Our Sonic Drive-In-Player-of-the-Game for Thursday, January 25 is James Pope of the Eastside (Gainesville) boys’ basketball team.
Pope led the Rams with a game-high 14 points, including 12 in the second half, as Eastside rallied from an 8-point halftime deficit to defeat Santa Fe (Alachua), 57-39, on Thursday night in a District 6-6A contest.
Pope, a junior, scored only two points in the first half and the Rams struggled offensively, managing only eight points in the second quarter, and went into the halftime break trailing Santa Fe, 26-18.
But Pope came out on fire in the third period, scoring nine quick points, including a three-pointer, and Eastside took control of the game, outscoring Santa Fe 21-3 in the quarter.
Eastside led 39-29 going into the fourth quarter, and the Rams scored the first six points of the final period as well, as the run for the first 10 minutes of the second half extended to 27-3. Eastside outscored Santa Fe 39-13 in the second half.
Pope hit two of the three shots behind the arc for the Rams on the night. Jimmy Johnson was also in double figures with 10 points.
Eastside improves to 15-4 and stays tied atop District 6-6A with North Marion (Citra) with a 6-1 district mark. Eastside and North Marion split the two meetings this season.
The Rams return to action on Saturday night against city rival P.K. Yonge (Gainesville). The game can be seen with ‘live’ video on the NFHS Network and The Prep Zone with Mike Ridaught and Michael Phillips calling the action beginning at 7:15 p.m.
Santa Fe falls to 7-14 and 2-5 in district play.
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.