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The speed of the Chiefland High School Indians’ boys basketball team proved to be too much this weekend at the Bronson Tip-Off Tournament. The Indians’ blazing speed propelled them through the tournament’s championship with a 34-point per game margin of victory.
The Indians took the opening game against Countryside Christian School on Friday night by a 71-37 margin. The Indians then turned around the following night and handed Cedar Key School a 65-31 loss in the championship game.
The Minutemen of Countryside Christian School drew first blood seconds into the opening game of Bronson’s Tip-Off Tournament, dropping a 3-pointer off the opening tip. Those were the last points the Minutemen would see for nearly five minutes. Chiefland immediately began pressing the Minutemen - combined with the Indians’ speed - this proved too much for Countryside.
Two quick steals and layups from Kyle Weeks and DeShawn Roland gave the Indians a 4-3 lead two minutes into the game. The Indians never looked back.
Two free throws from Austin Sheffield, a Weeks’ steal and assist to Roland, another layup from Weeks, and a Roland lob inside to Isaac Smith left the Minutemen reeling, 12-3 with three minutes left in the first quarter. Countryside continued to fire from outside the 3-point arch in an attempt to claw back into the game, but only drew rim.
Chiefland maintained its defensive pressure, flustering Countryside en route to a 22-8 first quarter lead.
The Indians spread their scoring around in the second quarter as they tallied another 15 points, led by Hermie McClendon’s five points, to post a 37-20 lead at the half.
Chiefland came out in the second half a little cold as the Minutemen fought their way back to cut into the Indians’ lead, 42-29. That was as close as they would come. Chiefland would outscore Countryside 15-4 in the final five minutes of the quarter including 5 points from McClendon and 4 from Smith. Chiefland led, 57-33 at the end of three.
Things didn’t improve for the Minutemen in the final quarter, as they only mustered four additional points against Chiefland’s swarming defense. The Indians continued to push the ball upcourt while smothering Countryside on its way to a 71-37 first round win.
Isaac Smith paced the Indians with 16 points, followed by: Hermie McClendon with 14, DeShawn Roland with 11, Kyle Weeks with 8, Kyle Schultz and Shaquille Patterson with 6 points apiece, Austin Sheffield and Josh Smith with 4 points each and Jeremy McClellan with 2 points.
vs. Cedar Key
Friday night’s win earned the Indians the right to face Cedar Key School in the championship game on Saturday night (Cedar Key defeated Bronson High School Friday night, 55-51, to earn a shot at the title game).
Again, Chiefland utilized its speed and height to take its opponent out of its game. The Indians full-court pressure resulted in numerous steals - and eventually frustration on the Sharks’ behalf in its inability to get the ball across mid-court - resulting in additional turnovers.
Weeks paced the Indians in the opening quarter, accounting for 8 of the Indians first 20 points. McClendon added another 4 as Chiefland led 20-3 with 1:33 remaining. Cedar Key’s only points coming from three free throws. The Sharks’ Josh Stills’ reverse layup with 1:03 left in the quarter proved to be the Sharks’ only field goal of the period.
Sheffield utilized his height advantage early in the second period, sinking a soft jump hook and then converting a three-point play to edge the Indians ahead 25-5. Cedar Key came to life as it began over the top of Chiefland’s press. Three fast break layups from the Sharks’ Sills left Cedar Key trailing 29-12 with 5:03 left in the half.
A pair of layups off steals by Roland and Patterson, a bucket from the low post from McClellan and a dish from Smith to Sheffield extended Chiefland’s lead to 37-12 before Cedar Key’s C.J. Parks snapped the Sharks’ scoring drought as he came up with a loose ball and sank a six-foot turn-around-jumper with 1:09 left in half. The two teams headed into the locker room at the half with Chiefland leading 39-16.
Chiefland continued to apply pressure throughout the rest of the game, slowly edging away from Sharks. The Indians went on to outscore Cedar Key 13-7 in the third and 15-8 in the fourth to take the championship game, 65-31.
Chiefland was led by Austin Sheffield with 12 points and Kyle Weeks with 11. They were followed by Isaac Smith with 9, DeShawn Roland and Hermie McClendon with 7 points apiece, Kyle Schultz and Jeremy McClellan with 6 points each, Shaquille Patterson with 5 and Josh Smith with 3 points.
Cedar Key’s Josh Sills led all scorers with 17 points, followed by C.J. Parks with 6, Tyler Anderson and Patrick Jackson chipped in 3 points each and Bobby Trammel added 2.