Indians Break School Record Win Streak: Need OT For Win
January 26, 2008
By Chipola Staff
Most in attendance had confidence that Chipola would soon break the record after heading into the locker room with a 44-29 lead. However, the nation’s top ranked team proceeded to blow the double-digit second half advantage before eventually holding on to an 89-84 overtime win over the Tallahassee Eagles.
“We had a 17 point lead, and then we relaxed,” said sophomore Mario Little. “We had guys in the halftime locker room that were acting like we had already won. Personally, I knew that they were going to make a run.”
Little’s reasoning came with good merit. Chipola and Tallahassee had produced classic match-ups in Marianna in recent memory. Two years ago, the Eagles stunned Chipola in three overtimes to go to the National Tournament. Last year, Tallahassee handed Chipola its first loss of the season in a double overtime thriller.
But tonight’s extra frame belonged to Little and the Indians.
Little scored 25 points and grabbed 14 rebounds, including 6 on the offensive end, as Chipola improved to 5-0 in the Panhandle Conference. The win keeps Chipola one game up in the loss column over 5-1 Okaloosa-Walton.
“I had a big game the last time we played during the second half,” said Little, “So I knew that I had to assert myself on the offensive end. I also wanted to hit the glass. I had a goal of getting five offensive rebounds.”
Chipola, who had an answer for Tallahassee’s leading scorer Jermaine Dixon during the January 5 match-up (84-58 Chipola win), simply could not contain the Eagle’s go-to man often enough during round two. Dixon ended the night with 25 points and 8 rebounds.
“He’s a very good player and tough to keep out of the paint,” said Chipola coach Greg Heiar. “It seemed like we were a step slow during the entire game on the defensive end.”
The 84 points surrendered by the Indian’s defense was the most since an 88-87 overtime win against Palm Beach back on December 16. Following the holiday break, Chipola had not allowed 70 points in any of their six wins.
“We took a lot of quick shots and turned the ball over too much tonight,” said Heiar. “That turned into easy transition opportunities for them on the other end. Those things usually come back to haunt you. But I was glad to see us respond when the game was on the line.”
Chipola relied heavily on the inside-out combination of sophomore Clevin Hannah and freshman forward Gary Flowers. Each ended the night with 17 points. Flowers also grabbed 8 rebounds as Chipola improved to 11-0 at home on the season.
“We had a couple of close games in the non-conference that really helped us,” added Little. “We had one overtime game before, so it wasn’t a new situation for the freshman. Everyone was relaxed and focused on getting the win.”
Chipola continues play on Wednesday, January 30 at Gulf Coast. The 7:30 pm CST tip can be heard live via webcast. The Indians defeated the 16-8 (2-4) Commodores on January 15 in Marianna 79-68.