Cardiac Cats: Buchholz Upsets Sante Fe

Down by as much as 16, the same story seemed to be in play for the Buchholz Boys Basketball team. On their senior night, the Bobcats hosted the heavily favored Sante Fe Raiders. Reasonably so, the Raiders came out swinging.

Coach Elliot Harris’ team looked like the Monstars for the first three quarters, with the Bobcats never itching out a lead. Even worse, the stars were dim for Buchholz.

Coach Robert Hordyski came out with a lineup of three freshman and two sophomores. Senior Aryton DeCastro dealt with an off night in his final regular-season game at Buchholz. And starting guard TJ Jackson got into foul trouble early with three personal to his name.

It was easy to deem the game over. Then, a miracle happened.

Through Adversity The Cats Shined

Down nine heading into the 4th, it was safe to deem a Sante Fe win probable. Yet, the Bobcats opened up the quarter with an 8-0 run cut the deficit to four.

After trading blows back and forth, Buchholz finally evened the score. Led by sophomores Jaylon Jerkins and Creed Whittemore (brother of Gators wide receiver Trent Whittemore), the Bobcats evened the score at 42. As a Buchholz fan told me, “Jaylon Jerkins is the most clutch man on the planet.”

Anxiety infected the air of the Bud Seymour Gymnasium, and for the first time in months, Buchholz hopeful was on their feet hoping for a miracle.

Cardiac Coulson

With under a minute left, the game knotted up at 42. Out of a timeout, Sante Fe marches down the court to deliver an emphatic slam that seemed to be the dagger. Up 44-42, it seemed unlikely that Buchholz’s young core would come back and score to send this game to OT, let alone a three.

Enter Coulson Orth.

The 6’2 sophomore had a solid game thus far. With eight points and an impact on the hardwood, Orth was playing with an intensity needed to win the game. With 35.8 seconds left, Orth gains the ball just outside the three-point line. With a man on him like glue, no one expected the guard to pull up from three.

Until the shot went in

The prayer goes in. The crowd goes wild. And for only the second time of the day, the Bobcats hold the lead.

Sante Fe calls a time out to regroup, while Orth celebrates his one shining moment with a Kemba Walker-like shrug. On Buchholz’s senior night, a sophomore was the hero.

After an uplifting stop on the defensive end, Buchholz wins the game. An upset no one was expecting. No one except for them.

The Bobcats stumbled all year long. But finally, on Tuesday night, the young ‘Cats got what they deserved, a defining victory previewing Buchholz Basketball for years to come.

What’s Next For Buchholz?

Buchholz moves to 5-17 on the season, with their final game of the regular season Thursday at P.K Yonge. Afterward, the ‘Cats enter the distract tournament as the six seed, taking on three-seed Chiles High School on Feb. 11. Not many will give the Bobcats much of a chance heading into the dance. However, after the resiliency showed Tuesday night, it wouldn’t be wise to count out Buchholz.

 

About Sam Petosa

Sam Petosa is a Journalism major pursuing a Specialization in Sports and Media at UF. The South Florida native produces daily shows for WRUF, including "Sport Scene with Steve Russell, and "The Tailgate." In addition, Sam provides weekly sports updates for WUFT News and radio Sportscenter's for WRUF radio. Sam has been a writer at ESPN Gainesville since January 2020.

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