The Gainesville High School boy’s basketball team dominated the Eastside Rams once again to give the Hurricanes’ their 16th win of the season on Friday night. The two city rivals faced off once in January, with GHS topping Eastside in a 73-53 blowout. While Friday’s final point difference was cut in half from January’s game, the reigning champs came through again, this time 70-60.
There seemed to be a similar pattern in both of the games this season–Gainesville led by two at the half the first time around, only to come back and win by 20. This game was not much different, as the Rams trailed by a basket going into the third only to drop off in the fourth quarter. When asked what made his team finish strong in the second half each time, GHS coach Kelly Beckham gave his team credit both offensively and defensively.
Junior guard Isaiah Jackson led the Hurricanes once again, putting 21 points on the board, while Tim Norman shined offensively for Eastside. The junior forward fouled out in the fourth, but still managed to put up 15 points for the Rams. EHS star senior guard Sir Jackson surprised the crowd with only nine points on the night, a weak number in comparison to the 24 he put up in his last game against the Hurricanes. The Rams will finish out their regular season against Union County at home on Saturday.
Friday’s game at Santa Fe allowed for an impressive 7-0 season finish against city rivals for the Hurricanes, and also gave Beckham his 100th win with GHS. Beckham says he is proud of the way his team is finishing its season, but they still have challenges ahead.
GHS will travel to Lakeland to face McKeel Academy on Saturday, followed by a district game against Vanguard (1-1 against GHS this season) on Tuesday.