Buchholz Bobcats
Jamison McTureous (#20) takes a shot as Buchholz and P.K. Younge players watch during a game at Buchholz High School in Gainesville, Fla., Jan. 18, 2024. (Lee Ann Anderson/WRUF)

Clawing at the Chance for the State Title: Buchholz Bobcats Versus Forest Wildcats

The high school boy’s basketball playoffs continue this week. Advancing to quarter regionals, the Buchholz Bobcats  (17-10) will be on the road to play the Forest Wildcats (20-7) tonight at 7:30 p.m.

New Coaching Leads to Success

With a 13-14 record last year, Buchholz has been committed to improvement in their 2023-24 season. Buchholz head coach Elliot Harris met with WRUF’s Steve Russell to speak about this season and how his team has prepared for the tournament. Harris mentioned his team has had many “ups and downs”. However, he emphasizes how they finish is what is most important.

Not only has this new team made improvements, but they are seeing great success. The Bobcats had only made it to the district semis last season, but this is their first time in the playoffs in the last nine years.

A Work in Progress

With this being his first year at Buchholz, Harris touched on how this has been a work in progress for both him and the team.

He says it has taken them some time to “gel.” Working with a new coach and new staff always takes a learning curve for the players and the coaches. However, it is evident with the success the team is seeing that over time, this coach to player connection has been working.

A Cat Fight

When speaking on Forest, Harris made note of the high level competition. To start, Forest’s senior point guard, X’Zavion McCoy has been named the two-time recipient of the FACA “Player of the Year” award. Additionally, Harris stated their good coaching has helped bring them to a notable 20-7 record this season.

The team has learned to “roll with the punches”. Harris highlighted his team’s mental toughness.

This mindset will be key in the Bobcat’s road to finals.

As far as coaching, Harris said that this team “needed to learn how to win at the varsity level.” Buchholz hopes to carry out their new knowledge, success and skill into tonight’s matchup.

Looking Ahead

The winner of tonight’s game will advance to the regional semifinals on Tuesday. They will play the winning team of the Milton versus Wiregrass Ranch matchup, also tonight.

About Emily Paraiso

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