Plant City entered the game against Sickles with an impressive 19-3 record.
Plant City traveled to Chamberlain High School Tuesday for a neutral matchup versus the Sickles Gryphons. The first quarter started with Leroy Lucas finding Gavin Tinsley with the easy basket for PCHS. Sickles turned it over on their own side of the court, so PCHS had to inbound it in and Lucas got back-to-back assists, this time finding Jamin Andrews for the basket. Sickles stopped the Raider’s scoring run by attacking the paint and scored their first basket of the game. The Raiders then went 0-2 from the free throw line and Sickles hit a go-ahead 3. Sickles then left Raiders big man Gavin Tinsley wide open for the 3 and he made them pay, knocking it down. After a Sickles miss, Jamin Andrews got aggressive in the paint for the Raiders and got the bucket. After Sickles scored on back-to-back possessions, Jamin Andrews attacked the paint once again and scored with ease this time around. Malachi Morris hit a stepback 3 for the Raiders, but Sickles answered it with a 3-pointer of their own. Gavin Tinsley drove to the paint and got an and-one for the Raiders, converting the free throw as well. After another Sickles 3, Leroy Lucas got to the line for the Raiders and went 1-2 at the free throw line. That ended the first quarter and the Raiders trail 20-18 in a high-scoring quarter.
The second quarter started and the Raiders turned it over, resulting in a Sickles fastbreak basket. Michael Bell drove into the paint and scored on what very well could have been called an and-one. It’s all Raiders at this point as they go on a scoring frenzy here as Jamin Andrews grabs an offensive rebound and gets the putback layup, followed by Andrews grabbing a defensive rebound, then throwing it full court to Leroy Lucas for the easy layup. It was a 6-0 run for the Raiders and Sickles called a timeout with 6:20 remaining in the half with the Raiders up 24-22. Fresh off the timeout, Sickles turned it over but the Raiders couldn’t do anything with it. At this point in the game, both teams locked down on defense, not allowing either offense to do anything. After a 2-minute scoring drought in the game, Sickles hit a 3. Sickles and the Raiders both exchanged turnovers, but it was Sickles who scored off the Raiders’ mistake. Malachi Morris finally broke the scoring drought for the Raiders with a nice midrange shot, scoring for the first time in 5 minutes for the Raiders. The Raiders were down 29-26 at the half.
The second half started, and Michael Bell got the defensive rebound and went all the way down the court for the first basket of the third quarter. Gavin Tinsley blocked the shot, but Sickles got the offensive rebound and put it in. After a Raiders turnover, Michael Bell got another defensive rebound, but the Raiders couldn’t convert. Sickles then missed a layup and Leroy Lucas got the board and heaved it full court to a wide-open Gavin Tinsley for the Raiders score. An illegal screen by Sickles turned the ball over and Leroy Lucas made them pay for their mistake, hitting a nice floater. Gavin Tinsley then got the Raiders and the crowd hyped by hitting an and-one and converting the free throw, giving the Raiders their first lead since 4 minutes left in the second half. The Raiders got called for goaltending on defense, but they canceled it out as Gavin Tinsley found Jamin Andrews open and he hit the floater. After a Sickles turnover, Gavin Tinsley got the putback dunk, extending the Raiders lead. Sickles’ offense got another turnover, this time the guard pushed off the Raiders. Tinsley found Bell cutting to the basket for the easy Raiders score. For the second time in the quarter, the Raiders got a block, but Sickles got the rebound and scored. Sickles then caught fire, going on an 8-0 run before a quarter-ending block by Logan Teeden. Sickles finished the quarter strong, regaining the lead 46-41 heading into the final 8 minutes.
The Raiders got the ball to start the fourth and wasted zero time as Leroy Lucas hit the midrange baseline shot. Gavin Tinsley got the steal on Sickles first possession, and he passed it to Leroy Lucas, who made the tough layup for the Raiders. The Raiders could not do anything on their next possession, but Sickles scored their first basket of the quarter, which was a 3-pointer, that bounced around the rim a couple of times. Michael Bell responded, slashing to the paint for an aggressive layup. On the next Raiders possession, Jamin Andrews got the offensive rebound and scored. Sickles called a timeout leading 51-49 with 4:13 left in the fourth quarter. Sickles timeout was just what they needed as they hit a 3-pointer on their next offensive possession. For the third time this half, the Raiders got a block on defense, but Sickles rebounded it and scored. Leroy Lucas hit a huge floater which ended up being an and-one, bringing the Raiders deficit to 4 with 2:40 left in the game. Neither team scored on their next offensive possessions and a timeout was called with 1:56 left and Sickles up 56-52. Both teams failed to score on their next offensive possessions, but now the Raiders are forced to foul, sending Sickles to the line and they hit both free throws. Leroy Lucas drove in for the contested layup, but it’s still a two-possession lead for Sickles. Time is the Raiders enemy as they keep having to foul to get more offensive possessions, but the Raiders failed to score in the final minute, while Sickles kept making free throws. The final score resulted in a Raiders loss with Sickles winning 65-54, but the game was much closer than the final score indicated.
The Raiders are now 19-4 with 2 regular season games remaining:
2/1/24 vs Alonso at 6:30PM
2/3/24 vs Discovery at 3:00PM