Hugh Thimlar is recognized as the found of the City of Palms Classic as he began the tournament when he was the coach at Edison Community College, now Southwest Florida State College. Started in 2019, it features two local teams that are considered some of the best in the area.
Gateway got on the board first with a bucket inside from 6’3 junior Tavian Cook. First Baptist Academy responded quickly with a transition basket from 6’4 senior Yohandry Ortiz. The score and lead would ping-pong back and forth and with just over four minutes to play, FBA led 11-9. A bucket from FBA’s 6’3 senior Latrell Davis put them up four. However, that as the last bucket FBA would score in the quarter as Gateway put together a 6-0 run, highlighted by a three from 5’10 senior Colin Alvarez to give the Eagles a 15-13 lead after one period.
FBA tied the game quickly but Gateway grabbed a lead with a free throw from Cook. FBA then went on a 9-0 run, starting with a three from 6’0 senior Malachi Moody and finishing with a put back from 6’4 junior Adrian Rodriguez. With just over four minutes left to play in the quarter, FBA led by eight at 24-16. Gateway put together a four-point run to cut the deficit in half. FBA finished the quarter out with a 7-3 run to make the half-time score 31-23 in favor of FBA
Gateway got back into the game quickly in the early part of the third quarter. With 5:20 left in the quarter, Gateway was back within striking distance at 33-29. From there, FBA took complete control, closing out the third quarter with a 14-0 run. Now the hill for Gateway was steep and with one more period left to play, the score was 47-29.
The fourth quarter was anti-climactic. The closest that Gateway would get would be thirteen at 47-34. FBA would take advantage of quick shots by Gateway to extend its lead even more. FBA would roll to a final score of 67-44.
FBA was led by Ortiz with 18 points, followed by Davis with 16 points and 14 points from Rodriguez.
For Gateway, Cook led the way with 18 points and 6’8 senior Eugene Alvin added 12 points.