Salt Lake
Gulls 29-53 (2-6)

Mount Dora
Hurricanes 52-30 (6-2)

Score (click for boxscore) Game MVP Hi Points Hi Rebounds Hi Assists
1. Gulls 113, Hurricanes 105 Steve Johnson 47 Steve Johnson 10 Rodney McCray  8 Jim Paxson
2. Gulls 103, Hurricanes 98 Steve Johnson 27 Steve Johnson 10 Kevin McHale  9 Jim Paxson
3. Gulls 111, Hurricanes 109 Steve Johnson 24 Steve Johnson   9 Charles Oakley  8 Rodney McCray
4. Hurricanes 120, Gulls 117 Jack Sikma 30 Steve Johnson 16 Jack Sikma  8 Jay Humphries
5. Hurricanes 125, Gulls 115 Terry Catledge 30 Steve Johnson 13 Rodney McCray  9 Jay Humphries
6. Hurricanes 104, Gulls 77 Kevin McHale 22 Jeff Malone 18 Charles Oakley  Allen Leavell
7. Hurricanes 132, Gulls 122 Kevin McHale 36 Kevin McHale 12 Kevin McHale  8 Jim Paxson
Mount Dora wins series 4-3

Game 1 – The Mt. Dora Hurricanes had no answer for Steve Johnson in the first period. Johnson got loose for 17 points on 7-9 shooting and led his team to a 38-22 lead after 12 minutes. At 7:14 of the 2nd, the home team went on a 14-0 run to pull within two. After MDH went up one, 56-55 with 51 seconds remaining, Charles Oakley hit a jumper, was fouled and completed the 3-point play to end the first half scoring and put the Gulls up 58-56 at the half. Both teams took leads in the 24-24 third period and we headed to the 4th with Salt Lake up by a bucket. The Hurricanes built a 3-point advantage with 8:02 to go, but SLG ran off 10 straight to make it 102-95. The visitors never allowed the home team closer than 5 points from there and took game one 113-105. Johnson tallied a career-high 47 points to earn game MVP. Cornbread Maxwell came off the bench to add 20 points. They combined to make 19-25 free throws and were responsible for getting DQ’s on Jack Sikma, John Williams and Wayne Cooper. Kevin McHale’s 18 points topped the ‘Canes. Darrell Griffith added 16. 

Game 2 – Rodney McCray had 8 points in the first 7:48 and helped the Hurricanes build a 24-13 advantage. The Gulls closed out the period by scoring 7 of the last 9 points to trail only 30-26 after one. Salt Lake regained the lead at 45-44 with 5:25 still on the clock in period two. Mount Dora scored the half’s last 8 points, heading to the lockers up 58-51. R.McCray led all scorers with 14 and Steve Johnson had a dozen for the visitors. The Gulls came out of the half on a 15-8 run to tie the game at 66. The game stayed closed with a couple of lead changes and at the end of the 3rd, it was 80-76 in favor of the home team. Once again, the visitors came out of the huddle on fire, rolling off a 20-8 spree that gave them an 8-point lead with just over 4 minutes remaining. Kevin McHale got an offensive rebound and converted the bucket to make it 101-98 with 8.4 seconds remaining. Jim Paxson hit a pair of freebies and the Salt Lake Gulls escaped with a 103-98 win, their 2nd in two road games. They’ll now return home up 2-0 on the favored Hurricanes. S.Johnson made 9-11 free throws, cutting into Jack Sikma’s playing time, to finish with a game-high 27 points and the game MVP once again. Kevin McKenna made 6-8 from the 3-point arc to finish with 20 points in less than 22 minutes. Cedric Maxwell chipped in 19 off the bench. McHale topped the Hurricanes with 18 points and 10 rebounds, but had to miss a little time and be careful with foul trouble. R.McCray finished with 16 points, but was held to 2 for the 2nd half. 

Game 3 – Kevin McHale was frustrated with losing the first two games on his home court, so he put the team on his back in the first period, scoring 14 points and leading the ‘Canes to a 32-23 advantage. The Gulls came out of the break scoring six unanswered points to make it a 3-point game. The teams swapped leads and when the buzzer rang, Mt. Dora was up 59-58. McHale managed only 2 points in the period, but led MDH with 16. Steve Johnson had 11 for SLG. The 3rd frame saw Salt Lake build a 5-point lead a few times, but the Hurricanes score the last six points and carried a one-point margin into the 4th. The visitors built a 99-92 lead with 4:33 to go. The teams traded scores a couple times before the Gulls scored 9 unanswered points to flip the scoreboard their way, 104-103. The score see-sawed from there with Rodney McCray hitting a jumper at 59.4 for a 109-108 Mt. Dora lead. Johnson got inside with 38.7 seconds remaining to give Salt Lake the advantage. The Gulls’ defense held and Charles Oakley made a free throw with 16.7 seconds on the clock for the final score of 111-109. The Gulls have a chance to sweep in a couple nights on their home court. Jeff Malone topped the Hurricanes with 23. The Mc Attack, McHale and McCray, each had 20. Johnson got his 3rd straight game MVP with 24 points, 7 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 blocks. Kelly Tripucka added 19 points and 6 assists.

Game 4 – The Mount Dora Hurricanes faced elimination in enemy territory. They hoped to get off to a quick start and take care of business, but, a 28-28 first quarter didn’t do much to help their cause. Steve Johnson led the way with 11 points for the Gulls, Kevin McHale topped the visitors with 9. Thinks looked gloomy for the guest in the 2nd period as the home town Gulls built a 9-point lead. The ‘Canes regrouped and cut the margin to 3 and trailed only 56-53 heading into the locker room at the half. The third quarter was similar to the 2nd as Salt Lake went up by 12 before MDH cut it in half at the end of the period. Kelly Tripucka had 10 points in the 3rd for SLG. Mount Dora came out of the huddle on a 15-9 run to tie the game up at 93. The pendulum then swung Salt Lake’s way 15-8 and they enjoyed a 108-101 advantage with 2:38 remaining. It was the Hurricane’s turn again, running off a 12-2 spree and taking a 113-110 lead with 45.9 on the clock. They went up 120-114 and Tripucka hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer for the 120-117 final. Mount Dora is eager to head back home for game 5. Jack Sikma had 25 points and 16 rebounds to earn game MVP. Terry Catledge added 23 and McHale 21. Johnson had a game-high 30 points and 14 rebounds for SLG. Tripucka finished with 20.

Game 5 – Jeff Malone and Cedric Maxwell scored 10 first period points as Mount Dora took a 33-29 lead after one. The teams battled to a 28-28 second period and MDH went into the lockers up 61-57 despite Jack Sikma playing 4 minutes (one point) and Kevin McHale playing 8 minutes (2 points) due to foul trouble. The Gulls took the third 28-26, making it an 87-85 game in favor of the home team heading into the 4th quarter. With the Hurricanes’ faithful behind them, Mount Dora took the final frame 38-30 to force a game six back in Salt Lake. Terry Catledge was named game MVP with 22 points and 8 rebounds in a little over 25 minutes playing time as he got into foul trouble as well. Rodney McCray and Malone each finished with 16. Steve Johnson topped the Gulls with 30 points, 6 rebounds, 3 blocks and 2 steals. Cornbread was 9-13 from the stripe and tallied 21.

Game 6 – The Mount Dora Hurricanes blew into Salt Lake needing to win game 6 to stay alive. A low-scoring first quarter saw Kelly Tripucka score 6 points to give the Gulls an 18-14 advantage. The 2nd period was all MDH. Jeff Malone netted 7, Kevin McHale, Jack Sikma and Rodney McCray each added 6 apiece. The Hurricanes had a 13-5 run early in the 3rd that saw them go up by 18. SLG closed out the period on a 14-4 spree to pull within 8 points heading into the final frame. Mike Evans led all scorers in the 3rd with 9 points. The Hurricanes came out of the huddle on a 19-5 tear, making it 92-70 and cruising from there to win 104-77. The high-scorer of the previous 5 contests, Steve Johnson, got in foul trouble and managed only 11 points in 13 minutes. Hot Rod Williams led the Gulls with 21, Tripucka finished with 17. Charles Oakley pulled down 18 rebounds subbing for Johnson, but was only 1-11 from the field for 2 points. McHale was named Game MVP scoring 21 points with 14 rebounds and 3 blocked shots. Malone’s 22 led all scorers. Sikma finished with 15 points and 14 boards.

Game 7 – The Salt Lake Gulls won games 1 and 2 on Mount Dora’s home court and were now needing to win one more time to advance to the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals. Could they do it? Mike Evans and Steve Johnson combined for 21 of the Gulls’ 28 first period points, but they had no answer for Jeff Malone’s 12 and the home team was up a bucket after one. The visitors scored 8 straight after the huddle to go up 36-30 and the teams went back and forth for the rest of the 38-38 period. S.Johnson topped SLG with 13, Rodney McCray and Darrell Griffith each had 8 for MDH. Kevin McHale went to work, scoring 10 points in the 3rd and pushing his Hurricane teammates to a 97-88 advantage heading into the 4th. McHale was unstoppable in the final 12 minutes, scoring 15 points and leading his squad to a 16-point lead with a little over 8 minutes on the clock. Salt Lake rallied to cut the lead to 7, but that’s as close as they’d get. The Mount Dora Hurricanes advance to take on the Rocky Mountain Express. McHale was named game MVP with 36 points, 12 rebounds and 3 blocked shots. Malone finished with 23 and MDH got double-doubles from Terry Catledge (20/11) and R.McCray (16/10). S.Johnson had 32 for SLG and finished with a 29.0 average for the series. Kevin McKenna hit 6 treys for 18 points and Hot Rod Williams chipped in 17.