Indians Claim Sole
Possession of Panhandle Conference Lead
The #3 Chipola College Indians used
a swarming defense and timely execution on the offensive end to defeat
the #11 Tallahassee Eagles 65-58 on Tuesday evening.
Chipola, now 7-1 in league play,
holds a one game lead over Tallahassee (6-2) with just four games to
play. The Indians are in position to claim what would be their 4th
straight Panhandle Conference championship.
“Any time you can go on the road,
play in a tough environment, and defeat a sound basketball team, you
have to be pleased,” said Chipola head coach Greg Heiar. “This was a
game where we persevered down the stretch in large part because of our
leader, Jamarcus Ellis.”
Ellis led the Indians by racking up
his 13th double/double of the season. The All-American
candidate finished the night with 20 points and 12 rebounds, while also
adding in a team high 6 assists.
“When he (Ellis) came back into the
game with six minutes to play, he took us to another level,” said
Heiar. “He attacked the basket. He rebounded. Our energy level went
back to where it was at the start of the game.”
Ellis, who picked up his 4th
personal foul with 9:46 to play, subbed back in with just 6:32 on the
clock. During those final minutes, the future Indiana Hoosier scored 12
points and grabbed 4 rebounds to lift Chipola from a 50-54 deficit.
The Indians had built a 20-4 lead to
start the game by mixing in a ¾ court press and a stingy ½ court
defense. But, Tallahassee countered with a 16-10 run to close the half
and cut the lead to ten at 30-20.
The Eagles then capitalized on that
momentum to shut down the Chipola offense for much of the second half.
The Indians managed to score only 14 points during the first 13 minutes
of the second frame.
“This was just another one of those
battles between Chipola and Tallahassee,” added Heiar. “They are a good
team and we are good team. So you knew that there would be stretches
when we both would have some difficulty scoring.”
But it was the Indians, now 24-1 on
the season, who executed during the waning moments. Chipola scored on
ten of their final eleven trips down the floor, pushing them to the
seven point victory.
Chipola sophomore DeAndre Thomas,
also Indiana bound, added 11 points and six rebounds. Freshman Mario
Edwards, who made his second career start, chipped in 8 points on a 3 of
3 shooting night.
The Indians play host to Pensacola
(10-15, 1-7) on Saturday evening. The game can be viewed via webcast at