Gators earn redemption, revenge

  • Thursday, February 13, 2014

Rob Gantt/Gazette Jordan Whittaker(5) hits one of the Gators’ dozen 3-pointers against Wando.

Photos

In the closing minutes of a heated affair, Goose Creek’s student section rained down on Wando with a chant that said it all.

“I believe that they will lose.”

“I believe that they will lose.”

“I believe that they will lose.”

The feelings of euphoria reached fever pitch when it became apparent the Gators were going to earn revenge and redemption for a 34-point loss in Mount Pleasant last month. Wando’s passionate student section let the then No. 1 Gators have it all night long in the 74-40 beating.

In the rematch, the Gators overcame a rocky start to pull away from the Warriors for a 59-42 victory that evened the Region 7-AAAA race. And Goose Creek’s student section got the last laugh this time.

“I thought the defensive effort and rebounding effort was the difference in the ball game,” GCHS coach Blake Hall said. “You hold a Wando team that’s got a lot of guys that could score 10 or 20 a night to just 42 points, that’s a credit to the whole group on the floor.”

Three-pointers were the key on offense. The Gators (21-2, 6-1 region) hit 12 for the game and got a game-high 18 points from Dantez Bennamon. Chris Singleton tacked on 15 points.

Together the guard tandem combined to make nine shots from beyond the arc.

Jordan McElveen and Jordan Whittaker chipped in 10 and eight respectively.

Wando was led by Jamez Rogers with 13 points. The Warriors fell to 18-5 overall and 5-1 in the region.

“It came down to having a lot of guts and playing through fatigue,” Hall said.

This one started like the last meeting ended, with Wando dominating. But the Gators sprang to life to fight back from a 10-1 deficit.

Hall’s team used a 19-3 run to gain some control and led 28-17 at the half.

Back-to-back 3-pointers gave Goose Creek a 17-point lead early in the third quarter and the Warriors never got closer than nine points the rest of the way.

“The first game was an eye opener,” Hall said. “It was a reality check. I thought we got a little high on our horse there... (The loss) allowed us to do a lot of reflection the last couple of weeks.”

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