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BRONSON –Things didn't start out so great for the Chiefland High boys in the Bronson Holiday Tournament, but Mark Lundy's Indians regrouped and finished strong.
After getting spanked by Middleburg in its first game, Chiefland came back and won two consolation games to place fifth out of eight teams.
In Saturday's game for fifth place, the Indians polished off Melbourne-West Shore, 51-44.
The victory brought Chiefland?s record back to the .500 mark at 7-7.
Lundy said he was pleased with the effort and improvement his team has shown this season.
"We got a late start with the football players," he said. "But we're starting to play well together."
Chiefland turned it up after falling to the Middleburg Broncos.
"I'm very proud of the intensity we're showing now. We're staying intense – maybe not the whole game yet – but the way we feel at the start, the first three minutes – we're working on ways to carry that through the entire game."
Forward/guard Travis Donald was named to the All-Tournament team.
CHIEFLAND 65, UMATILLA 55 –The Indians snapped their five-game losing streak with this losers'bracket victory over winless Umatilla on day two of the Bronson Holiday Tournament on Friday, Dec. 28.
Chiefland improved to 6-7, while Umatilla, which is out of Lake County, fell to 0-14.
The Indians were led by Cantrell Richardson, who was playing just his second game of the season. Richardson ended up with 15 points, while swing man Travis Donald was right behind with 14. Big man Delmar Dial chipped in with 10. Guard Eugene Carter had nine points on three 3-point goals.
It was a close game after one quarter with Chiefland nursing a one-point lead, but the Indians got some breathing room with a big second quarter. The Indians outscored Umatilla 25-11 to take a 41-26 lead into the locker room.
Donald was a spark with 10 of his points in the second quarter. Richardson notched seven of his points in the session.
Richardson stayed hot in the third quarter, scoring eight of his team's 12 points as the Indians stretched it to 53-36.
The game's leading scorer was Umatilla's M.J. Bentley with 22.
MIDDLEBURG 79, CHIEFLAND 53 –The 4A Broncos from just outside Jacksonville broke out to a nine-point lead at halftime and then blew it wide open with a 24-11 advantage in the third quarter.
Middleburg (6-6) cruised to the victory on day one of the Bronson Holiday Tournament on Dec. 27.
Chiefland (5-7) dropped its fifth straight.
The Indians led 2-0 on a bucket by Marquis Jackson, but Middleburg scored the next six.
Chiefland crept to within 12-10 on Stephen Davis' follow up of a miss, but Middleburg scored four to lead 16-10 after one.
A bucket by Delmar Dial crept the Indians to within 18-14, but the Broncos were able to slowly build the 34-25 lead at intermission.
Middleburg blitzed Chiefland at the start of the third quarter, using a 13-2 run to go up 47-27.
The Broncos were led by talented point guad Cody White, who finished with 24 points. He transferred to Middleburg from Tennessee.
Davis played his heart out, leading the Indians with 17 points. Seeing his first action of the season, Cantrell Richardson scored eight points. Eugene Carter added seven points.
With the loss, Chiefland dropped to the losers' bracket of the tournament.