Indians Clinch State Tournament Berth
February 9, 2008
By Chipola Staff
The Chipola Indians never trailed on
Saturday night, jumping out to a quick 7-0
lead, before eventually ousting Tallahassee
93-77 on the Eagle’s home court.
The win ensured that the Indians would be playing in the annual state tournament on March 5-8, giving Chipola an opportunity to defend their 2007 state tournament title.
“Obviously, we are happy that we have qualified for the state tournament,” said Chipola coach Greg Heiar. “That opportunity allows us to accomplish some of our other goals.”
The win marked the first season sweep of Tallahassee since 2005.
“They are a good team with good players,” said Heiar. “I think (Jermaine) Dixon is one of the best players in this league, which gives them a chance to win every time that they step onto the court. Winning on the road is never easy, so I’m fairly happy with our performance tonight.”
Chipola built the lead to 55-35 with 17:23 to play in the second half before Dixon helped the Eagles climb back into the contest with a game high 36 points.
A 10-4 Tallahassee run, capped by a 3pt field goal by Dixon, helped trim lead to 69-64 with 7:30 remaining.
But the Indians would respond, dominating the stretch 34-13 to finish the game.
“I was very pleased with how we finished plays tonight,” said Heiar. “We got into the paint, scored on the break, and finished at the foul line. Those are the reasons why we got the win.”
Chipola ended the night 27-35 at the Free Throw line, hitting 17-20 in the games last six minutes.
Four Indians reached double figures on the night, led by sophomore Malik Alvin’s 19 point performance.
Alvin, who hit two key three point shots during the first half, helped Chipola close the game out by knocking in 11 of 12 free throws down the stretch. He also led Chipola with a team high 8 rebounds.
Freshman Torye Pelham had his best game of the conference season, ending with 14 points on a perfect 6 of 6 shooting night from the floor and a 2 of 2 effort at the charity stripe. Pelham also accounted for 5 rebounds, 4 on the offensive end.
“Torye had a great week of practice leading up to the game,” said Heiar. “He played with energy and effort, which carried over into tonight’s win. That’s the Torye that we all know he is capable of being every time he steps onto the court.”
Freshman Gary Flowers added 14 points and 7 rebounds.
Sophomore Mario Edwards had 12 points while dishing out a team high 8 assists.
Freshman Casey Mitchell just missed double digits in scoring, adding 9 points to the Indian cause.
Chipola next faces Okaloosa-Walton on Saturday night in Marianna.
The showdown features two of the nation’s highest ranked teams, with Chipola occupying the #3 spot in the national poll and Okaloosa-Walton holding down #6.
Both teams are 8-1 in the Panhandle Conference and have split two prior meetings. Chipola won 56-52 in Marianna on January 12. Okaloosa-Walton won in Niceville on February 2, 68-59. The winner of game three will hold a one game advantage heading into the final week of the regular season, while also owning the tie breaker for seeding purposes.
The game can be seen live via webcast on February 16 at 7:30 pm CST.