the play-by-play of 10 regular season games on our live stream page

We’ll broadcast a game in Gainesville every Friday night during the month of January, and early February, along with mid-week coverage. 

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Here is a look at each game on our upcoming boys basketball broadcast schedule (overall records heading into Jan. 6).  

All games at 7:30 p.m. Our pregame coverage will begin at 7:15 p.m. 

Friday, Jan. 6 – GHS at Buchholz 

Despite the fact that the Hurricanes (11-4) had been dominating the series, this was a close matchup both times the teams played last season. The visiting Hurricanes are 28-5 against the Bobcats since the 2006-07 season.  

According to GHS statistician and “Voice of the Hurricanes” Gil Brodach, GHS is 13-3 at Buchholz during that stretch but all three losses have been by a total of five points, including Buchholz’s win in overtime last season.  

Making this game even more intriguing is that the Hurricanes and the Bobcats both compete in Class 6A-District 2. Gainesville enters with a three-game winning streak, while Buchholz (8-8) routed P.K. Yonge on Wednesday night with a season-high 78 points. Expect a standing-room-only crowd for this city showdown. 

Tuesday, Jan. 10 – Columbia (Lake City) at GHS 

The Hurricanes won a close one in Lake City on Dec. 8 with a 48-45 win against the Tigers. Both teams could be ranked entering the game. Columbia (9-5) is currently ninth in the state in Class 5A according to MaxPreps, while GHS is ranked No. 9 in Class 6A. Both teams are currently ranked in the regional all-classification rankings.  

Columbia is balanced as seniors Isaac Broxey (17.8 ppg), Ty’jahn Wright (13.8 ppg), and Seth Stockton (11 ppg) all average in double figures. Broxey had 21 in the first meeting.  

Meanwhile, the Hurricanes have the talent for a deep postseason run. Gainesville, which is 4-0 at home, snapped a five-game losing streak in the series last month. The ‘Canes will seek their first two-game winning streak in the series since winning 10 in a row from 2014 to 2018. 

Friday, Jan. 13 – GHS at Eastside 

Last year was a rare year for the Gainesville area in boys high school basketball as the three largest city teams—GHS, Eastside, and Buchholz—all missed the state playoffs. But the good thing about rivalry games is that you can throw out records and rankings when the Hurricanes and Rams meet.  

GHS defeated Eastside, 45-36, at home last January to snap a seven-game losing streak in the series. The Rams (7-6), who have already won more games this season than all of last season (4), were able to keep it close before falling to the Hurricanes, 44-38, in last year’s regular season finale. 

Tuesday, Jan. 17 – GHS at P.K. Yonge 

This is the second of two meetings between the two city rivals. The Hurricanes won the first meeting on Nov. 29, but it was close. GHS edged P.K. Yonge, 57-54, behind Theo Stephens’ 22 points. Blue Wave senior Moses Horne, who drained a 3-pointer with 4.5 seconds left in the first half to give PKY a 25-24 lead at the break, missed a potential game-tying shot from the top of the key on the Blue Wave’s final possession.  

Don’t be fooled by the Blue Wave’s overall record (6-8). With games against Potter’s House Christian (Jacksonville), Cleveland (TN), FSU High (Tallahassee), and 7A No. 3 Olympia (Orlando), among others, this team is battled tested and will be in the mix for another postseason bid.  

Thursday, Jan. 19 – Eastside at Buchholz 

The host Bobcats look to even the series after the Rams defeated the Bobcats, 52-39, at Eastside on Dec. 17. Eastside had two players score in double figures as junior Quashawn Brittingham had 16 points and senior Shelton Hall had 14 points and five steals.  

Buchholz’s Jacob Sterck was held to just five points. He erupted for 33 points in the win against P.K. Yonge on Wednesday night. Eastside has dominated the series by winning nine of the last 11. However, the Rams snapped a two-game losing streak and will look to sweep the series. 

Friday, Jan. 20 – North Marion (Citra) at Eastside 

While in-county games are always exciting, there’s something to be said about a Marion County vs. Alachua County meeting. The two district rivals will play twice over a four-day period. The Colts and the Rams are in 4A-District 5 along with Santa Fe (Alachua), Palatka, Keystone Heights, and Suwannee (Live Oak). That adds a little more incentive as teams begin to jockey for position in the upcoming district tournament. 

Tuesday, Jan. 24 – Williston at GHS 

For four straight years there has been a new champion in Class 1A (Bradford – 2022, Wildwood – 2021, Hawthorne – 2020 and Madison County – 2019). Could Williston be next?  

The visiting Red Devils are ranked No. 1 in Class 1A and have posted some big early season wins against Wildwood, Lovett (Atlanta, GA), and Gainesville. They knocked off the Hurricanes at home, 54-46, on Dec. 6 and are looking to sweep the two-game series. Williston (10-4) has won two of the last three against the Hurricanes. 

Friday, Jan. 27 – Buchholz at GHS 

Gainesville’s Vontrell Hankison broke a bone in his foot at Vanguard (Ocala) on Dec. 13. The 6-foot-6 senior should be back for the Hurricanes, who have played a challenging schedule this season. The Bobcats and Hurricanes compete in a tough district that includes Tallahassee schools Lincoln, Leon and Chiles, plus Mosley (Lynn Haven).  

With the district tournament looming (Tuesday-Wednesday & Friday, Feb. 7-8 & 10), this game could have seeding implications. Gainesville edged Buchholz, 56-55, last year at The Purple Palace. It was the 14th time in the past 16 games that the Hurricanes had defeated the Bobcats on their home floor. 

Tuesday, Jan. 31 – Santa Fe (Alachua) at Eastside 

Santa Fe (8-5) was just one of four Alachua County teams to make the post season last year, along with Hawthorne and Newberry in 1A and P.K. Yonge in 3A. The Raiders are just two years removed from their first state championship game appearance in program history.  

The Raiders, who have won back-to-back district titles, captured the Hitchcock’s Challenge title last week. Santa Fe, which lost to eventual 4A state runner-up Andrew Jackson (Jacksonville) in the second round of the 4A state playoffs last year, return four starters, including one of the top players in the area in senior Don’trell Jenkins (17 points, 3 rebounds, 3.6 assists, and 2.7 steals per game in 2021-22).  

Friday, Feb. 3 – Eastside at GHS 

A good primer for the district tournament. Eastside, which was very young last year, is much improved. They will look to spoil Senior Night for the Hurricanes. 

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Dennis McGill

Do you cover Oak Hall? I know it’s a private school, but they do have good sports teams that deserve coverage.

C.J. Gish

Yes, we do cover Oak Hall. And we have covered Oak Hall’s sports teams many times. Feel free to go to our website and search for Oak Hall to find the stories we have written.