ThePrepZone.com Sports Report with Marty Pallman on “The Tailgate” (WRUF Gainesville)
Marty Pallman joined Jeff Cardozo & Zach Alboverdi on The Tailgate (WRUF-98.1 FM & 850 AM) on Friday, March 1, from the RP Funding Center in Lakeland (FHSAA Girls Basketball Finals) for ThePrepZone.com Sports Report presented by SunState Federal Credit Union. Here is a recap of the interview:
- Girls Basketball (Trenton wins state title) – On Tuesday in Lakeland, the Trenton Tigers girls basketball team brought back its third girls state basketball title overall, but its first since 1980, with a 43-31 over Holmes County (Bonifay). Trenton (27-3) forced 34 Holmes County turnovers and pulled away with a 14-4 fourth quarter run for the win. Santa Fe College signee Taniah Bowers led the Tigers with 11 points and six steals, with sophomore Samarie McHenry adding 11 points as well and senior Standrea McHenry with 10 points and nine steals. Trenton has now won 125 games in five seasons under coach Bryant Frye (125-15, including 54-0 in the district), but had yet to bring home the title until this year, coming close with a state runner-up finish in 2016. This is also the fifth state title overall for Trenton High School since 2013 (baseball – 2017; football – ’15; football & baseball – ’13).
- Hawthorne’s season came to an end in the state semifinals on Monday in Lakeland as Holmes County defeated the Hornets, 56-40. The Hornets got themselves in a huge hole in the first half by only shooting 3-of-28, or 11 percent from the floor, and were outrebounded for the game 55-42. Hawthorne finishes the season 22-5, but kudos to Cornelius Ingram and his team as the Hornets made only their second state semifinal appearance in the history of their girls basketball program. Of course CI led both the Hawthorne football team and the girls basketball team to the state semifinals in the 2018-19 school year.
- The third and final area team to advance to Lakeland was P.K. Yonge. The Blue Wave had the toughest task of all in the 4A state semifinals, playing five-time defending state champion and the #1 team in the nation according to Max Preps & USA Today in Miami Country Day. P.K. Yonge’s season ended with a 81-50 loss to the Spartans, who won another state title on Thursday afternoon and finished at 26-1 with a 22 game winning streak. P.K. Yonge has nothing to be ashamed about for their season, as the Blue Wave finished 28-2 as they had a 16-game winning streak snapped in the state semifinal game. It was also just their first loss to a team from Florida this season. Courtney Moore led P.K. Yonge in scoring with 12 points and Mya McGraw added 8.
- Boys Basketball Playoffs – Tuesday was a rough night for area boys basketball teams, with one exception. The Columbia (Lake City) Tigers host Crestview on Friday night in their first regional final since 2000. If Columbia wins, it would be their first trip to the boys state basketball semifinals in 51 years. Columbia advanced on Tuesday with a back-and-forth 46-42 win over rival Gainesville in a Region 1-7A semifinal in Lake City. Columbia actually trailed by eight points with four minutes left, but closed on a 12-0 run led by back-to-back three pointers by senior Bobby Fulton to eliminate the Purple Hurricanes. Crestview last advanced to the state tournament in 1987, so it’s been a minute for these two teams.
- Unfortunately for the other Gainesville-area teams, the season came to an end on Tuesday night. In 6A, Eastside lost a heartbreaker at home to Palatka, 61-60, in a Region 2 semifinal. Palatka improved to 25-4 and will host Nature Coast (Brooksvile) on Friday night as the Panthers try to advance to their third consecutive state semifinal in Lakeland next Wednesday. Palatka rallied from an eight-point deficit against the Rams and took the lead on a basket by Malik Beauford with 4.3 seconds left. Eastside senior Emontea Shannon was fouled on the ensuing possession with 1.3 seconds left, but missed the first of two foul shots and Palatka inbounded and ran out the clock for the win. Eastside, who was ranked 2nd in the state in 6A according to Max Preps coming into the game, finishes the season at 26-3. This was the 8th consecutive win for Palatka over Eastside. KJ Bradley led the Rams with 22 points and senior James Pope added 13 points with Shannon chipping in 10 points and nine rebounds. The season also ended for P.K. Yonge on Tuesday as the Blue Wave dropped the Region 1-4A final, 83-63, at University Christian (Jacksonville). P.K. Yonge, which advanced to the 4A state semifinals in Lakeland a year ago, finishes this season at 23-5. Finally in 1A, Hawthorne was knocked out for the second year in a row in the Region 3-1A final by Madison County. This time the Hornets were beaten at home, 53-48, after losing 70-40 in Madison a year ago. The gym was packed as usual in Hawthorne, but the Cowboys rallied from a halftime deficit to advance to the 1A state semifinals in Lakeland next Monday morning. Hawthorne, ranked #1 in the state by Max Preps, saw its 17-game winning streak come to an end and finished with a record of 25-2. In another 1A region final, Bell was beaten 62-53 at defending 1A state champion Wildwood.
- Softball/Baseball – Gainesville softball is off to another good start at 3-0 after pounding Buchholz on Tuesday, 10-1. Alyssa Humphrey went six innings with 10 strikeouts and was 2-for-4 at the plate with a homer, 2 RBI’s and a run scored. GHS hosts Trenton on Friday night in a big early season matchup. And baseball season got going this week. Buchholz easily defeated North Marion 16-6 on Tuesday night in the Bobcats’ opener. Sophomore Brett Blair was 4-for-5 with two RBI’s, a run scored, and a stolen base as Buchholz won the game by run rule. The Bobcats play at Columbia on Friday night.
**Tune in to our weekly radio interviews talking high school sports on ThePrepZone.com Sports Report presented by SunState Federal Credit Union on WRUF-98.1 FM & 850 AM in Gainesville every Thursday at 4 p.m. on “The Tailgate” with Jeff Cardozo & Zach Abolverdi**