#1 Indians Victorious Against #6 Raiders
NICEVILLE - Saturday's heavyweight match-up between two of the most talented programs in the country lived up to its billing, but when the dust finally settled, it was the No. 1 Chipola Indians that walked out of Raider Gym with the key win.
The #1 ranked team in the country, Chipola knocked off #6 Northwest Florida State College men's basketball team fell to 69-60 Saturday in a tight, hard-fought contest that came down to the game's final few possessions. It was the Raiders' fourth loss to Chipola in their last five meetings stretching back to last season, but it was the Indians’ first win at NW Florida in their previous three tries.
The raucous standing room only crowd witnessed a game oozing in story lines, athleticism and postseason potential and one that the Raiders had in hand until the game's final minutes.
After trailing for nearly the entire contest - at times by as many as 10 points in the second half - the Indians made a critical 13-2 run with just minutes left that proved to be the difference. Chipola's Malcolm Armstead knocked down a 3-pointer with just over a minute to go to bring the Indian lead to seven and end any real threat from the Raiders.
“Malcolm and Flowers were tremendous for us tonight. They were the key to us winning by the leadership they showed on the court, “Chipola coach Greg Heiar said.
Coach Heiar said, “We told the guys in the locker room that it was going to be game of runs. We are fortunate that we made the last run to win the game.”
Davis and Casey Mitchell - the respective showstoppers for the Raiders and Indians - were kept relatively quiet in the first half, scoring just six points apiece. But even with defensive stopper Sam Goodman in foul trouble for most of the evening, the Raiders managed to bottle up the Panhandle Conference's second-leading scorer, holding Mitchell to just 10 points. Davis, meanwhile, shook off the quiet start to hit four 3-pointers in the second half.
The turnout for the Indian faithful was overwhelming. “I am extremely proud of our fan support tonight. This is what truly makes Chipola a special place, “said coach Heiar.
The Indians return to action Wednesday night, when they travel to Panama City to take on Gulf Coast Community College for sole possession lead in the Panhandle Conference standings. The Indians will be back at home Saturday night against Pensacola Junior College.
Chipola (18-1, 2-0): Gary Flowers 14, Josh Sain 3, Malcolm Armstead 14, Torye Pelham 11, Jeremy Jacob 6, Jeremy Brownlee 7, Darius Stowers 2, Casey Mitchell 10, Darrell Williams 2.
NWF State College (17-2, 1-2): Sam Goodman 4, Johnathan Brooks 2, Brian Bryant 2, Robert Sanders 6, Charvez Davis 21, Jamar Sanders 15, Johndre Jefferson 6, Terrence Bowman 4.
Halftime: NWF State College 28, Chipola 27. 3-point goals: Chipola 9-27 (Armstead 4-6), NWF 7-15 (Davis 6-8). Rebounds: Chipola 42 (Flowers 8), NWF 31 (Jefferson 12). Assists: Chipola 6 (Armstead 2), NWF 11 (Jamar Sanders 4). Blocks: Chipola 1 (Pelham 1), NWF 6 (Jefferson 5). Fouls: Chipola 17 (Flowers 4), NWF 15 (Goodman 5).