The P.K. Yonge boys basketball team defeated rival Gainesville High for the third straight time on Tuesday night at home.
However, it wasn’t easy as the Blue Wave trailed entering the third and fourth periods but found a way to grind out a 44-40 win against the rival Hurricanes.
“A pretty win is better than an ugly loss anytime,” said P.K. Yonge coach Boderick Johnson. “The kids were resilient. We got some crucial shots and crucial stops and at the end of the game we we were able to seal the game defensively.”
Junior Seth English hit two free throws with 20 seconds to play to give the Blue Wave a 44-40 lead, but Gainesville couldn’t put the ball in the basketball late.
“We had opportunities to blow it open in the third quarter up six to eight points,” said GHS coach Mike Barnes. “We had an opportunity to convert on some fast breaks, and then as the game went on I thought that we didn’t play together as a team and we couldn’t buy a bucket. We’ll definitely be working on finishing in practice.”
The Blue Wave (2-2) only had two field goals in the fourth quarter, but they converted 8-of-10 from the free throw line in the final period.
“We’re better than what we played,” said junior forward Randall Robinson. “We played down to their level. We played gritty but playing gritty is not the same thing as playing disciplined.”
Robinson was recognized as the Sonic Drive-In Player of the Game after scoring a team-high 14 points. He finished 9-of-12 from the free throw line, including 3-of-4 in the fourth quarter but downplayed his production.
“We got the win,” Robinson said. “That’s all that matters.”
Junior Theo Stephens finished with a game-high 19 points for GHS (3-2), followed by junior S.J. Westbrook with 13 points.
Gainesville will travel to Clay (Green Cove Springs) on Thursday, while P.K. Yonge will play at Florida High (Tallahassee) on Saturday.