Growth of young players key to Ocoee hoops' success
ORLANDO — It might have been a regular season win in December, but Ocoee boys basketball head coach Rob Gordon sees his team’s 86-80 victory over Dr. Phillips on Tuesday night as a pretty big deal.
Gordon’s Knights remained undefeated and improved to 7-0 with the victory, one that saw Ocoee hold on after its lead was cut to as few as three points with right around three minutes to play in the contest.
“I think that’s a program-defining win for us,” Gordon said. “That’s the biggest win in the four years that I’ve been here.
“That’s a team that is trying to win a state championship and for us to come into their place and beat them — that speaks volumes to where we are going and what we are trying to do.”
The Knights were led by their potent backcourt duo of Grant Riller and Vaughn McCall. Riller led all scorers with a 30 point effort on the night, while McCall finished with 24 — 18 of which came in the first half, where the Flagler College commit was red-hot from behind the arc.
“They just play so well off of each other,” Gordon said. “But tonight everything came within the flow of the system and not just one of the two of them having to take over a game.”
Dr. Phillips fell to 4-3 with the defeat and was led by Elijah Jordan’s 19 points and 17 points from Malik William. Jonathan Laurent scored 10 and David Stephen added 11 on then night.
Beyond the backcourt tandem of Riller and McCall, Ocoee also got a nice night out of Demerit Brown, a junior. The junior guard/forward scored 15 points, including a key basket with just 50 second to play to help the Knights pull away.
“Demerit’s coming along really, really well,” Gordon said. “He had 21 (points) the other night against Olympia. … He continues to get progressively better and better for us.”