Mainland gets consecutive wins over DeLand and Lopez

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Updated: January 11, 2018

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Story By Karsceal Turner for HSSS

Rodney Rhoden scored 14 points and Taron Keith added nine as Mainland outlasted DeLand 53-46 Wednesday night.

MHS is now 9-3 overall. DeLand is 10-5.

Rhoden, a Junior guard/forward was a transfer from Spruce Creek who played under Head Coach Joe Giddens at Creek, then followed Giddens to Mainland in time for the 2017-18 season.  He said the choice to follow Giddens was a good one.

Giddens was ecstatic about his teams play against a worthy 9A opponent with a plethora of talent on their squad.

“This win was very satisfying,” Giddens said. “DeLand is a very good team. We were able to play our game and fortunately came out with the win tonight. We’re starting to see what we are capable of as a team and that is the truly rewarding thing here. What we have to do now is remain consistent,” Giddens explained.

“I’m really excited about this win against a very good DeLand team who is on top in their district. It was a total team effort tonight. “Coach Giddens has a way about the way he teaches and coaches the game that made my choice easy. We have an opportunity to do some special things together as a team, “Rhoden said.

The Bucs continue the bulk of their district schedule Jan. 19 at Atlantic who sits atop the district standings.

Mainland is 6-1 in district play and Lopez is 4-2 in district play and 10-5 overall.

Beat Lopez on Tuesday

The ‘Bucs are currently on a two-game win streak after dispatching Father Lopez 59-51 on in a marquee district 7A-2 matchup on Tuesday evening.

“It was a hard fought game. Father Lopez is always tough and very well coached. We knew they would come out and play hard.,” said Giddens.

In that game Rhoden had 21 points to lead the Buccaneers.

“It was a good win for us. We played well defensively. As for my play it was just my teammates finding me and getting me the ball. I was also able to knock down shots,” responded Rhoden.

Mainland took control of the game with a 10-0 run to start the third quarter and they never looked back.

Father Lopez led 37-29 at halftime but was shutdown most of the second half.

“Their run to open the third quarter killed us. We didn’t play well or shoot well in the second half. We got away from doing what we do best. You just can’t win games playing the way we did in that second half.,” said Father Lopez Coach, Eddie Miller.

Colin Castleton, the top player in Volusia County led the Green Wave with 22 points, seven rebounds, four steals and two blocks.

Devin Knaub added 19 points for Lopez.

Keith had 12 points for Mainland.

Lopez is also without its second leading scorer AJ Jackson who is out for the season with an injury.

Roller coaster seasons

“It’s been a roller coaster. I keep telling the kids that the season is not a sprint but a marathon. We have to work and keep getting better. I am learning something about them every day. I am new here and we have 10 new players,” said Giddens on Mainland.

“It’s been a roller coaster. It’s been really up and down. We’ve been battling illness and injury. We have to do what we do best which is play fundamentally sound basketball,” said Miller on Lopez.

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