NEW PORT RICHEY — Coming off back-to-back losses to Indian Rocks Christian and Calvary Christian, Gulf needed a win coming off the winter break to stay above the .500 mark.
That much-needed victory came against Class 5A-District 8 rival River Ridge, as Gulf was aided by nine 3-pointers and was able to cruise to a 66-47 win at the Bever-Hicks Center on Tuesday night.
“It really goes back to the type of schedule we’ve made for ourselves,” Gulf coach Travis Priddy said. “We’ve been playing three games a week all season. Over the break, we made a commitment that we were going to defend and rebound.”
Rebounds were tough to be had with River Ridge’s 6-foot-10 John Childs guarding the low block. Though Childs was able to have a double-double night of 24 points and 11 rebounds, the Buccaneers (8-7, 5-4) made sure the rest of the Royal Knights had a tough time scoring.
Childs accounted for 51 percent of River Ridge’s points, and the senior center went 11-of-19 shooting. The rest of the Royal Knights were held to 23 points and shot 9-of-31 (29 percent) shooting and the team turned over the basketball 11 times.
With Gulf revolving its defense around shutting down the perimeter, the Buccaneers started to take advantage of their own 3-point opportunities. Brendon Corbett (11 points) knocked down a team-high three 3-pointers and helped Gulf build a 50-34 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
James Grubb came off the bench and scored 20 points and added a few dunks in the fourth period. Leigh Hollenbeck and Joey Nickerson paced Gulf with 13 and 11 points.