Gainesville falls short to The Rock despite grit

Though the energy was high, the Hurricanes suffered a tough loss in “The Purple Palace” to the Lions 77-64 on Thursday evening.


A Positive Start

It seemed to be looking good for the Hurricanes as Leyah Houston snagged the ball first for Gainesville and immediately put the Hurricanes on the scoreboard. She was strong under the net with five rebounds in the first quarter to keep the momentum strong for her team, even going coast to coast a few times to take it to the hole for six points.

There were two ties within the first half that made the game seem promising: 8-for-8 after the first quarter and 12-for-12 midway through the second.


Unfortunately, the comeback was not enough as the Hurricanes headed to the second half down 32-24 to Lions.

An Aggressive Upper-hand

Gainesville’s determination began to show during the third quarter, even bringing freshman Rihanna Davis out of the game. With 2:30 remaining in the third quarter, Davis’s fall was echoed throughout The Purple Palace. She was carried off the court, lighting a fire under the Hurricanes as they nearly doubled their score before the fourth quarter; 58-43 The Rock.

Raining Threes

Led by junior Roksana Sajdak, the Lions managed to score five 3-pointers within four minutes and then four more behind the arc when it mattered most.

Though numbers don’t lie, the Hurricanes seemed to have a never-ending amount of hustle which made the difference in the backcourt. With only 1:19 remaining in the game, Gainesville managed to decrease the margin, trailing The Rock 70-60. The team realized they could not permit the Lions to shoot from the charity stripe and only gave up one foul through the duration of the fourth quarter, an improvement from the first half.

What’s Next?

The future looks bright for Gainesville High School’s girls basketball team as they finish their regular season 12-7 (63% win). The Hurricanes’ apparent perseverance and endurance will serve them well as they head into the playoffs on Wednesday, February 2.

About Lauren Halpern

Currently an undergraduate student at UF in the College of Journalism and Communications towards a Bachelor of Science in Journalism. Studying sports media with involvement in ESPN Gainesville, The University Athletic Association, and the Gamma Iota Chapter of Alpha Delta Pi. Seeking a sports media/broadcasting position where her passion for athletics, bubbly personality and drive to communicate will support and improve the portrayal of news to the public.

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