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Chipola men hang on, beat GC

By Dustin Kent | News Herald Writer | Twitter: @PCNHDustinKent

Published: Wednesday, January 7, 2015 at 11:03 PM.

 

PANAMA CITY --  Chipola snapped a three-game losing skid by knocking off Gulf Coast 56-53 in Panhandle Conference action Wednesday night at the Billy Harrison Field House.

 

It was the league-opener for the Commodores, but it was spoiled by a game Indians squad searching for a bounce-back after suffering a double-overtime loss to Pensacola State on Saturday.

 

The Indians (8-11, 1-1) got 19 points from Junior Saintel and 14 from Greg King, with King also coming up with a huge blocked shot in the closing seconds to seal the win.

 

Triling 56-53 with 8.3 seconds left, Gulf Coast ran a play to get Ruben Monroe a 3-point look from the right corner, but King closed on him fast and swatted the shot into the stands.

 

The Commodores had another chance with 1.6 seconds left, but couldn't get the ball in to Monroe again, with the pass getting away from him as time expired.

 

Anton Waters scored 16 points to lead the Commodores, who had a three-game winning streak snapped and fell to 13-5 on the season.

 

Gulf Coast coach Jay Powell said he waa disappointed in the execution of his players, especially given the primary focus leading up to the game.

 

"We talked about the key to victory being to keep our turnovers to 14 or lower and we ended up having 10 in the first half," he said.  "We've got to do a better job to take care of the basketball.  Every possession matters and our guards didn't seem to handle it well tonight."

 

In a closely contested game that saw neither team lead by more than six points all night, it wa a late 9-0 spurt by Chipola that proved to be the difference.

 

Trailing 46-43 with eight minutes to play, the Indians got a tying 3-pointer by Saintel, with Dujuan Marrero and Ty Baker following with dunks to make it 50-46.

 

Two free throws by Saintel put the Indians up 52-46 with 5:16 remaining, but the Commodores fought back with a 3-point play by Anton Waters to cut the margin in half with 4:16 to play.

 

A pair of free throws by Saintel and another from Legend Robertin put Chipola up 55-49, but Waters had another big 3-point play to get the Commodores back to within three with 1:32 remaining.

 

After a defensice stop, Gulf Coast's Jonathan Wade drew a foul but split the pair to leave the Commodores down two, but they caught a break when Saintel missed a shot at point blank range on the ensuing Chipola possession and Waters rebounded and was fouled with 9.4 seconds left.

 

But Waters missed both free throws and Marrero rebounded for Chipola and was fouled with 8.3 seconds left.

 

"I hope no one will blame the loss on Anton missing those free throws because he almost single-handedly kept us in the game tonight," Powell said.  "He played like a man for us down low."

 

Gulf Coast's biggest lead in the first half was three after a putback by Waters made it 29-26 with 52 seconds on the clock, but a basket by King was followed by a sloppy GC turnover that led to a thunderous dunk by Ty Baker to close out the half.

 

The Commdores will next go to Tallahassee on Saturday to face the Eagles, while Chipola will host the Eagles on Tuesday.

 

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