Sonic Drive-In Player-of-the-Game for Feb. 16 – Noah Richardson (Eastside)
Our Sonic Drive-In Player-of-the-Game for Friday, February 16, is Noah Richardson of the Eastside (Gainesville) boys’ basketball team.
Richardson, a senior, scored all 11 of his points in the second half, and Eastside used an 11-0 run spanning the third and fourth quarters to move ahead for good and beat North Marion (Citra), 47-41, on the Colts’ home floor Friday night in the District 6-6A tournament championship game.
The first half was back and forth but low-scoring, and North Marion held a slight edge, 22-21, at the halftime break after a basket before the buzzer by Michael Evans of the Colts.
North Marion came out hot in the second half, going on a 10-3 run to expand the lead to 32-24. But the Rams started their game-changing run late in the third quarter, with Richardson having a key tip-in and Malik Robertson, Kofi Asare, and Jimmy Johnson adding key baskets as well.
Richardson scored five of his team-high 11 points in the second half of the fourth quarter and was the only player in double figures for the Rams. Robertson added nine points, and Asare, Johnson, and Anthony Richardson chipped in with five points each.
Up next for Eastside (22-5) is a home game against Ponte Vedra on Thursday in a Region 2-6A quarterfinal.
This was the first district title for the Rams since 2014. They advanced to the state semifinals in Lakeland that season.
North Marion falls to 17-8 but is in the regional playoffs for the first time since 2012, and opens up play on Thursday at Palatka in a region quarterfinal game.
Every game The Prep Zone will recognize a Player-of-the-Game. The recipient receives a $10 gift certificate courtesy of Sonic Drive-In of Gainesville & Ocala.