• Pictured in Saturday night’s win over Interlachen, Palatka’s Elexus Banks was high scorer in that game and in defeat Thursday at Clay. (ANDY HALL / Palatka Daily News)

Prep roundup: Free But Costly

Panthers miss at line, miss victory by a point vs. Clay

Failure to hit free throw when it mattered came back to hurt the Palatka High School boys basketball team Thursday night.

The Panthers shot 21-of-34 from the line, missing on the first eight attempts and struggling along the way in a 53-52 District 5-6A setback to visiting Clay.

The loss dropped the Panthers to 4-4 overall and 1-2 in the district. Clay improved to 4-2 and 2-2.

“We were attacking them early, and getting to the free-throw line, but not hitting our free throws,” unhappy Palatka coach Bryant Oxendine said. “And that hurt us in the end. I don’t know what it is, but we’ve not been hitting from the line of late.”

Two free throws by Colin Wilson (18 points) with 1:22 left gave the Blue Devils a 49-48 lead. They would make it a five-point lead, but the Panthers would get it back to one as Tyrius Thomas (seven points, two steals) hit two free throws to go with 7.2 seconds to cut it to a point. The Panthers fouled Cam McHenry with four seconds left and McHenry missed two free throws, but a last-second heave by Thomas bounced off the backboard and rim and went astray, giving Clay the victory.

Chamar Dumas scored 13 points, added seven steals, four rebound and a steal, while Mitchell McKinnon picked up 12 points, seven rebounds and two steals for the Panthers, who will host Gainesville tonight. Demare Purifoy put up eight points and eight rebounds for the Panthers.

n Georgios Christopholous scored seven of his 26 points in the final quarter, while Vadim Clanet added 21 points, helping South Daytona Warner Christian spoil Crescent City’s home opener, a 67-64 victory that left the Raiders at 2-5.

The loss ruined a big game by Jeremiah Gilyard, who scored 25 points. Michael Brooks added 12 points and Zayne Whipple scored all eight of his points in the final quarter as the Raiders’ comeback attempt came up short. The Raiders travel to Interlachen tonight.

n Eliakim Mantel scored 12 of his team-high 19 points in the first half as host Gainesville Cornerstone Academy jumped out to a 36-10 halftime lead and cruised to a 63-31 win over Peniel Baptist Academy.

Matthew Lobatos added 18 points for Cornerstone.

For the Warriors (1-4), Gage Tibbs put up 20 points, four rebounds and three steals, while Daunte Morgan put up five points, eight rebounds and four steals. Though he didn’t score, Denver Fulghum had four blocks.

Girls basketball

n Clay blasted visiting Palatka in a District 5-6A game, 50-16.

Elexus Banks scored nine points for the Panthers (5-6, 2-3), who didn’t get more than three points from any other player.

“We weren’t ready to play,” said PHS coach Craig Washington, whose team trailed 33-6 at halftime.

n Interlachen took a 66-13 beating in a District 4-5A game at Keystone Heights.

Ashanti Watson scored eight points to lead the Rams (1-7, 0-2).

The Indians (7-3, 1-1) got 17 points from Haley Julius.

Girls soccer

n Two days after losing to Williston, 2-0, Crescent City lost by the same 2-0 score to host Williston in a District 5-2A matchup.

Liz Consuelos had eight saves in her varsity debut in goal for the Raiders (1-12-1 overall, 0-6-1 in district).

n Visiting Menendez delivered four goals in each half in taking down Interlachen, 8-0.

Amanda Quinby played goal and made 31 saves for the Rams (3-13-1).

Boys soccer

n After beating Menendez in District 4-3A match on Nov. 10, 4-3, visiting Palatka dropped the return matchup with the Falcons, 2-0, giving up both goals in the last 20 minutes of the first half.

Keonte Shack stopped 15 shots for the Panthers (2-12).

Girls weightlifting

n Interlachen won five weight classes but came up short in a dual girls weightlifting meet with host Gainesville Eastside Thursday, 45-42.

Winners for IHS (6-1-1) were Daisy Masciale (110-pound class), Kaci Polk (119), Chaise Champion (154), Makayla Cody (169) and Jerri Mae Bedenbaugh (199).

Kelsey Sanstrom (129), Mayury Cruz (139) and Jada Green (183) placed second for the Rams.

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