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Chipola Indians Still Perfect

By DUSTIN KENT  
Jackson County Floridan

December 20, 2006


 
For the first time in school history, the Chipola Indians will head into the Christmas break without a single loss on their resume.

After picking up two wins in the Panhandle Shootout in Gainesville on Saturday and Sunday, the top-ranked Indians moved to 15-0 on the season.

Chipola coach Greg Heiar is not getting carried away with his team's early season success, there's not a lot of things to be unsatisfied with about the Indians' season thus far.

"Obviously, we're in a good state of mind right now," the coach said. "I've very pleased with the team and how they've played so far."

The Indians defeated Hillsborough 94-80 on Saturday and came back to beat Seminole 70-63 on Sunday.

Heiar said that the back-to-back was especially trying for a team that could smell the Christmas break right around the corner.

"(The players) were ready to go home," Heiar said. "The game before the Christmas break is probably the hardest game for a JUCO coach to coach because they're all looking forward to going home for Christmas. I'm just glad it's over now."

DeAndre Thomas led Chipola with 23 points and 10 rebounds Saturday. Victor Dubovitsky and Johnnie Harris led the Indians Sunday with 15 points each.

Chipola shot a scalding 62 percent against Hillsborough to score 94 points in spite of 27 turnovers. Against Seminole, the Indians shot only 33 percent but made 22-of-30 free throws.

The key in both games for the Indians, according to Heiar, was their work on the glass.

Chipola was a combined +22 on the boards over the weekend, getting a combined 39 offensive rebounds.

"We dominated the boards," Heiar said. "That's why we won those games. We'll win a lot of games with 18+ offensive rebounds."

The only worrisome detail for Heiar right now is whether or not his team can continue to match the intensity of opponents who treat their games against the Indians like the biggest of the season.

"The bullseye on our backs is bigger than ever," the coach said. "It's only going to intensify in conference play. The energy level for teams that play us is so high and that's great, but we're vulnerable because of the complacency that can set in when you're undefeated."

"There can be slippage if the energy is not there."

The Indians won't have to worry about that first loss at least until Dec. 29, when they face Hillsborough again in Tallahassee.

Chipola will play Columbia State the day after that game and open up Panhandle Conference play Jan. 6 at home against Pensacola.

 

 
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