Indians Suffer First Defeat: Knocked Off At O.W.
February 2, 2008
By Chipola Staff
The battle between top
ten teams on Saturday night
in Niceville between #1
Chipola and #9
Okaloosa-Walton came down to
the final minutes, but in
the end, it was the hometown
Red Raiders that came away
with a 68-59 victory.
The Chipola loss was the first of the season, ending the school record for the longest winning streak at 24 games.
“I felt like tonight was about missed opportunities,” said Chipola coach Greg Heiar. “We had plenty of open looks, but we just didn’t finish.”
The Indians shot a season low 37% (25-68) in the contest, including just 31% during the second half (11-36).
The 27 points scored after intermission was the second lowest scoring half of the season for Chipola. The came just three nights ago when the Indians managed to score just 25 points during the second half at Gulf Coast.
“We are having some offensive issues,” said Heiar. “We are getting the ball in places where we can score, but we are missing shots that we had been making all season.”
The Indian loss now puts a premium on the final five conference games. Chipola and Okaloosa-Walton have split the first two meetings of the three game set, while each going unbeaten thus far against the rest of the Panhandle Conference. The result has both teams tied atop the league standings at 6-1.
The two match-up for the final time in the regular season in two weeks, as the Red Raiders come back to Chipola on February 16.
“Obviously we wanted to win tonight,” said Heiar. “Our goal is to win every time that we step onto the court. We’ll continue to work to solve our problems as we prepare now for Pensacola on Tuesday.”
Chipola ended the night with four players reaching double figures in scoring, with freshman Casey Mitchell leading the way with 13 points. On the night he was 5 of 12 from the field, including a 3 of 7 night from behind the 3pt line. He also grabbed 5 rebounds, 4 on the offensive end.
Sophomore Mario Little chipped in 11 points and hauled in 6 rebounds, also collecting 4 offensive boards.
Freshman Gary Flowers and sophomore Clevin Hannah each scored 10 points to round out the double digit Indian scorers. Freshman Jon Kreft added 7 points and 8 rebounds. Sophomore Malik Alvin dished out a team high 6 assists.
“It never feels good to lose,” added Heiar. “The last time we were over here we lost by one on a 35 foot buzzer beater. After that night, we rebounded and came together as a team and road that unity all the way to the National Championship game.”
The 24-1 Indians will get an opportunity to bounce back on Tuesday night (February 5). They will play host to Pensacola (12-12, 0-7). The game be seen live via webcast at 7:30 pm CST.