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Frame The Importance of

Commercial Truck Insurance in Gainesville, FL

  • Let's face it - truckers in America have always been the backbone of our great country. They still are in modern times. On any given day, thousands of trucks traverse our highways and local roads, delivering goods and products on time so that businesses and consumers have what they need to live life. And while commercial trucking can be an incredibly lucrative way to make a living and put food on the table, it can also be risky and expensive.
  • Whether you're the owner of a fleet, an independent trucker, or have a business that uses big rigs to transport goods, you need commercial trucking insurance to protect you and your client's investments, shield you from liability, and more.
  • That's where working with a reliable truck insurance agency comes into play. Unfortunately, for many commercial truck insurance providers, serving the needs of truckers is low on the proverbial totem pole. At Independence Insurance Agency, nothing could be further from the truth.

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percent The Commercial Truck

Insurance Agency in Gainesville, FL You Can Trust

Much like you pride yourself on running a successful trucking business, Independence Insurance Agency prides itself on its years of experience providing truck insurance for hardworking men and women across the country. And in our experience, insurance rates for truckers are just too high - so high, in fact, that they eat away at their bottom line, making it more difficult to run a business and make a profit. Fortunately, at Independence Insurance Agency, we provide truckers the freedom they need from astronomically high insurance rates so they can stay on the road and keep driving America forward.

As one of the most trusted commercial trucking insurance agencies in the U.S., we understand the challenges that you face daily as a trucker. We also know how important it is to protect your business. That's why we go above and beyond to find you the best-priced coverage available, whether you're an operator, own a small fleet, a large fleet, or something in between.

Commercial Truck Insurance Gainesville, FL

We Put Truckers First Because Others Don't

 Truck Insurance Gainesville, FL

Truckers across the country choose to work with Independence Insurance Agency because we put their needs first before anything else. As experts in transportation insurance, we proudly offer a range of quality insurance products that are both practical and affordable for them. Our industry-leading carriers provide coverage that caters to the unique challenges faced by the trucking industry, ensuring that your business is protected at all times.

At our core, we are committed to finding the best possible price for your coverage without compromising the quality of service you deserve. The truth is, we understand how essential truckers are to the United States and take pride in making their insurance experience more streamlined and affordable.

One way we do so is by simplifying the insurance process. Our transportation specialists take the time to understand your specific needs and budget to tailor a comprehensive plan that works for you. You won't ever have to worry about cookie-cutter plans or uninterested agents when you work with our commercial trucking insurance agency. We take an educational approach to ensure that the entire big rig insurance process is quick, painless, and easy to understand. If there's something you don't understand, we're happy to take the time to explain. After all, the success and safety of your business are on the line.

Looking to the future, we are committed to providing innovative new products that cater to the ever-changing needs of truck drivers. As your one-stop shop for commercial trucking insurance, we are dedicated to your success, one policy at a time.

If you're a commercial trucker looking to ensure your rig, you can rest easy knowing that Independence Insurance Agency provides:

  • Affordable Trucking Insurance Plans for Any Budget
  • Exemplary Customer Service
  • Seasoned Transportation Specialists Who Customize Plans to Your Needs
  • A+ Carriers Across the Country
  • Simple, Easy Quote and Bind Process
  • Multiple Insurance Carriers Quoted to Find You the Best Rates
  • Truck Insurance for New Ventures

Call us or send us a message today to learn more about the best 18-wheeler insurance options for your trucking business.

chart The Commercial Truck

Common Types of Big Rig Truck Insurance in Gainesville, FL

At Independence Insurance Agency, we offer several types of insurance coverage for local, intermediate, and long-haul trucking needs. Here are just a few categories of trucking insurance coverage that our agency offers.

As the foundation of your insurance policy, liability coverage is required by law in most states in the U.S. It provides coverage for damage or injuries caused to properties or other people if your 18-wheeler is responsible for the crash. Without liability coverage, it's almost impossible to drive a truck or run a trucking business without major legal consequences.

Having physical damage coverage is an essential component that shouldn't be overlooked. This insurance is responsible for covering the expenses related to repairing or replacing your truck in situations such as accidents, theft, vandalism, and other damaging events. By having this coverage, you can rest assured that your business won't be affected significantly by unexpected incidents, and you can continue running your operations smoothly even in challenging times.

For trucking companies, the goods they transport are crucial to their operations. To protect these goods from damage, loss, or theft while in transit, cargo insurance is essential. This coverage provides much-needed peace of mind for both you and your clients, allowing you to reimburse clients for any losses sustained while protecting your reputation and brand identity.

Non-Trucking Liability Insurance is designed to cover property damage or bodily injury that may occur during personal time when the driver/truck is not under dispatch. This coverage can be applied with or without a trailer and is added to a commercial policy as an endorsement.

While Independence Insurance Agency has built a reputation of excellence in serving the needs of truckers, we also offer general liability. Also known as Truckers General Liability, this coverage insures for bodily injuries or property damage that happen due to business activities that are NOT the cause of operating a truck. It covers accidents that occur in parking lots, rest stops, also while loading or unloading. General liability can also cover losses related to theft and vandalism. Most brokers and shippers will require this coverage to work with you.

Bobtail insurance is a type of coverage that is comparable to non-trucking liability, which is designed to offer protection when driving a truck without a trailer attached. This is commonly referred to as "bobtailing." With bobtail insurance, the tractor is covered at all times, even when it is not attached to a trailer, regardless of whether or not the truck is under dispatch.

Trailer interchange insurance is a must-have if you're involved in a trailer interchange agreement. This essential coverage offers protection for trailers owned by other parties that you're using under a contractual agreement. It covers damages caused by collisions, fire, theft, and vandalism, providing assurance to all parties involved.

Curious whether our commercial truck insurance agency in cityname, state offers additional coverage? The following options can be bound in your insurance policy:

  • Business Interruption Insurance
  • Reefer Breakdown Insurance
  • Occupational Accident with Contract Liability Insurance
  • Rental Reimbursement Insurance
  • Underinsured or Uninsured Motorist Insurance
  • Towing Insurance
  • Electronics Insurance
  • Much More

Three plus 3 Safe Driving Tips to

Lower the Cost of Truck Insurance in Gainesville, FL

Keeping your drivers safe on the road is crucial not only for their own well-being but also for the safety of other motorists and the financial stability of your business. The Department of Labor has identified the trucking industry as one of the most hazardous sectors in the U.S. In fact, trucking and logistics fleets are known for their high injury and fatality rates. By improving how safely your truckers drive, you can help reduce expenses related to claim payouts, accidents, and insurance premium hikes.

Whether you own a large fleet or you're the owner and operator of a single rig, keep these safe driving tips in mind to help lower your insurance costs.

Implement Preventative Maintenance Plans

Ensuring the safety of your drivers begins with the safety of their vehicles. Trucks and tractor-trailers that do not receive regular maintenance, such as oil and brake pad changes, are more likely to experience breakdowns while on the road. Telematics devices provide real-time insight into engine and odometer data, including fault codes.

This information enables your mechanics to create comprehensive preventative maintenance schedules based on mileage, history of previous breakdowns, days, and more. Additionally, they can receive immediate notifications for critical fault codes. By implementing routine maintenance and proactive repair schedules, you can ensure that your vehicles are in top condition, minimizing the likelihood of breakdowns, which can help reduce the cost of trucker insurance.

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 Trucking Insurance Gainesville, FL

Practice Defensive Driving

This approach aims to mitigate the risk of fatal crashes and injuries by proactively identifying and responding to potentially dangerous situations and making informed decisions while driving. By adopting defensive driving techniques, drivers can reduce their likelihood of accidents, thereby minimizing the need for expensive repairs, claim payouts, and increased insurance premiums.

Some of the easiest ways for you or your drivers to practice safe driving include:

  • Be Wary of Blind Spots: Operating a reefer or tractor-trailer means driving high off of the ground, which can make visibility limited, especially in blind spots. To check your blind spot, look over your shoulder and out of your windows while changing lanes.
  • Be Ready for Emergencies on the Road: It's important for drivers to be ready for unexpected situations when driving, especially during long trips. They should be equipped to handle emergencies such as poor driving conditions or big rig breakdowns.
  • Use the Three-Second Rule: Truck drivers should try to maintain a three-second gap between their vehicle and the car in front of them. This means that the truck driver should reach a certain point on the road three seconds after the car in front of them has passed that same point.
  • Always Use Right and Left Turn Indicators: It's important for drivers to always use their turn signals when changing lanes or exiting highways, even if they don't see any other cars around. This is not only required by law, but it also reduces the chances of accidents occurring on the road.
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 Commercial Liability Insurance For Truckers Gainesville, FL

Find Ways to Prevent Distracted Driving

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), distracted driving is the primary reason behind truck driver accidents. Any activity that takes a driver's attention away from the road or the steering wheel is considered distracted driving. Distractions can come in various forms, such as eating while driving or gazing at a billboard outside the window. However, the most frequent form of distracted driving is the use of cellphones, specifically texting while driving.

Assuming you or your driver's rigs are equipped with dual-facing cameras, try reviewing footage of an unsafe driving incident. Coach your drivers on ways to correct their unsafe behaviors or look up ways to do so yourself if you're the one operating the big rig. The bottom line is that when your drivers aren't distracted, they drive safer. And when they drive safer, the cost of 18-wheeler insurance in cityname, state can be reduced.

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 Commercial Truck Insurance Quote Gainesville, FL

Ensuring the safety of your drivers begins with the safety of their vehicles. Trucks and tractor-trailers that do not receive regular maintenance, such as oil and brake pad changes, are more likely to experience breakdowns while on the road. Telematics devices provide real-time insight into engine and odometer data, including fault codes.

This information enables your mechanics to create comprehensive preventative maintenance schedules based on mileage, history of previous breakdowns, days, and more. Additionally, they can receive immediate notifications for critical fault codes. By implementing routine maintenance and proactive repair schedules, you can ensure that your vehicles are in top condition, minimizing the likelihood of breakdowns, which can help reduce the cost of trucker insurance.

 Low Priced Commercial Truck Insurance Gainesville, FL phone Call Now

This approach aims to mitigate the risk of fatal crashes and injuries by proactively identifying and responding to potentially dangerous situations and making informed decisions while driving. By adopting defensive driving techniques, drivers can reduce their likelihood of accidents, thereby minimizing the need for expensive repairs, claim payouts, and increased insurance premiums.

Some of the easiest ways for you or your drivers to practice safe driving include:

  • Be Wary of Blind Spots: Operating a reefer or tractor-trailer means driving high off of the ground, which can make visibility limited, especially in blind spots. To check your blind spot, look over your shoulder and out of your windows while changing lanes.
  • Be Ready for Emergencies on the Road: It's important for drivers to be ready for unexpected situations when driving, especially during long trips. They should be equipped to handle emergencies such as poor driving conditions or big rig breakdowns.
  • Use the Three-Second Rule: Truck drivers should try to maintain a three-second gap between their vehicle and the car in front of them. This means that the truck driver should reach a certain point on the road three seconds after the car in front of them has passed that same point.
  • Always Use Right and Left Turn Indicators: It's important for drivers to always use their turn signals when changing lanes or exiting highways, even if they don't see any other cars around. This is not only required by law, but it also reduces the chances of accidents occurring on the road.
Commercial Truck Insurance Gainesville, FL phone Call Now

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), distracted driving is the primary reason behind truck driver accidents. Any activity that takes a driver's attention away from the road or the steering wheel is considered distracted driving. Distractions can come in various forms, such as eating while driving or gazing at a billboard outside the window. However, the most frequent form of distracted driving is the use of cellphones, specifically texting while driving.

Assuming you or your driver's rigs are equipped with dual-facing cameras, try reviewing footage of an unsafe driving incident. Coach your drivers on ways to correct their unsafe behaviors or look up ways to do so yourself if you're the one operating the big rig. The bottom line is that when your drivers aren't distracted, they drive safer. And when they drive safer, the cost of 18-wheeler insurance in cityname, state can be reduced.

 Truck Insurance Gainesville, FL phone Call Now

check light FAQs About

Independence Insurance Agency

If you're looking for a commercial trucking insurance agency for your business, chances are you have some questions - and we've got answers. Keep reading to learn more about some of the most commonly asked questions we hear from truckers like you.

Why go with a "jack of all trades" when you can work with specialists who focus exclusively on transportation insurance? We have excellent relationships with major trucking insurance carriers and, as such, can provide the best assistance and reasonable rates.

Typically, companies will look at claims that date back three years or less.

We proudly work with more than 20 carriers to provide our clients with the most advantageous options at competitive prices, catering to the needs of owner-operators and big fleets alike.

Permit filings are typically done by insurance companies on the next business day. Federal (FMCSA) filings are completed online and updated immediately, while some states may take up to three weeks to process.

Independence Insurance Agency: Committed to the Trucking Industry

There's no question about it - you've got to protect your staff, your rig, and your trucking business with insurance. But choosing the right insurance partner isn't always easy. Thankfully, with Independence Insurance Agency by your side, you can rest easy knowing you're covered no matter where the road takes you. If you're in need of a commercial truck insurance agency in Gainesville, FL that caters to truckers like you, pick up the phone and contact one of our transportation specialists today. That way, you can get back on the road with confidence tomorrow.

 Trucking Insurance Gainesville, FL

Latest News in Gainesville, FL

Hoggetowne Medieval Faire to take over Depot Park in downtown Gainesville this weekend

Medieval magic, noble knights and jubilant jesters will take over Gainesville this weekend as the Hoggetowne Goes Downtown for the first time its 37-year history.This year's event will be held Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Depot Park, 874 SE Fourth St., and feature more than 50 merchants, six stages of entertainment, food vendors and the living chess match.Sunny Andrei, the event's producer and...

Medieval magic, noble knights and jubilant jesters will take over Gainesville this weekend as the Hoggetowne Goes Downtown for the first time its 37-year history.

This year's event will be held Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Depot Park, 874 SE Fourth St., and feature more than 50 merchants, six stages of entertainment, food vendors and the living chess match.

Sunny Andrei, the event's producer and assistant manager for Gainesville's cultural affairs department, said organizers were forced to find a city-owned property for the fair due to time constraints after their primary and backup locations fell through within a week of each other.

"Depot Park had already established itself as supporting some larger attended events, like Sparks in the Park, The Bash last fall had a lot of attendees, so we decided that would be the best location for having Hoggetowne," she said.

More:Construction costs as part of plan to save live oak in downtown Gainesville exceed $600,000

Having it at the park, however, will limit the festival to just one weekend instead of it usual three.

“It’s a big public park and we couldn’t take it over three weeks and have our usual run." Andrei said.

Andrei also admitted that the fair will be only about half as big usual due to the limited space at the park, but noted that, unlike in years past, this weekend's event is free to attend.

"It'll still be a good show even though it's a little bit smaller," she said. "It's a great chance for people that maybe couldn't come because of the ticket price in the past to see Hoggetowne and have that experience and make those memories, and maybe fall in love with it."

The popular Kids Kingdom will not be a part of this year's event due to its size, however the playground at Depot Park will be open as usual and the Cade Museum for Creativity & Invention will be offering free admission all weekend with medieval-themed STEM activities.

"We figured between the Cade and the playground, that would give a lot of activities for the kids to participate in," Andrei said.

Those at nearby First Magnitude Brewing Co., 1220 SE Veitch St., also will get a taste of the festivities, with music by The New Minstrel Revue on Friday night and a performance by the Sahnobar Caravan on Saturday.

Anyone who's been to Depot Park on a regular Saturday morning knows parking can be difficult, and the festival will only add to those difficulties. Free round-trip shuttles will be offered from both of the downtown parking garages — 105 SW Third Ave. and 220 SE Second St. — and run about every 15 minutes. Attendees also are encouraged to make use of Gainesville's RTS system with the Rosa Parks Downtown Transfer Station just steps away from the park.

An interactive parking map is available at hoggetownemedfaire.com.

The FHSAA releases new classifications for football in 2024. Where does your team land?

The FHSAA released the new classifications for football next season after ditching the metro/suburban model last month. Where do the Gainesville area teams fall? Read below to find out0:000:50ADLast month, the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) threw a grenade into high school football across the sunshine state.The FHSAA ...

The FHSAA released the new classifications for football next season after ditching the metro/suburban model last month. Where do the Gainesville area teams fall? Read below to find out

Last month, the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) threw a grenade into high school football across the sunshine state.

The FHSAA officially ditched the metro/suburban classification on Dec. 12. The model, which had been in place the last two seasons, separated the schools in nine “metro” counties across Florida from the rest of the state.

The elimination of this system makes competing for state championships much more arduous for Gainesville-area schools, which no longer can bypass powerhouses in South Florida, Tampa Bay, Central Florida or the Jacksonville area.

Vote for the Sun's Athlete of the Week:You decide! Vote for the Gainesville-area athlete of the week

Who was the Big School Defensive POY?Tackles and Takeaways: Meet the All-Gainesville Area Big School Football Defensive Team

Who is the Small School Defensive POY?Tackles and Takeaways: Meet the All-Gainesville Area Small School Football Defensive Team

One question remained: How would teams be separated in this new Class 1A-7A format, with 1R as well.

Tuesday, we got our answer as the FHSAA released the official classifications for the next two football seasons.

Here is what you need to know for the Gainesville area:

Buchholz dodges a bullet in Class 6A

Perhaps no team awaited the release as much as the Bobcats. Buchholz benefitted mightily from the M/S split as the ‘Cats avoided behemoths such as Fort Lauderdale’s St. Thomas Aquinas.

Coach Chuck Bell worried the Bobcats would land with the Raiders, a team that beat them 45-7 in the 2021 Class 7A semifinals, the final season before M/S.

Instead, though, STA landed in 5A and Buchholz in 6A. The ‘Cats will be in District 3 of Region 1, paired with rival Bartram Trail, Nease and Tocoi Creek.

On paper, much doesn’t appear different for Buchholz. It and the Bears expect to compete for a district title, and many of its regional foes remain the same such as Oakleaf, Navarre and Pace.

Still, challenges await. Three of Class 4M’s semifinalists from this year landed in 6A, as did Class 3M finalist Homestead.

GHS gets slight boost, Columbia not so much

In Class 4A, Columbia and Gainesville find themselves in different regions, despite just 50 miles separating them.

The Tigers land in Region 1-District 3 along with Ridgeview, Clay and St. Augustine. The Yellow Jackets entry marks a stark change for CHS, which easily won its district in recent years.

ST’s presence makes that much tougher, given that it advanced to the 3S state title game in 2023.

GHS, meanwhile, exits its district, which featured St. Aug and moves down to Region 2-District 5.

There it awaits Lecanto, Leesburg and Vanguard.

The Knights offer the rebuilding Hurricanes the toughest test as they advanced to the 3S semis this season.

District titles no longer a certainty for Eastside

Last season, Eastside’s district – 2S, District 7 – featured two teams, Santa Fe and North Marion, with a combined one win.

The Rams will now play in Class 3A, Region 2, District 5.

North Marion remains, but EHS now contends with the Villages, Dunnellon and South Sumter.

Both the Tigers and Raiders made the 2S postseason in 2023, with SS going to the regional final.

New Class 2A District intriguing

Now we enter the meat of the local teams and our first all-local district.

2A, Region 2, District 5 features Newberry, Bradford, Keystone Heights, Palatka and Santa Fe.

Every team in this district besides Newberry played in 2S last season. The Panthers make the massive jump from 1R to 2A.

Newberry and Bradford expect to compete for top dog, with much of the Panthers stout team returning.

Don’t count out Palatka and Keystone Heights, though, both of which made the postseason last season.

Class 1A district even better

Storylines load Class 1A, Region 1, District 4.

The group includes Fort White, Union County, Williston, PK Yonge and Trinity Catholic.

For those keeping score at home: That’s a state finalist, two regional finalists and one regional semifinalist.

TC holds the early advantage as it isn’t moving up classes and advanced further than the others, but the Red Devils and Fightin’ Tigers certainly will have something to say about that.

Hawthorne remains 1R’s favorite

In the new,slimmed-down Class 1R, the state’s dominant force remains in Hawthorne. The Hornets, with an enrollment of around 250, land in the smallest class.

While some of the state title contenders, such as Madison County, remain, most local contenders moved up.

Region 4 still maintains Pahokee, Hawthorne’s past nemesis. Otherwise, locally, just Trenton and Chiefland remain.

Region 3 sees Branford, Dixie County and Lafayette, all chasing down Madco.

Noah Ram covers Gainesville-area high school sports and University of Florida athletics for The Gainesville Sun. Contact him at Nram@gannett.com and follow him @Noah_ram1 on Twitter.

What channel is Florida basketball vs. Mississippi State on today? Time, TV for UF's game

Florida basketball will begin a critical two-game homestand Wednesday night when it hosts Mississippi State at the O'Connell Center.The ...

Florida basketball will begin a critical two-game homestand Wednesday night when it hosts Mississippi State at the O'Connell Center.

The Florida Gators (12-6, 2-3 SEC), 7-1 at home this season, are coming off their first true road win of the season, winning 79-67 at Missouri.

"We controlled the game," Florida basketball coach Todd Golden. "Once we got a little bit of a lead in the second half, generally, on an opponent’s home floor they’re going to make some runs and you’re going to have to hang on to it a little bit. But our guys did a good job of finishing it from start to finish in the second half. I feel like that’s the kind of game we can build on, obviously, for these two home contests."

Inside test:How will Florida basketball stop MSU big man Tolu Smith? It's a 'tall' order for the Gators

Road success:Balanced scoring lifts Florida basketball to first road win of season at Mizzou

Mississippi State (13-5, 2-3 SEC) returns all five starters from a team that reached the NCAA Tournament, including preseason All-SEC forward Tolu Smith III, who is averaging 19.7 ppg and 7.7 rpg.

Freshman guard Josh Hubbard (14.2 ppg, 36.9 percent from 3-point range) also has provided a spark for the Bulldogs off the bench this season.

Four of UF's five starters average in double figures, led by Iona transfer guard Walter Clayton Jr., who is averaging 15.8 points per game.

After Mississippi State, UF will conclude its week-long homestand Saturday against Georgia (noon, ESPN2).

Florida basketball vs. Mississippi State start time

Florida basketball and Mississippi State are slated to tip off at 8:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday from the O'Connell Center in Gainesville.

Florida basketball vs. Mississippi State betting odds

Per FanDuel as of Tuesday night, Florida is a 3.5-point favorite over Mississippi State. The over/under is set at 155.5 points.

What channel is Florida basketball vs. Mississippi State on today?

Florida and Arkansas will air on the SEC Network and will stream on WatchESPN.com. Mike Morgan will handle play-by-play duties, with Mark Wise as the analyst.

How to listen to Florida basketball-Mississippi State on radio

The Florida-Arkansas game will air on AM 850 and FM 98.1 in Gainesville and across the state on the Gator Radio Network. Sean Kelley will handle play-by-play duties, with former Gator great Lee Humphrey as the color analyst.

Florida hopes its physicality will help as Mississippi State visits

Mississippi State meets Florida on Wednesday night in Gainesville, Fla., where one of them will win for the second straight game.There were signs of improved physicality for the Gators in Saturday night’s 79-67 victory at Missouri.“It was a really big growth moment for our group,” Florida coach Todd Golden said.Florida (12-6, 2-3 SEC) has lost three of five games this month since closing December with a six-game winning streak. Only a two-point home loss to Kentucky has had a single-digit margin among t...

Mississippi State meets Florida on Wednesday night in Gainesville, Fla., where one of them will win for the second straight game.

There were signs of improved physicality for the Gators in Saturday night’s 79-67 victory at Missouri.

“It was a really big growth moment for our group,” Florida coach Todd Golden said.

Florida (12-6, 2-3 SEC) has lost three of five games this month since closing December with a six-game winning streak. Only a two-point home loss to Kentucky has had a single-digit margin among the Gators’ last seven games.

“It puts us in better position with two home games (coming up),” Golden said of winning away from home. “This team needed a road win to really get some confidence.”

Mississippi State (13-5, 2-3) snapped a two-game slide by defeating Vanderbilt 68-55 at home Saturday. Now it’s time to take another step.

“We haven’t been able to get a true road win,” Bulldogs coach Chris Jans said. “But I believe in this team and we talk a lot about what’s required to win on the road.”

The Bulldogs have such balance offensively that guard Josh Hubbard at 14.2 points per game is the only team member who has played all season with a double-figure scoring average. Center Tolu Smith III has checked in with 19.7 points per game in six games since he finally made it on the court after an offseason injury.

Florida’s emphasis on excelling on physical play might be evident with better interior scoring.

“A big thing we talked about is go finish at the rim,” Golden said.

That’s apparent to Jans from his scouting.

“Just the quality of depth they have at the rim,” Jans said.

But it’s a team-wide effort for the Gators to reduce turnovers. That was pretty much achieved in the Missouri game.

“We did a great job of taking care of the ball, only eight turnovers,” Golden said. “All four of our frontcourt players are real good decision-makers and good passers.”

That might be necessary against a Mississippi State team that’s collecting 8.7 steals per game — third-most in the league.

The Gators’ Zyon Pullin is second in the SEC with 4.7 assists per game. Teammates Tyrese Samuel (8.3) and Micah Handlogten (7.7) rate third and fourth in rebounding average.

Red Devils flex their muscle, clamp down on GHS

The Williston boys basketball team wasted little time in putting away visiting Gainesville High on Tuesday night.The Red Devils rallied from a 2-0 deficit with 11 unanswered points and built a 30-point lead at the half on their way to an easy 71-46 win against the Hurricanes.Defense set the tone for the defending 1A state champions as an 18-4 lead at the end of the first quarter ended with ...

The Williston boys basketball team wasted little time in putting away visiting Gainesville High on Tuesday night.

The Red Devils rallied from a 2-0 deficit with 11 unanswered points and built a 30-point lead at the half on their way to an easy 71-46 win against the Hurricanes.

Defense set the tone for the defending 1A state champions as an 18-4 lead at the end of the first quarter ended with a 42-12 lead at intermission.

Mainstreet does not have a paywall, but pavement-pounding journalism is not free. Join your neighbors who make this vital work possible.

“That’s something we take pride in is our defense,” said Williston coach Jim Ervin. “We’ve picked it up the second half of the year. We’re actually getting out and putting pressure on the ball and rotating well. So that was the difference in the first quarter, our defensive intensity, I believe.”

It only took GHS (12-9) five seconds to take the first lead of the game on a basket by sophomore Craig Thomas for a quick 2-0 lead.

However, the Red Devils (20-2) got a 3-pointer from sophomore Deandre Harvey (13 points) for a 3-2 lead with 5:57 remaining in the first quarter and they never trailed again.

A 3-pointer just 10 seconds into the second quarter by senior Aramys Rodriguez put the finishing touches on a 7-0 run, and the Red Devils finished the half on a 10-0 run.

Junior Giovanni Wright gave Williston a big lift off the bench, scoring eight straight points of his own on a pair of 3-pointers, plus a steal and a layup. He was second in scoring with 15 points.

“He’s just a pure shooter,” Ervin said. “He’s a knockdown shooter. Gio is really working hard, he gives effort. He’s a kid that doesn’t start, doesn’t get a lot of minutes but he’s all about team. He’s the first one in the locker room getting a chant going and when he’s on the bench he never has a letdown. When he comes on the court it shows.”

Rodriguez, who scored nine in the first half, finished with a game-high 18 points and eight assists.

“He’s finally healthy,” Ervin said. “He missed the first part of the season with an ankle injury that occurred during the first day of practice, so he’s finally getting healthy.”

Ervin said he is starting to get his mobility back.

“I think he’s one of the best point guards in the region, in the area, maybe one of the tops in the state just how he can control a basketball game,” he said. “Not only can he score but he facilitates and gets his teammates involved quite often, and he does a great job on the boards.”

The Hurricanes didn’t give up, outscoring the Red Devils, 18-15, in the third quarter thanks to senior Anthony Leivonen, who scored 10 of his 11 points.

“At halftime, we talked about (playing) four games in five days,” Irvin said. “So, we knew coming out of halftime we were going to be a little winded, and the legs were a little weary, so we talked about finishing the game, more importantly finishing as a team…we kept each other involved so that was very important.”

The Red Devils finished the game with 21 assists. They had 12 at halftime.

But likely none flashier than an alley-oop from Rodriguez to senior Javon Brown (14 points) for a dunk with eight seconds left in the half and a 30-point lead heading into the locker room.

“Javon Brown is just an exciting player,” Ervin said. “Once he gets going, his teammates get going. That halftime dunk was one of the best high school dunks I’ve seen in a while…that was pretty outstanding.”

Both teams have big games coming up on Friday night at 7:30 p.m.

Williston will host Newberry in a matchup of the top two teams in the state in Class 1A.

GHS, which was led by junior Cornelius White with 12 points, will travel to crosstown rival Buchholz. The Bobcats won the first matchup in The Purple Palace, 50-41, on Dec. 8.

The GHS-Buchholz game will be broadcast online at Mainstreet Daily News (audio only) beginning at 7:15 p.m.

The Williston boys basketball team wasted little time in putting away visiting Gainesville High on Tuesday night.

The Red Devils rallied from a 2-0 deficit with 11 unanswered points and built a 30-point lead at the half on their way to an easy 71-46 win against the Hurricanes.

Defense set the tone for the defending 1A state champions as an 18-4 lead at the end of the first quarter ended with a 42-12 lead at intermission.

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“That’s something we take pride in is our defense,” said Williston coach Jim Ervin. “We’ve picked it up the second half of the year. We’re actually getting out and putting pressure on the ball and rotating well. So that was the difference in the first quarter, our defensive intensity, I believe.”

It only took GHS (12-9) five seconds to take the first lead of the game on a basket by sophomore Craig Thomas for a quick 2-0 lead.

However, the Red Devils (20-2) got a 3-pointer from sophomore Deandre Harvey (13 points) for a 3-2 lead with 5:57 remaining in the first quarter and they never trailed again.

A 3-pointer just 10 seconds into the second quarter by senior Aramys Rodriguez put the finishing touches on a 7-0 run, and the Red Devils finished the half on a 10-0 run.

Junior Giovanni Wright gave Williston a big lift off the bench, scoring eight straight points of his own on a pair of 3-pointers, plus a steal and a layup. He was second in scoring with 15 points.

“He’s just a pure shooter,” Ervin said. “He’s a knockdown shooter. Gio is really working hard, he gives effort. He’s a kid that doesn’t start, doesn’t get a lot of minutes but he’s all about team. He’s the first one in the locker room getting a chant going and when he’s on the bench he never has a letdown. When he comes on the court it shows.”

Rodriguez, who scored nine in the first half, finished with a game-high 18 points and eight assists.

“He’s finally healthy,” Ervin said. “He missed the first part of the season with an ankle injury that occurred during the first day of practice, so he’s finally getting healthy.”

Ervin said he is starting to get his mobility back.

“I think he’s one of the best point guards in the region, in the area, maybe one of the tops in the state just how he can control a basketball game,” he said. “Not only can he score but he facilitates and gets his teammates involved quite often, and he does a great job on the boards.”

The Hurricanes didn’t give up, outscoring the Red Devils, 18-15, in the third quarter thanks to senior Anthony Leivonen, who scored 10 of his 11 points.

“At halftime, we talked about (playing) four games in five days,” Irvin said. “So, we knew coming out of halftime we were going to be a little winded, and the legs were a little weary, so we talked about finishing the game, more importantly finishing as a team…we kept each other involved so that was very important.”

The Red Devils finished the game with 21 assists. They had 12 at halftime.

But likely none flashier than an alley-oop from Rodriguez to senior Javon Brown (14 points) for a dunk with eight seconds left in the half and a 30-point lead heading into the locker room.

“Javon Brown is just an exciting player,” Ervin said. “Once he gets going, his teammates get going. That halftime dunk was one of the best high school dunks I’ve seen in a while…that was pretty outstanding.”

Both teams have big games coming up on Friday night at 7:30 p.m.

Williston will host Newberry in a matchup of the top two teams in the state in Class 1A.

GHS, which was led by junior Cornelius White with 12 points, will travel to crosstown rival Buchholz. The Bobcats won the first matchup in The Purple Palace, 50-41, on Dec. 8.

The GHS-Buchholz game will be broadcast online at Mainstreet Daily News (audio only) beginning at 7:15 p.m.

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