Chipola and Gulf Coast men’s teams set to open head to head Wednesday

Published: Feb. 2, 2021 at 8:31 PM CST
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) -The Panhandle Conference season is just about to begin, and what better way to get things started with a good old rivalry game!

New Chipola head coach Donnie Tyndall leads his team south Wednesday with a 5-1 record, to take on Gulf Coast, which comes in 3-0.

The Indians with four wins on the home floor and one win and one loss on the road. Those 6 games played in the span of 11 days, so a lot of basketball to start for these Indians. Phil Gaffney, in his second year as the Commodores head coach, also with 6 games scheduled before conference play was to begin. However three of those had to be canceled because of COVID issues. Gulf Coast winning the three games they did play, one at home, the other two on the road. Tuesday I got both coaches together for a Zoom call, and I asked about their overall readiness to begin Panhandle play.

Well not as prepared as usual.” Coach Gaffney told me. “Obviously only playing three games. And trying to get ready for Chipola, and Coach Tyndall is going to be a very tall, very tough task. We’d like to play a lot more games to get ready, but we don’t have that luxury.”

A lot like coach Gaffney you know things were kind of helter-skelter in the fall.” coach Tyndall said. “We dealt with some COVID issues ourselves and missed three or four weeks of practice time. But it’s the life we’re living right now. And at the end of the day I think our guys are excited to be playing someone other than ourselves and getting some outside competition.

The game Wednesday will be played at the Harrison Field House on the G.C. campus, and that means it will be played without any fans in attendance. The home coach says he’s not too bothered by that, as a team they are just learning to deal with the lack of noise at home games.

“Obviously the Panhandle crowds get really big and boisterous, they give you that extra pump of energy that really boosts you along.” coach Gaffney said. “But to be honest with you, we scrimmaged the first semester, and obviously when you scrimmage there’s no fans in the stands. And so you’ve got to make your own excitement. Basketball is basketball. Coaching is coaching. We’ve just got to go out there and do our job. If there’s not fans there it’s not really going to affect me. We’ve played three games so far and I’ve not even noticed there weren’t fans in the stands. So it doesn’t bother me at all.”

The ladies tip off at 5:30, the men at 7:30.

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