FLEMING ISLAND - Fleming Island High boys basketball had to hit the gas pedal a couple of extra times to withstand the fury of the visiting Lake Minneola High Cowboys, the number five team in Class …
FLEMING ISLAND - Fleming Island High boys basketball had to hit the gas pedal a couple of extra times to withstand the fury of the visiting Lake Minneola High Cowboys, the number five team in Class 6A, and the extra effort, plus a key three pointer by Joey Chennette and a steal by Darion Domenick proved fateful as Fleming Island survived a tsunami of speed to win 58-57 in game one of the Battle on the Island Christmas Tournament hosted by Fleming Island High School.
"We wanted to get some extra energy from our backcourt guys and their guys challenged the right to the hilt out there," said Fleming Island coach Traavis Chandler, now 8-1. "We have a pretty solid three guys under the basket led by Ethan Williams and Axel Holmquist and they did their job."
Fleming Island turned around a 12-11 Lake Minneola first quarter lead to end the half up 32-18 behind a jumper by George Hamm with 30 seconds and a Darion Domenick followup that ended the half.
"We went after them in that second quarter and made them run with us," said Chandler.
In the third quarter, Lake Minneola edged back to a 43-39 gap by turning up their jets and sinking a handful of threes along the way.
In the fourth, Lake Minneola tied the game at 43-43 right off the bench to put Fleming Island back into a frenzied full court attack with Chandler changing his lineup like and NHL playoff game.
With the game close through most of the fourth quarter and Lake Minneola inching away to a 54-51 lead with a minute to go, Chennette hit a three in front of the Fleming Island bench to tie game at 54-54. Darion Domenick then picked a pocket for a turnover and layup to give Fleming Island the lead at 56-54 at :35. With nine seconds, Chennette hit two frees to 58-54 before Minneola hit a three pointer with 1.8 seconds to 58-57. Fleming Island successfully got the ball in bounds and to the clock before Minneola attempted a foul trap.
Lake Minneola was ranked 10th in Class 6A with Fleming Island 17th, according to Maxpreps.
Over at the Orange Park Raiderdome in the Green Bracket, the Orange Park full court press served up a whole enchiladad of breakaways and layups to overwhelm Baker County High to the tune of 53-14 to win their tournament opener.
"The return of guard Tommy Faucett and his fast scoring surges in the opening halves; 13 against Camden and 18 against Mandarin a few games ago has been the difference," said Orange Park coach Derek Kurnitsky, now 6-3.
In the Green Bracket, Orange Park advances to play Wolfson, 6-5, a 47-43 winner over Friendship Christian, at 6 p.m. on Wednesday.
In the Gold Bracket, Fleming Island advances to play Columbia High, 7-2, a 57-52 winner over Auburndale in their round one game, on Wednesday. Orlando Christian Prep (7-1) defeated Gainesville High 57-49 in round one play as well with Martin County beating Andrew Jackson 49-46 to advance as well. Orlando Christian will play Martin County in the 7:30 p.m. game on Wednesday.