Basketball Teams Advance at State
The No. 1 seed Chipola Indians took down Gulf Coast State in the opening round of the FCSAA State Tournament, 84-58, on April 8. The Indians moved to 19-4 on the season and will play Eastern Florida State Friday, April 9, at 8 p.m.
Sophomore guard, Lance Erving, pushed the Indians out to their 19 point halftime lead making 5-of-7 shots including three buckets from behind the three-point line
The Commodores opened up the half on a 17-4 run that saw the Indians' lead get cut to six. The Indians were held scoreless for nearly three minutes in the second half which was reminiscent of the first game between the two teams when the Commodores used a strong second half surge to defeat the Indians. Chipola's growth and maturity since that first conference game was evident as the Indians fought off the charge from the Commodores and quickly pushed the lead back out to ten.
Gulf Coast was not gone fighting, however. Once again the Commodores cut the lead to six and with twelve minutes remaining in the game, it was beginning to look like this game may go down to the wire.
Holding on to a 46-40 lead, the Indians held the Commodores scoreless for more than three minutes as they built their lead back up to fifteen, 55-40.
From there, Chipola was able to exert their will on the Commodores and led by as many as 31 before taking the 84-58 win.
Nae'qwan Tomlin led all scorers on the night with 16 points. Tomlin has scored in double figures in eight of his last nine games.
Four other Indians chipped in with double-figure point totals. Lance Erving shot fifty percent from the floor including a trio of three-point baskets to tally 13 on the night.
Naheem "Duke" McLeod scored a season-high 11 points, making every basket he attempted on the night.
Jaeden Zackery and Dontae Walker each poured in 10.
Coach Tyndall said, "We've had some tough games with them all season long. I thought we really defended well in the first half. The second half, they made a run. They started being aggressive in their press and we got a little bit on our heels. You started to see our team be a little bit like we were early in the season - playing not to lose rather than playing to win. I think it's a sign of growth and maturity that our team played through that."
Chipola Head Coach, Donnie Tyndall, was named Panhandle Coach of the Year along with Tallahassee’s Head Coach, Zach Settembre.
The Indians had three players on the All-Panhandle Conference first team: Jaeden Zackery, Carlos Lemus and Nae'Qwan Tomlin.
The Indians (13-3, 18-4) finished the season as Panhandle Co-Champions with Tallahassee (13-3).
The No. 7 Chipola Lady Indians never trailed in their 79-40 opening round win over Hillsborough Community College at the FCSAA State Tournament.
Chipola led the Lady Hawks 16-5 at the end of the first quarter, and held Hillsborough to just 1-of-13 in field goals. Chipola picked up the pace in the second half led by their sophomore guard, De'Myla Brown, who had 17 at the intermission. The Lady Indians shot 71.4 percent in the second quarter and held a 42-16 lead at the half.
In the second half, the Lady Indians used a strong presence underneath to continue stretching the lead. Chipola outrebounded the Lady Hawks, 46-23, for the game. The Lady Indians also outscored Hillsborough 32-0 in the paint.
Brown poured in 30 points to lead all scorers. Three other Lady Indians finished in double figures: Isadora Sousa (13); Jordan McLaughlin (11); and Shimei Muhammad (10).
Chipola (16-4) moves on to the semi-finals on Friday at 1 p.m. against No. 6 seed Indian River. Indian River advanced with an 81-72 win over No. 3 seed St. Petersburg.
The Lady Indians had five players on the All-Panhandle Conference, including: First Team—De'Myla Brown, Isadora Sousa and Jordan McLaughlin. Second Team—Ifunanya Nwachukwu and Ta'Shonna Wright-Gaskins.