Gulf Coast Men’s Basketball Preparing to Face #1 Chipola on Saturday

Published: Jan. 12, 2023 at 8:48 PM CST
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - The Gulf Coast mens team, started off well enough in their conference opener last Saturday. Though, as coach Gaffney will tell you, the Commodores played anything but their best basketball, they were able to scratch out a 71-70 win over visiting Pensacola. That taking the team’s overall record to 12-6, but more importantly 1-0 in the Panhandle standings. That as they prepare to head up to Marianna to take on the top ranked Indians!

“So, one and oh but obviously not good enough. We’ve got to get better. Pensacola is a good team, killed us on the glass. This week we’re really working on running the floor and really rebounding the ball”, Gaffney said, “All year long we’ve been really rebounding well, it’s one of our strengths. And then we didn’t do a very good job. So, we’re going to go back to the basics, kind of this week, back to basics. Rebounding, defense and shooting, try to get it right. And then start scheming for Chipola, the number one team in the country. See if we can go to their place and try to get an upset.”

As it so happened, Gulf Coast went into the midweek bye on the schedule after the win. There are five conference programs, so only four can play on any given night against each other.

Meaning a whole week to prepare for the trip north to Marianna to take on a Chipola team that’s coming off a three-point win Wednesday at Pensacola. the Indians now at 20-0 and the top ranked team in the state and national polls!

“Yeah, you’re really blessed”, Gaffney states. “How many chances do you get to play the number one team? So, I’ve been fortunate, three times I’ve beaten the number one team in the country. My teams usually embrace it, they’re excited about it. And so, it’s such a great thing you know, you can either be intimidated or you embrace it. So, this is great you know! Hopefully we will embrace it and are not intimidated, because they’ve been having good crowds up there. And obviously they’re a great basketball team, he (coach Donnie Tyndall) just does a great job. So, I think if we embrace it and we do what we’re doing, and we focus on the things we’re trying to really focus on, I think will be fine.”

Believe it or not, that just the fourth home game of the season for the Commodores. they’ve been road warriors pretty much this season. So, packing up the bus Saturday to take on the first ranked team in the state and national polls, all part of the routine!

“We played very hard teams; we’ve played very good teams and they were all on the road. So now when you go to Chipola, obviously maybe we didn’t play somebody as good as Chipola, but we played three or four or five teams that were pretty darn close. So, you know can we get what got us wins in those games, what got us that environment and how to prepare for it, can we carry that over to the Chipola game? Hopefully so, that’s why we played 14 of 16 on the road.”

The conference teams play three times against each other, and every other year it’s two on the road and one at home from foe to foe. This year, Chipola gets to host two of three against the Gulf Coast teams. Those women’s game at two and the men’s game at four Saturday afternoon.

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