By SETH STRINGER
NICEVILLE – At some point the adversity will come for NWF State in Panhandle Conference play.
Or maybe it won't, Steve DeMeo's crew destined for a life of double-digit routs that affirm its stranglehold over the No. 1 ranking in the country.
Last year the Raiders navigated a tough league slate for a 12-0 record. Two games into this season, NWF State following up Saturday's 10-point win at Pensacola State with Wednesday's dominant 95-53 victory over visiting Gulf Coast State at The Arena, the question must be asked: Why couldn't this crew do the same?
Wednesday night the Raiders shot lights-out. They were unselfish. They were communicating. They protected the ball. They protected the rim.
They were having fun.
"When they score like that and play pressure defense like they did, it's a lot of fun," DeMeo said. "We don't plan on playing like that all the time, but we'll enjoy it for now and get ready for a big-time game against Chipola on Saturday."
The play that best captured the party followed a defensive stop that led to a fast break. Tray Boyd III gathered a pass on the left wing, looked to the lane and saw Jonas Parker gliding toward the rim.
Boyd III put the ball where it needed to be and Parker went up and got it, slamming down the alley-oop for a thunderous two-handed jam that ignited the bench.
The Raiders' résumé is now 19 wins, zero loss, no end in sight to the perfect run as they get ready to travel to Chipola on Saturday for a 7:30 p.m. tip following back-to-back double-digit wins in the Panhandle.
Wednesday's win marked the seventh straight over Gulf Coast State, which entered 11-3 but fell to 0-2 in conference play.
Defensively, NWF State seemed to have a hand in every face and a body in every scoring lane to build on a season of forcing foes into 40 percent shooting and 16 turnovers a night.
The Commodores were held to 32-percent shooting, a 3-for-16 clip from beyond the arc and were forced into 23 turnovers.
Headed into the game, DeMeo called 6-5 sophomore Will Robinson "probably one of the best players in the league" and 6-6 sophomore Marlon Adams a "dynamic scorer."
Robinson shot 6 of 16 en route to an inefficient 22 points. Adams was held to just eight points on 3-of-9 shooting.
Offensively, the Raiders were the same crew averaging 92 points on the year and shooting a blistering 54 percent from the floor and 40 percent from beyond the arc.
They shot 57 percent from the floor, were an efficient 20 for 25 from the line and committed only nine turnovers. They dominated the paint to a 46-20 advantage, had 31 points off turnovers compared to the Commodores' four and their bench outscored the visitors 36-7.