They may clash at times on the court, but when push comes to shove they've got each others back.

For sisters' Casey and Mackenzie Perot, who were part of this year's South Walton state championship girls basketball team, sibling rivalry is common place.

"She complains to me and I yell back," said older sister Casey.

"Then she gets in trouble for yelling," Mackenzie said.

"One of us just has to have the last word," Casey said.

"That's true," Mackenzie chimed in.

But sisterhood trumps all that.

"For sure," Casey said. "If  something happens to her, I'm always there."

"... she knows I can stick up for myself," Mackenzie added,

Casey, an 18-year-old, 6-foot-1 junior, averaged 10-points a game this year for a total of 309 points, while younger sister, Mackenzie, 16, 5-foot-11 sophomore, averaged 7.6 points a game for 206 total.

 "We've been playing since we were four," Casey said.

And basketball runs in the bloodline. Their mother, Michelle, played at Mosley High School in Lynn Haven.

"Mom always said I would really love to see my girls grow up to be basketball players," Casey said. "We've loved it our whole lives ... our dad (Jeff), too. He influenced us as well."

Casey recalls getting their first basketball goal at age 3 a Michael Jordan goal and dribbling the ball on her grandma's porch.

"We played a lot of sports growing up ... softball, soccer and basketball," Casey said. "She played more than me."

"I had to get rid of softball because it was not my main priority at the time," Mackenzie said. "Basketball is definitely my favorite. And soccer just kind of went away after I moved."

When asked who is the better player, Casey replied "out of us two, we'd probably argue about it."

Both girls burst out in laughter.

"She has her good sides and I have my good sides," Mackenzie said.

"I'm a better post and she's a better guard," Casey said. "But we can play either one. We've practiced for both. I think she's good at driving to the basket and I'm better at posting up and shooting inside.

South Walton Coach Kevin Craig says the two girls were a vital part of Lady Seahawks.

"They are a very important part of our team, just like everybody else is," Craig said. "The first year was rough and rocky. I thought Casey made a huge improvement in her sophomore to junior year. Mackenzie was kind of like a roller coaster. She doesn't realize how good she is, and I think she's the type that's so quiet and shy, that she would defer to the upper classmen."

But he has seen the evolution, which assisted in the Seahawks landing their first state title although, in the first half of the state championship game neither one had "done anything."

"I challenged them along with Eve (Heffron), and they came through that second half. They just dominated. So that's something to build on confidence wise for their future here, Craig said. "I'm really proud of those two.

The Perot girls moved to Panama City Beach and South Walton High School in 2009 from Louisiana. Casey started at South Walton spring break of her freshman year, while Mackenzie came in as a freshman the following year.

The two rise and shine at 5:30 a.m. each day for the 40 minute drive.

"It's really worth the drive," Casey said. "The teachers, the staff and I like how small it is ... this place just feels good. Everybody knows everybody."



The girls basketball program at South Walton High School recently achieved something extraordinary: the Class 1A State Basketball Championship. Coach Kevin Craig would like each player to have a state championship ring as a memento. Cost for each ring is $165. If you'd like to sponsor a ring, call Craig  at 850-803-1259.