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Host Red Knights finish 1-2 in Sunshine Showdown

January 9, 2019
By CJ HADDAD ( , North Fort Myers Neighbor

After losing their opening round contest to Palmetto Ridge, the North Fort Myers boys' basketball team finished up the Sunshine Showdown 1-2 overall, as the Red Knights split their final two contests as the host team.

The eventual winners of the three-day tournament, spanning Dec. 27-29, was Fort Myers High School (9-2), as it defeated Cypress Lake (5-7), Palmetto Ridge (2-7) and then Immokalee (8-3) on the way to the championship by a score of 58-43.

Despite not achieving the results they had hoped for, the Red Knights (3-9) and first year coach Leland Clifford will look to continue to improve and get better as they find themselves at the halfway mark of the season.

Article Photos

North Fort Myers senior Caden Chisholm fades away for a jump shot in the Red Knights’ 68-56 defeat to Barron Collier last Saturday afternoon.


"Moving forward, the goal still is looking at the schedule we've got to be at least .500. That's really what we're looking at," said Clifford. "We wanted to go 2-1, we went 1-2. We have to start executing defensively."

The lone bright spot in the tournament came in day two, when the Red Knights got into the win column against Cypress Lake, 69-65.

Despite North's top two playmakers in seniors Caden Chisholm and Terrance James fouling out in the third, the rest of the team picked up the slack and held on down the stretch to preserve a victory on their home court.

"To have guys step up, it really looks good for our future," said Clifford on losing Chisholm and James, who, he said, makes up 50 percent of the offense and 80 percent of their rebounding. "The seniors- we're playing for them, so it's nice to see the younger guys step up and pick up the seniors, who have been carrying us all year."

The Red Knight that stepped up in the biggest way was junior guard Jeff Krumm.

Krumm scored 26 points on 8 of 15 shooting, adding four assists and four steals.

He also went 6 of 7 from the line, sinking clutch free throws towards the end of a tight game.

"He's been doing exactly what we needed all year," Clifford said of Krumm. "He's been the consistent guy every game. He's a shooter that we need. Every team needs that kid that you can put out there you know is going to knock down that shot."

James added 14 of his own, as well as five rebounds and six assists to help propel North to the win column despite short minutes.

The Red Knights did a great job of attacking the basket, rather than settling for jump shots throughout the game.

Cypress Lake did make a late push, as a 10-2 run from the Panthers gave them a 62-61 lead late in the fourth quarter.

Thanks to clutch free throw shooting by North, and some missed free throws by Cypress Lake, the Red Knights held onto their only victory of the weekend.

Day three did not turn out the way North would've hoped, as their aspirations of finishing 2-1 in the tourney were spoiled by Barron Collier (1-7), which picked up the first win of their season.

North stuck around in the first half, but saw things take a turn in the third quarter, as the Cougars outscored the Red Knights 20 to 12, giving them a 61-43 lead after 24 minutes of play.

The host team couldn't concoct any home cooking, as the squad shot only 35 percent from the floor, including going only 4 for 19 from 3-point land and 57 percent from the line.

"We struggle when we don't shoot well-and we don't know what to do," said Clifford. "Right now, our biggest issue is we let how well we shoot dictate how hard we play."

Chisholm did have a solid game for North, at least from a scoring perspective, as the senior dropped 34 points on 11 of 27 shooting, tacking on seven rebounds and two assists.

James, for the second straight game fouled out; two technical fouls in each game contributing to his early nights.

Senior guard Jayden Rolle led the way for Barron Collier, as the Panthers cruised to a 68-53 victory.

North Fort Myers will next play Port Charlotte (11-0) at home on Tuesday, Jan. 8, at 7 p.m.

-Connect with this reporter on Twitter: @haddad_cj



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