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GC men prevail

November 23, 2012  23:21 PM

News Herald Staff

PANAMA CITY — Chad Frazier’s atonement for two missed free throws sealed Gulf Coast’s victory on Friday.

Frazier missed a pair of free throws with 16 seconds left that could have sealed GC’s win, but he blocked a potential game-tying shot as time expired to cement the Commodores’ 69-67 win over Wallace State-Hanceville in the Gulf Coast Thanksgiving Classic men’s basketball tournament.

Playing for just the third time at the Billy Harrison Field House this season, GC amassed a 43-24 lead at halftime only to watch that advantage disintegrate quickly in the second half.

“At the half I told the guys that that team has a lot of pride and was a national tournament team last year and is 5-1,” GC coach Jay Powell said. “They’re one of the best couple programs in North Alabama. We needed to be ready and focused. Then we came out flat as a flitter. We did not play well, and they hit us with a 9-0 run to cut it to 10.”

Wallace State had a chance to win at the buzzer, but Powell said Frazier’s perimeter defense on the final play preserved the win.

“Chad played good 1-on-1 defense and did not allow his man to penetrate,” Powell said. “He had to pull up, and Chad blocked the shot.”

The Commodores, ranked fifth in the state, have won seven straight games since a season-opening loss. They host Walters State today at 2 p.m. in the tournament finale at the Billy Harrison Field House.

“We’re going to stay positive,” Powell said. “I stayed with them five minutes after the game, and I told them I want us to refocus. It’s not long until we have to play a good Walters State team.”

Devon Baulkman led a balanced scoring effort for GC with 13 points. Frazier, Leonard Smith and Jose Rodrigues each had 12. Zack Reynolds, Dylan Smith and Eugene Mosley III had six apiece.

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