MACCLENNY – Fleming Island got rocked in their own Battle on the Island Christmas tournament a week ago, but chose to travel to Baker County the week after (Dec. 28-30) to challenge a six man team …
MACCLENNY – Fleming Island got rocked in their own Battle on the Island Christmas tournament a week ago, but chose to travel to Baker County the week after (Dec. 28-30) to challenge a six man team at the Baker County Christmas Tournament.
“We were down a couple of guys because of Christmas and New Year’s stuff for families, but Baker called and asked me if I could fill in and we got in,” said Fleming Island coach Traavis Chandler, now 8-6 overall after his Golden Eagles lost in the Baker County semifinal 61-50, but won a third place trophy with a 61-52 win over the host Wildcats on Sat, Dec. 30. “I’d rather be here than practicing in a gym anytime and it gives some kids extra playing time.”
In their tournament opener, a 68-54 win over Suwannee High, Chandler’s hot hand was at the three-point stripe with Fleming Island hitting 11of the long range bombs with five Golden Eagle shooters; Marc Inman, Zach Gagne, Christian Young, Joshua Deleon and Khalid Pogue, nailing two apiece. Deleon was top scorer with 13 points with Young hitting for 12 and Pogue adding 10.
In the semifinal, a 61-50 loss to Madison County (7-3), Fleming Island came out hot with Deleon bombing for six three pointers, including his first shot of the night and three in the first quarter, as the Golden Eagles tried to stay even with the Madison County athletes; four off the Class 1A champion football squad.
“We knew they would be athletic and fast,” said Chandler. “The point guard is heading to FSU as a defensive back and the quarterback is a shooter.”
Fleming Island stayed the course at 13-13 after one stanza, but Madison County surged to a 37-17 halftime lead as the Fleming Island basket got a lid put on it.
Out of the locker room, Fleming Island reignited the three-point popper with Deleon again hitting his first attempt with Sebastian Astor and Zach Gagne both pushing to keep the game close.
Madison County kept with their fast-break pace and maintained a 49-37 third quarter lead.
Behind strong rebounding from Gagne, Fleming Island pushed to as close as 57-48 with 2:49 to go in the game, but the Cowboys closed the game off free throws at 61-50. Deleon finished with 18 points.
On Saturday, in the third place game against Baker County, Fleming Island flew off the bench to a 37-8 first quarter lead and an 18-12 second quarter to put up a 55-20 halftime lead, but Baker County countered with 11 points each in the third and fourth quarter while Fleming Island scored just two and four for the final two periods during the running clock half.
Young led the scoring with 17 points with Gagne adding 15 with three three-pointers. Deleon had just four points.