BY GENE NARDI
On Friday, Dec. 2, the Palm Beach Central High School boys basketball squad hosted Jupiter High School and fell short 48-46 in a thriller that saw the lead change three times.
Midway through the first period, Jupiter sustained a 14-9 lead after a slow start from both teams. The Broncos created several chances from the defense but could not finish at the net to steal the lead.
Both struggled offensively through the second period, with solid defensive play on each side. The Broncos managed close the gap to 16-14 with under two minutes to play in the first half.
Enrick Duporte claimed responsibility for the five points that kick-started the Bronco rally and capped it with a three-pointer that gave the Broncos their first lead of the game at 17-16, and sparked Palm Beach Central’s momentum. The Bronco surge forced Jupiter to call a time-out in an effort to regroup.
The Jupiter time-out proved beneficial; the Warriors rallied and reclaimed the lead, but Palm Beach Central tied it at 19-19 with time ticking away in the half. The Warriors managed three three-pointers, while containing Palm Beach Central’s offensive assault. Jupiter locked down a 27-19 halftime advantage.
Through the third period, both teams created opportunities from turnovers, but it was the Warriors who maintained the lead, 34-28. The Broncos would continue to chip away at the Jupiter lead. Palm Beach Central managed to grab the last points scored at the end of the third period to make it a six-point game, 38-32.
Palm Beach Central took advantage of accuracy at the free-throw line to come within four in the final minutes of the game, 44-40. Theo Deluca dropped in a three-pointer for the Broncos to make it a one-point game, 44-43. The score sparked the crowd and the team, but Jupiter quickly doused the flames with a three-point basket to extend the lead to 47-43.
The Broncos had last-minute chances to tie and take the lead, but could not capitalize on the opportunities. With 17 seconds remaining to play, Palm Beach Central was down by one point and needed to come up with a big play. Time out was called by the Bronco bench to formulate a play, but the players came up empty, and eventually fell short 48-46.
Gyvicht Geneus led the Bronco scoring with 22 points; Duporte and Deluca combined for three three-pointers. The Broncos fall to 2-3 on the season. Palm Beach Central traveled to play John I. Leonard High School on Tuesday, but results were not available by press time.
ABOVE: Gyvicht Geneus looks for his opening.