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Sonic Drive-In Player-of-the-Game for Jan. 17 – Jalen Speer (The Rock)

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The Sonic Drive-In Player-of-the-Game for Friday, January 17, was Jalen Speer of The Rock (Gainesville) boys’ basketball team.

Speer, a senior and Florida A&M signee, scored 12 of his game-high 19 points in the second half and The Rock never trailed in a 60-52 win over visiting Providence (Jacksonville) on Friday night.

The first half was full of runs, as the Lions scored the first seven points of the game before the Stallions answered with a 6-0 run of their own. The Rock had a 16-13 lead after the opening period as Speer and junior Kyle Duke scored five points apiece.

The teams traded 7-0 runs in the second period, but The Rock stayed ahead and used an 11-0 run to extend the lead to as much as 13 points before settling for a 32-25 lead at the halftime break. Duke and Speer led the Lions with seven points each with junior Atraiel Washington adding six points and senior LJ Hancock chipping in five points in a balanced scoring effort.

The second half featured more runs but The Rock stayed on top 47-39 heading into the final period. Speer knocked in a three-pointer and had 12 points through three quarters. Duke led The Rock with 13 points as the only two Lions players in double figures.

Speer had seven points in the fourth quarter, including another trey and two big free throws late in the game.

Providence (13-7) kept battling back and crawled to within 54-52 with 2 minutes left. But senior Kendall Latney, who also finished in double figures with 12 points, knocked down a turn-around jumper in the paint as The Rock scored the final six points to pull away for the win.

Providence placed two players in double figures, as senior Josh Himel led with 17 points, including five three-pointers, and junior Jack Dillard also hit two threes and scored 15 points.

The Rock improved to 15-7 and will be back in action thisTuesday night, January 21, at home against Oldsmar Christian.  You can catch live streaming video on The Prep Zone, beginning with coverage of the Rock girls’ basketball game at 5:30 p.m. against DME Sports Academy (Daytona Beach).

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.

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