Gryphons Ballers Cruise to Regional Semi-Finals

The Sickles Gryphons hosted the Lakewood Ranch Mustangs in regional semifinal action Thursday night.

Sickles High School boy’s basketball team defatted opponent Lakewood with a 57-32 victory during a semi-final game Thursday night.

The win secured Sickles' place in the regional semifinals next week.

Lakewood only trailed by five points at the end of the first quarter, and even outscored the Gryphons 14-10 in the fourth. But Sickles hit three three-pointers to cap a 13-0 run in the second quarter. To make matters worse, junior forward Malcolm Johnson caught fire in the third quarter, scoring 10 of his 18 game-leading points.

"We were pleased with Malcolm tonight; with him we were able to attack the basket and cause problems for them in the paint," said Renaldo Garcia, head coach for the Gryphons.

The Lakewood Mustangs went into the game with a disadvantage. Their senior center Brian Cobb suffered a knee injury that sidelined him much of the year and left him less than 100 percent for tonight's game.

"I left everything on the court tonight," Cobb said after the game. "They were just the better team."

Sickles didn't waste the opportunity to shine.

Senior center Eric Floyd was guarded by a combination of Cobb and junior Cory Adams. Neither could slow down the 6 foot 7 inch senior, who went on to score 12 points, pull down five rebounds, even notch an assist.

"I felt like I broke out of my scoring slump tonight," Floyd said. "I'd still been hustling getting rebounds but the points came tonight."

Sickles will host Palmetto High School next Tuesday at 7pm in a regional semi-final game.


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