Saturday Showdown for the Panhandle Championship

Published: Feb. 23, 2023 at 10:57 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - A big game set for Niceville in a couple of nights. Gulf Coast set to head west to take on Northwest Florida in the the final regular season game for both teams.

The Commodores are 9-2 in conference heading into that one. The Raiders are 10-1. Northwest, in the dark uni’s here in their win last night at Pensacola, will clinch the Conference title outright if they beat the Commodores.

Should Gulf Coast win, they’ll both be 10-2, and technically, they will be co-champs of the league. Both have already clinched state tourney berths, so in the event of a tie, a committee will determine their seeding at State.

A Commodores win though would mean they won two of three against the Raiders, and at least to some degree, they could claim the crown, symbolically, based on head to head. So the game is big for both!

“Well I think it is, I mean it’s a natural thing if you’re a true competitor, you want to win and have no questions. I mean that’s the opportunity that we have. You know I know Coach Kuhn does a great job over there, obviously Gulf Coast has a great tradition. I have the utmost respect for that program, and anybody in our panhandle league to be honest with you. But it’s another game you know. Win lose or draw we’re going to play in 10 or 12 days and that’s what really counts”, Northwest Florida Head Coach Bart Walker said.

“You’re always trying to find a little bit of a niche. Something that you can exploit, or something to that factor. You’ve already played them twice, so it’s not like you can go reinvent the wheel and go do something that they’ve never seen before. But you know I feel like you’ve got to figure out some match ups and what you can exploit. And again, making shots is the deal.”

Northwest in fact will host the state tournament next month. In the two previous meetings between them, the home team won each time. The Raiders winning 73-60 a month ago in Nicevilee, Gulf Coast winning 95-91 two weeks ago at the Harrison Field House.

The game Saturday at the arena set for 2 o’clock. The men play at 4.