PHS basketball: Gainesville withstands Palatka comeback

The Palatka High boys basketball team played perhaps its strongest two quarters of the season in the second half Friday night at the Panther Palace.

Four quarters like that and they’ll be on to something.

As it was, the Panthers fell four points short of upsetting a potent class 7A team, losing 48-44 to Gainesville.

Down 28-13 at the half after a four-point second quarter, Palatka (4-5) shaved five points off the deficit in the third period and was even with the Purple Hurricanes (7-1) on Mitchell McKinnon’s putback in the closing minutes. Cameron Miller-Cardwell went on to hit four free throws in a row, breaking the tie and keeping Gainesville ahead to stay.

“We went in at halftime and made some adjustments,” said PHS coach Bryant Oxendine. “They were doing a lot of down-screening. We had to get more physical. We shut them down in the second half and got the offense going.

“We have to start better. We’ve got to put together four quarters like we did in the second half. But that was a good team. We’ve got nothing to hang our heads about.”

McKinnon scored a game-high 17 points and grabbed nine rebounds for Palatka. Tyrius Thomas scored 11 points and Chamar Dumas handed out five assists.

The Panthers have a District 5-6A contest at home Tuesday against Palm Coast Matanzas in Pirates coach Donald Lockhart’s first game against his former team.

Girls basketball

n Undefeated Nease outscored visiting Palatka 24-2 in the second quarter of a 56-11 wipeout.

No Panther scored more than three points in a game that left them 5-7.

Palatka Daily News

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