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Nease High School Basketball

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19

Nov, 2021

STANDING TALL in PANTHER NATION!


For the second time in as many games, Nease found itself in a battle to the finish.  On Thursday evening in the ‘Den’, Nease took on a formidable opponent.  With the JV game canceled, the Lady Panthers found themselves in the thick of things with a determined Lady Raiders squad from Orange Park.  The first two games to open the 2021 season, have arguably been the toughest physical and mental battles in the history of the program.  Nease defeated Gainesville Buchholz on Tuesday night (68-62).

If courage is at the origin of every virtue, perseverance stands at the end of each successful one.  Although Nease maintained control of the actual outcome in the end, the team experienced some turbulence in their quest to obtain the victory.  Orange Park with an obvious edge in athleticism, produced substantial runs throughout the night to ensure that no lead was safe.  Every time the Lady Panthers surged ahead, the Lady Raiders answered the call.

Even though at times, the home team ventured toward the precipice, Nease displayed a unique ability to overcome adversity.  The team mantra, “Earned, Not Given”, stood at the threshold of what is expected on the home court (‘Defend the Den’). With a supportive home crowd and a united JV team sending out rally calls, the Lady Panthers responded to the challenge.  If the game was a heavy weight fight, there were many body shots, left/right hooks to absorb.  Being knocked down, but getting oneself off the canvas to emerge as the victor, was truly evident for all to witness.

Lets take a closer look as to what transpired on another well-earned win (64-58).  The game produced the second consecutive six point win were scoring came as a premium.  The visitors opened the game with a 5-0 run before Nease quickly responded with a 6-0 run of their own to lead 6-5 in the early goings.  Camryn Robinson converted both free throws at the 3:40 mark of the quarter to extend the lead (11-7).  Orange Park used an 8-4 run to finish off the period, but Nease held on to a 19-11 advantage to conclude the first 8 minutes of play.

The Lady Panthers posted the biggest lead of the night (27-14) with a little over 3 minutes left in the half.  At intermission, the Lady Raiders were down by 12 points.  The visitors came out of the locker room with intent to raid the party.  The Lady Raiders used a 9-2 run and trailed 37-32 with 4:20 to go in the period.  Coming out of a timeout, Nease would use a 5-0 run to get the lead back to double-digits (42-32) at 2:22.  However, the visitors returned with body blows.  A 9-2 run, including a big trey at the buzzer, cut the deficit to 4 points (45-41), entering the final quarter.

Two free throws by Sydney Gomes followed by a big three from Allison Fifield put the score at 50-41. Orange Park would chop the lead to 4, before a trey from Syd forced a timeout from the opposition trailing 57-50 at the midway point of the period.  Things grew silent in the ‘Den’ when Nease leading scorer Syd went down with a scary leg injury after a hard drive to the basket.  As everyone waited in anticipation of the news, Gomes would be treated on the sidelines by the athletic trainer.  Nease fought tooth and nail with a determined Orange Park team, which anticipated blood in the water.

A roar from the crowd surfaced as Syd returned to the court.  From there, Nease was able to restore order.  At 2:19, a determined Gomes drove to the basket and scored with a follow up free throw.  With the Lady Panthers leading 60-52 and following a response basket by the visitors, Syd converted another 'an one’ at 1:53.  Leading by eight (62-54), the Lady Panthers answered consecutive baskets by Orange Park with 4 free throws (1+ 1 bonuses) from Gomes to end the drama and secure the win (64-58).

Nease (2-0) was led in victory by the trio of Syd Gomes, Alli Fifield and Cami Robinson.  Seniors Syd (‘Matrix) and Alli (‘Alley Cat’) produced double-doubles with 24 points / 11 rebounds / 6 dimes / 3 steals and 15 points / 12 rebounds / 3 steals respectively.  Junior point guard Cami (’The Microwave’) tallied 15 points as the floor leader and also picked up 5 steals on the defensive end.  In her first start at the varsity level, sophomore guard Ella Harrison (‘Sweet Tea’), scored 6 points and produced 3 steals.

The Lady Panthers will get right back in the thick of things early next week, as they compete in the Insider Exposure Thanksgiving Classic at Bolles.  Nease will square off against NRCA (Raleigh, NC) on Monday at 5:30 and will play West Florida (Tuesday / 4:00). Let’s go Lady Panthers!!  One game at a time.  You Know!!  Bernie Blue

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Nease High School Basketball

10550 Ray Rd 
Ponte Vedra, Florida 32081

Phone: 904-547-8300

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