#2 Chipola Defeats #1 Indian Hills
A fan was walking around in the Hellyer Center before Monday’s basketball game between top-ranked Indian Hills and second-ranked Chipola with a T-shirt that said “This Could Be A Big One.”
The pregame hype was right on, and the game was, for the most part, well-played. And when the final horn sounded, #2 Chipola had knocked off #1 Indian Hills.
Chipola led for nearly the entire second half and then held off a late Warrior charge to win 62-61 in an early-season battle of elite junior college teams.
“This is a great victory for our program,” said Chipola Coach Greg Heiar. “To go on the road and play the preseason #1 team in the country and walk away with a win shows the character and heart of our kids.”
Chipola opened the game with a basket by Gary Flowers for a 2-0 lead before the Warriors went on a 7-0 run. After the Indians had tied it at seven all, Indian Hills converted on a shot attempt and took their final lead of the night at 9-7.
Chipola led 12-9 before IHCC’s Hardy found Buycks wide open underneath on a well-executed inbounds play. Chipola’s Torye Pelham would outscore the Warriors 5-0 over the next two minutes and the Indians led by six at 17-11 midway through the first half.
Chipola, who quickly built the lead back to nine at 29-20, outrebounded IHCC by six in the opening half and in the opening 10 minutes they had four offensive rebounds.
That fact was not lost on Indian Hills’ Coach Jeff Kidder.
“They really hurt us on the boards. They out-hustled us to balls. This had a lot to do with the game’s outcome.”
The Warriors could not get closer than five points in the final 10 minutes of the opening half. A Leron Dendy basket with four minutes to go in the half brought Indian Hills back to within 29-24 and a Powell dunk to finish a fast break with 10 seconds to go made the halftime score 35-30 in favor of Chipola.
Jeremy Jacob led the Indian attack in the first half with nine points and eight rebounds.
Hardy started the second half with a basket to pull the Warriors within three. After a Chipola basket, Buycks tried to keep IHCC close with a basket of his own.
Pelham scored twice in the next two minutes and the Indians built a 12-point lead at 46-34. The Warriors would claw back, as two James Washington free throws, a Dendy basket and a basket by Hardy closed the lead to six at 46-40.
For most of the second half, every time the Warriors looked to close the gap by speeding up the play, the Chipola Indians had an answer.
“Our sophomore leadership helped us establish pace to the game. Malcolm, at the point, did a tremendous job of getting us to execute the game plan,” said Heiar.
The six-point lead again went to 10 on back-to-back baskets by Gary Flowers. Two Warrior free throws were matched by two Torye Pelham free throws and another IHCC basket was matched again by Pelham and the lead remained 10.
With just under nine minutes to go, Buycks for IHCC rebounded a miss and went coast-to-coast for a score to pull the Warriors within eight at 54-46. Casey Mitchell scored to put Chipola up 10 and IHCC responded by hitting a 3 to close to within seven at 56-49.
The Indians again had the answer and still led by eight (60-52) with five-and-a-half minutes to go.
The comeback started with after an IHCC free throw by Powell. Buycks scored and a three-point play by Dendy off an assist by Hardy had the Warriors back in it at 60-58. Another Buycks basket with just under a minute to go tied it at 60.
Casey Mitchell, at 6-foot-3, was in the right place at the right time and picked up an offensive rebound for a score with just over a half minute to go. Chipola led 62-60. The Warriors had the ball out of bounds under their own basket with 20 seconds left. Hardy penetrated and dished to Powell who was fouled. He converted one of two free throws and the Indians’ lead was trimmed to 62-61.
The Warriors fouled Jeremy Jacob with seven seconds left and he missed the front end of the one-and-one. The Warriors raced the ball up the floor and Buycks got off a contested 3-pointer. Powell rebounded the miss, turned and scored but the official waved it off and Chipola escaped with the 62-61 victory.
“We would like to thank all of the fans that came out to the game and supported us,” said Heiar. “Chipola Nation was well represented by the nearly 200 fans in blue and gold sitting behind our bench cheering us towards victory.”
Chipola (2-1) will be back in action Monday night as the team travels, once again, to Phenix City, AL to take on Chattahoochee Valley Community College.
Chipola 62, Indian Hills 61
Chipola — (Flowers 8, Pelham 13, Jacob 11, Malcolm Armstead 13, Mitchell 15, Josh Sain 2). Totals 26-59 5-7 62.
3-point goals — 5-15 (Armstead 3). Fouled out — none. Rebounds — 32 (Jacob 12). Assists — 11 (Armstead 4). Steals — 7 (Mitchell 3). Blocks — 5 (Flowers 2) Total fouls — 19. Turnovers — 17.
Indian Hills — (Powell 8, Relphorde 8, Buycks 19, Hardy 8, Dendy 7, Washington 11). Totals 23-49 11-17 61.3-point goals — 4-16 (Relphorde 2). Fouled out —none . Rebounds — 25 (Powell 9). Assists — 8 (Hardy 3). Steals — 4 (Hardy, Dendy, Washington, Windham). Blocks — 1 (Powell). Total fouls — 14. Turnovers — 17.