After battling back to force the game into overtime, the South Walton Seahawks lost 81-72 to the Holmes County Blue Devils in girl’s basketball action in Santa Rosa Beach.
“I think the biggest difference was they killed us on rebounds and they shoot the ball well,” said South Walton Coach Kevin Craig. “But I was very proud of us for getting back in it, because it looked like we were done, but we got it into overtime.”
In overtime, however, the Seahawks came up short.
“We just didn’t make the stops. They made plays and we didn’t. That’s what it boiled down to,” Craig said.
In the first quarter, Holmes County came out firing off the 3-pointers with Laura Jones making three and Tori Burk one. South Walton’s Gracie Lowry made a couple of her own. By the end of the period, the Blue Devils were up 18-14.
In the second quarter, South Walton outscored Holmes County 21-14 to take the lead right before the half. South Walton’s Aidan Collins scored, and then Holmes put up two baskets. Seahawk senior Allee Coble turned in a 3-point play and then Ellie Wiggins came back with a layup to close it down to a one-point game. Holmes’s Kenzie Nelson scored a basket and later hit a free throw to give the Blue Devils a 25-21 advantage. The scoring went back and forth with Coble making a couple of free throws and Lowry a 3-pointer to tie the game at 30-30. Holmes’s Nelson put a rebound back to give the Devils an edge, but then Collins tied it up with a put-back basket. And right before the buzzer, Wiggins swished a 3-pointer from the left corner to give the Seahawks a 35-32 lead at the half.
In the third quarter, the game was tied up twice before the Blue Devils pulled away 52-46 with Jones and Nelson both putting up eight points.
Early in the fourth, South Walton’s Coble nailed a 3-pointer and came back with a jumper to close it down to a one-point game. However, Holmes County answered with a couple of baskets from Rhianna Goodwin and a 3-pointer from Jones, her sixth of the night. In the last three minutes, South Walton managed to take the lead on a 3 from Wiggins. But Holmes tied it up on a put-back shot from Nelson to force the game into overtime.
In the four-minute overtime, Holmes County outscored South Walton 19-10.
For the game, South Walton was led by Coble with 20 points. Others hitting double digits for the Seahawks were Lowry with 14 points, Wiggins 13, Gracie Ricci 11, and Collins 10.
Jones was tops for Holmes with 32 points. Nelson scored 20 and Goodwin 17.
In spite of the loss, South Walton’s Craig was still pleased with the effort.
“I was pleased at how hard they played tonight. They just beat us. Right now they are a better than us,” he said. “But the season is a marathon, not a sprint. We’ve got to see how we bounce back from this.”
The Seahawks will be playing in the Cats vs. Cancer Shootout in Paxton on Friday against the Paxton Bobcats and then on the road to Pensacola on Saturday to take on Pensacola Catholic.