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Men eliminated from contention

February 14, 2013  16:12 PM

News Herald Staff

Pensacola men 68, Gulf Coast 66

Gulf Coast suffered an unfortunate end to its state tournament ambitions.

The Commodores missed two shots from close range in the final 30 seconds, and Pensacola overcame late struggles at the foul line to escape with the two-point win.

The Pirates (18-9, 4-5) jumped ahead of GC (19-8, 4-6) into third place in the Panhandle standings. Pensacola kept alive its slim hopes of qualifying for state and now trails Chipola — a 64-62 loser at NWF State — by 2 1/2 games. Pensacola has three games remaining, Chipola two.

GC trailed 67-66 when Leonard Smith missed a shot inside the paint with 30 seconds left, and the Pirates moved ahead by two when Devin Wilson knocked down one of two free throws. GC’s Devon Baulkman misfired on a 3-pointer on the ensuing trip down the floor, but a chance to win was preserved when Prince Braynen missed two free throws for Pensacola.

Following the rebound, Chad Frazier attacked Pensacola’s defense with a drive down the right side of the lane. His shot was a little strong and rolled off the rim just before the final horn sounded.

The Commodores started slowly on offense and trailed 9-2 early en route to a 36-24 deficit at halftime. GC unleashed a 23-5 run to open the second half, however, and Jose Rodrigues’ 3-pointer gave the Commodores a 47-41 lead with 12:20 left.

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