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Holden, Godwin lift Commodores by Chargers

PANAMA CITY — If there was any ambiguity regarding Gulf Coast coach Phil Gaffney’s feelings about facing his former team on Thursday night, the first-year Commodores coach quickly cleared it up.

“I hate it,” he said after his team’s 105-84 win over a Georgia Highlands program he coached for from 2011 to 2019. “We just didn’t have any games and they were kind enough to come down and play us because we were struggling to get games. But I absolutely hate it.

“Those are guys that I coached and recruited, and those three coaches are my guys. I don’t want them to ever lose, but of course you don’t want to lose. I hate it, but I’m glad we played well and won.”

It was a fast-paced, up-and-down game as you would expect from two teams playing similarly frenetic styles.

Gulf Coast led nearly the entire way and used a late 21-3 run to put away the pesky Chargers and improve to 3-0 on the season.

“That’s kind of our system to kind of try to wear you out and pressure you and pressure you and teams will fall apart sometimes at the end,” Gaffney said. “Georgia Highlands had a five-and-a-half hour trip, got here yesterday, you’re not sleeping in your own bed, and we wore them down a little bit in the end.”

It was an 82-77 game following consecutive baskets by the Chargers’ Trevin Wade and Nicolas Huteau.

A pull-up jumper by Jammy Pierre-Louis started the decisive GC run, with Cam Holden putting back his own miss and KK Godwin finishing a layup to push the lead to double digits.


A basket inside by Travon Mayo, a 3-pointer from Grant Howard, a reverse layup in transition by Godwin after a Georgia Highlands turnover, a free throw line jumper by Mayo, and a mid-range shot from Pierre-Louis put the Commodores up 99-78 with just over three minutes remaining.

Godwin scored eight of his 15 points in the last five minutes and change and led Gulf Coast with nine assists, while fellow sophomore Holden had a monster offensive night with 30 points, 13 rebounds, seven assists, and five steals.


“Cam was ridiculous,” Gaffney said of the 6-foot-5 wing. “That’s just silly, silly numbers. He has really embraced our style and I think he has seen that he really benefits from it. KK was great at the end of the game. He showed great leadership, got a steal and layup, got out in transition, made some nice plays getting to the basket and finishing.

“That’s what we expect. The sophomores are supposed to step up.”


Mayo and Pierre-Louis added 12 points each for Gulf Coast. Former Commodore Jamal Burke led the Chargers (2-3) with 16 points, while Wade and Carl Johnson had 14 points each.

The Commodores led by as many as 15 points in the first half, with Holden scoring on a three-point play and hitting a triple from right corner to help GC go up 40-25 with 7:09 on the clock.

Georgia Highlands finished the half strong with a 21-9 surge, with consecutive baskets by Burke and Johnson cutting the margin to 49-46 at the break.

Gulf Coast will next play No. 15 Daytona State on Saturday at 2 p.m

 

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