NWF opens the Panhandle Conference with a victory over GCSC
Trency Jackson and the Raiders improved to 16-0 (photo by Jeff Gammons)
1/8/2012 – NWF opens conference with win
By PAT FLYNN Northwest Florida Daily News 315-4421 | email@example.com
NICEVILLE — The Northwest Florida State College men's basketball team opened its Panhandle Conference season with lopsided 94-60 victory over Gulf Coast State College Saturday night.
The Raiders jumped out to a 45-32 lead at the half behind some hot shooting from Baker graduate Chad Donley and Chris Jones' up-tempo play.
The roommates were huge for the Raiders (16-0, 1-0) all night. Donley knocked down three 3-pointers in the first five minutes to help the Raiders jump out to a 17-10 lead. He finished with 17 on the night and grabbed five rebounds.
"As a shooter, once the first one goes down it feels like all the other ones can go down," Donley said. "Having the best point guard in the nation next to you and everyone keying on him makes it pretty easy."
Jones' 12 first-half points came mostly in transition, where he dished out five assists in the first 20 minutes as well. He finished with 17 points, nine assists and four rebounds and opened things up inside for the Raiders in the second half.
But Gulf Coast State (10-7, 0-1) kept pace with the Raiders taking advantage of early defensive lapses, until NWF State closed the first half with a furious run to take control.
Leonard Smith scored all of his 11 points off the bench in the first half for the Commodores. The powerful, 6-5 swingman grabbed five rebounds in the first half to help keep Gulf Coast State close. The Raiders finished with six players in double figures. Neiko Hunter finished with 16 points on the night and former Paxton standout Demetrius Moore poured in 15.
Chad Frazier finished with 15 points and five rebounds to lead the Commodores.
But more than anything, the Raiders were happy open the conference season with a victory. "It's always good to get a conference win," Donley said. "Nonconference wins don't mean anything. It's a long 12 game season and you can't underestimate anybody."