Gators earn redemption, revenge

  • Saturday, February 8, 2014

Gators Jordan McElveen (12) and Dantez Bennamon (3) prepare to go after a free throw if it comes off the rim. ROB GANTT/GAZETTE

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 on Friday, the Gators overcame a rocky start to pull away from the Warriors for a 59-42 victory that evened the Region 7-AAAA race. The win also gave the Goose Creek student section the last laugh in the season series. “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.” Hall also praised the team's supporters for showing up in full force. 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 guards 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 out like the last meeting ended up, 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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