• Palatka’s Brandon Hampton (1) chases Crescent City’s Marquis Hill during Thursday night's game. (CHRIS DeVITTO / Palatka Daily News)

Prep basketball: Second-Quarter Surge

Palatka boys bull away from Crescent City; Interlachen girls edge Bradford

It was like plugging in fresh batteries.

Seemingly weary from a district game the night before, the undefeated Palatka High School boys basketball team had to battle for a four-point lead in the first quarter before getting a jolt from some substitutes on its way to a 68-47 win in Crescent City Thursday night.

The Panthers (4-0) outscored the Raiders 26-12 in the second quarter to carve out a 43-25 halftime lead.

“After playing that district game against Ponte Vedra (a 63-61 win), we came out with a hangover and we weren’t playing defense or rebounding like we should have,” PHS coach Bryant Oxendine said. “We got it going in the second quarter. I put in four new guys and they got the energy going.”

Wesley Roberts scored all eight of his points in the decisive quarter.

“That quarter kind of killed us,” said Crescent City coach Al Carter, whose team has lost three straight since winning its opener. “Their press turned us over and we couldn’t get past that. Other than that, we played them pretty close and the kids kept their composure.

“Bryant’s got a good team – a good team.”

The Panthers’ Malik Beauford scored a game-high 16 points, followed by Mitchell McKinnon with 15. Y’donte Smith scored nine points, Roberts and Jayrin Johnson eight each.

Jamari Jones hit three three-pointers in an 11-point night to lead the Raiders. Kevin Williams and Bernard Wright had 10 apiece.

Palatka is home tonight for a District 5-6A game with Palm Coast Matanzas and former PHS coach Donald Lockhart.

Girls basketball

n Kierra Chauncey hit a short jumper for the go-ahead points with nine seconds left and Ella McGruder followed it with a steal as Interlachen won its fourth straight, edging Bradford 32-30 in a District 4-5A game.

The visiting Tornadoes (2-4, 2-1) led 30-27 on Talia Brown’s three-pointer. McGruder answered with a two-point bucket just inside the arc, pulling the Rams within a point. Bradford was running down the clock when it tried to pad the lead. Ashanti Watson came up with the rebound and Interlachen worked the ball to Chauncey, who made it 31-30. McGruder was fouled after her steal and made one of two free throws.

“We’re not quitters by any stretch of the imagination,” said IHS coach Mike Stevens, whose team improved to 4-1 and 3-0 after having won just one game last season. “They made that three-pointer and everybody thought it was over, but it wasn’t. Great game.”

Freshman Malia Brown gave the Rams a game-high 12 points.

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