- Special Sections
- Public Notices
By Tom Ten Broeck
The Cedar Key Sharks’ boys basketball team took to the hardwood over the weekend at Bronson’s Tip-Off Tournament where it held off a late game rally from the host team to advance to the championship game the following night against cross-county rival Chiefland. The Indians proved to have too much speed and size for the Sharks as they wound up taking runner-up honors.
In the opening game of the Bronson Tip-Off Tournament, the Sharks jumped out quick on the Eagles as Josh Sills sank three free throws and Bobby Trammel drained a trey to give the Sharks a 6-0 lead early on. Bronson climbed back into the game as both teams struggle to get into an offensive groove. Sills ended Cedar Keys’ drought converting 3-of-4 free throws in waning minutes and Trammel put one in down low to go ahead 9-6 with under a minute left in the opening quarter.
Cedar Key finally slowed the pace and began patiently working its offense. But it was Patrick Jackson who sliced through the lane for a layup to end the quarter with Cedar Key on top, 11-6.
Bronson came out much more patient on offense in the second quarter and pulled within three, 11-8, until Ryan Beckham came up with a loose ball and put it back to end the Sharks’ shooting drought at the 6:18 point. But it was Sills that kept the Sharks alive - coming up with a layup off of a steal, sinking a short jumper in the lane and then nailing a 3-pointer to lift Cedar Key to a 20-11 lead. Bronson found fresh legs on defense after a full-scale substitution. After over a minute of neither team scoring, Jackson displayed his blistering fast speed, slashing to the basket to pick up the bucket and a foul to go ahead 23-11.
Austin Pope converted a loose ball for a basket and Jackson added two free throws as the Sharks extended their lead, 27-13. Bronson’s Gavyn Thomas scored the last four points of the half as Cedar Key took a 27-17 lead into the half.
Bronson also scored the first four points of the second half to pull within six, 27-21, before Sills caught fire again. Two baskets and a trey from Sills and Cedar Key was back up by 13, 34-21. Both teams went cold after that, only scoring one point during the next two minutes. The Sharks’ Tyler Miller sank a 12-foot jumpshot and Tyler Anderson added two free throws at the 2:03 mark to lead 38-22. With 1:30 left in the quarter, C.J. Parks converted a fast break layup to put the Sharks up by 16, 40-24, before going into their spread offense to use up the remainder of the clock.
Bronson continued to chip away at a cold-shooting Cedar Key team, closing the gap back to 10, 40-30, until Jackson went coast-to-coast to finally get the Sharks back on the board. A steal and layup from Kit Riley, followed by a pair of free throws from Jackson, gave the Sharks a little more breathing room, 44-35.
Bronson then went on a 9-1 run and pulled with one off a Jaquan Dyous 3-pointer, 45-44. The two teams exchanged free throws until the Eagles’ Dyous sank a 16-footer to knot the score at 47.
With 1:57 remaining, Sills’ driving layup put the Sharks ahead, 48-47. Jackson followed with another layup off a Bronson miscue to go ahead by four. Tyler Miller’s 8-foot jumper edged Cedar Key ahead 53-47 with 1:16 remaining. Bronson made a mad dash in the closing minute, but it was too little too late as Cedar Key hung on to win, 55-51.
Cedar Key was led by Josh Sills with 23 points and Patrick Jackson with 15. They were followed by Tyler Miller with 4 and C.J. parks, Tyler Anderson and Bobby Trammel with 3 points apiece. Austin Pope and Ryan Beckham added 2 points each.
Bronson was led by Jaquan Dyous with 18 points, followed by Ben Landon with 10. Gavyn Thomas chipped in 9 points, followed by Ruben Perez with 5 and Chris Saxon with 4.
Cedar Key went on to face the Chiefland High School Indians in the championship round the following night. Chiefland had advanced to the championship after dismantling Countryside Christian School the night before, 71-37.
The Indians’ speed and height proved to be too much for the Sharks early on as Chiefland’s full court press frustrated the Sharks. A minute into the game, Sills got the Sharks on the scoreboard after sinking three free throws. Cedar Key went scoreless for the next six minutes as the Indians’ defensive pressure resulted in steals and Shark turnovers. Finally, with 1:04 left in the quarter, Cedar Key threw over the top of Chiefland’s press and Sills sank a reverse layup to end the quarter trailing 20-5.
Cedar Key doubled its offensive output in the second quarter, but Chiefland proved to be too much, outscoring the Sharks 19-11 to take a 39-16 lead into the half.
This proved to be too much of a deficit to overcome as Cedar Key was outscored 13-7 in the third and 15-8 in the fourth as Chiefland went on to take the championship, 65-31.
Josh Sills led all scorers with 17 points, followed by C.J. Parks with 6, Tyler Anderson and Patrick Jackson chipped in 3 points each and Bobby Trammel added 2.
Chiefland was led by Austin Sheffield with 12 points and Kyle Weeks with 11. They were followed by Isaac Smith with 9, DeShawn Roland and Hermie McClendon with 7 points apiece, Kyle Schultz and Jeremy McClellan with 6 points each, Shaquille Patterson with 5 and Josh Smith with 3 points.