Broncos hold off Keystone surge

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MIDDLEBURG - Keystone Heights High boys basketball surged from a 31-19 gap at half time to close down the Middleburg High and tie the game, 48-48, with 3:46 left on the clock. The Broncos held off the Keystone Heights move to win 63-51 Thursday night in the Middleburg High gymnasium.

"We've had some bad luck to start the season with letting games get away from us in the final minutes of games," said Middleburg coach Travis Tipton, who saw his Broncos blow a lead to Orange Park two days prior before losing in overtime. "These seniors on the team have been through four years of near misses. Tonight, may be a turning point for the program."

Against Orange Park, the Broncos scored a 20-9 third quarter to pull away to a 43-35 lead, but let the Raiders sneak back; a 17-9 fourth quarter, to tie the game at 52-52 before the Raiders crushed the overtime 14-2 for the win.

Against, Keystone Heights, the turning point of the game, after Keystone Heights tied the game off a three-pointers from Jeremy Bauer and Garrett Stanley, was when Middleburg's Olivier Osier nailed a three-pointer to break the tie, 51-48.

"This is the first year for Olivier to play here," said Tipton. "He got the big turnover on a trap that I had been trying to get him to understand and when he did, he looked at me and kind of said,'like that?'. It was a big turnover for us."

From there, Middleburg shut down the Keystone Heights effort with six straight points; led by senior Edgard Enriquez's layup and free throws to pull away to a 57-50 lead with 1:19 to go.

Middleburg kept that gap to the final 63-51 score with free throws.

"I don't know if we are going on a win streak, but this could change the path of the season," said Tipton. "We've run the same offense for four years, but now we have six guys that get it."

Middleburg opened with a dominant win over Interlachen, 61-44, behind balanced scoring from Jordan Robinson, 16 points; Britan Bussey, 15 points, and Osier, 12 points, with Enriquez snagging 10 rebounds.

Against Orange Park, Osier topped the scoring with 17 points; four three-pointers, and 12 rebounds, plus six assists, three blocked shots and four steals. Enriquez added 14 points and seven rebounds.

Middleburg has games with Clay on Fri., Dec. 6 and 1A-Bell, undefeated at 3-0, next week.

Keystone Heights, who beat St. Johns Country Day School, 51-41, on Tues., Dec. 3, has Interlachen and Oak Hall on deck with the Bradford High School Christmas Tournament starting December 19.

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