Casey Palmer may not put the most points on the board, but he swarms around the court looking for the open man that can.
"I'm not a big shooter," said the 18-year-old senior point guard for the South Walton High Seahawks. "I'm not going to be the guy that has eight 3s. I don't look to shoot the 3-pointer. I like driving in and looking for that open man that can get the momentum going.
"Defense is my strongest," Palmer continued. "That's where I feel most comfortable. And I don't mind guarding the big guys," said the 5-foot-11 son of Doug and Cathy Palmer of Santa Rosa Beach.
Just last Friday against North Bay Haven, Palmer put six points on the board but he led the team in rebounds with eight.
"He's a hard nose, hard working kid with a great attitude," said South Walton Coach John Davies.
Palmer has been in the program at South Walton for four years and started playing on the varsity as a sophomore.
"He's one of our point guards," Davies said, noting he's got several players that he rotates in and off the floor most every night.
Against North Bay Haven, "Casey was our leading rebounder and he only played half a game. He's as good as you could want to coach," Davies said.
Palmer started playing basketball as a little kid in a recreation league in Birmingham, Ala. He was in the seventh grade when his family made the move to Walton County and he made the team at Emerald Coast Middle School, where he played for two years.
He made the team at South Walton as a freshman, and varsity the next.
"Basketball has always been my favorite sport," Palmer said.
But team interaction is what he likes best about the game.
"You have to work together to accomplish a task," Palmer said. "It brings the work ethic into mind and keeps you on task."
The Seahawks practice almost every day when they are not playing.
"We have the best chemistry ever on this team," Palmer said. "We're really close and everyone knows their place … no one is going to get in your face. Nobody is in it for themselves. We know how to work together … we're like a family.
"We're here for the team. Nobody is here to stack up the points. Everybody is in it for the win."
As a matter of fact, against North Bay Haven on Friday, nine Seahawks put points on the board in the 77-37 win.
This year the Seahawks have some bigger schools on the schedule such as Niceville, Fort Walton Beach and Crestview. Last week, the Seahawks edged out Niceville.
"We're playing a harder schedule so we can prevail in the district," Palmer said. "We are getting the experience beforehand of what it's like to play better teams to get prepared."
Palmer said the goal of the Seahawks right now is to go as far as they can in district play and "take out as may of these big schools as we can.”
"We can't get tired … we've got high expectations."
Up next for the Seahawks after the Thanksgiving holiday is a 7 p.m. game at home on Dec. 3 against district opponent Bozeman Bucks.