Muenster's Major Eldridge works for inside position against Gainesville's Noah Ridge (15)
The Gainesville Leopards hit seven 3-pointers in the first half and took a 12-point lead in the second period, then made key free throws down the stretch to defeat the No. 6 ranked Muenster Hornets 59-53 Tuesday afternoon at the GHS gym.
Gainesville took control of a close game in the first half with 3-pointers on four-straight possessions. What was an early 9-2 lead quickly became a 12-point advantage for Gainesville and they never trailed again after that.
Traylen Shinault had 11 points including three 3-pointers in the first half for the Leopards. He finished with 17 points.
Muenster (10-2) got within 2 with 6:40 remaining and finally cut the deficit to 1 after a putback by Bryson Culwell with 2:15 on the clock, but Gainesville made 7 of 8 free throws in the fourth quarter to seal the win.
"It's definitely the biggest win of my coaching career for sure," Gainesville coach Jeffrey Wolf said afterwards. "I'm so super proud of the young men for sticking together and believing what we're trying to do... playing defense, hitting free throws. I couldn't be more proud than I am right now."
Amari Melton added 13, Izaiah Baker scored 9, Robyn Hardin had 7, Gavin Terrell had 4 and Cason Evan scored 2.
For Muenster, Major Eldridge poured in 20 points, Danny Luttmer and Culwell each added 13, Garrett Hess had 4 and Cade Stevens scored 3.
Muenster's Danny Luttmer (21) looks to drive to the basketball against Gainesville