After a slow start, the South Walton Seahawks pressed the Panama City Bozeman Bucks for a 70-30 win in girl’s varsity basketball action Tuesday night in Santa Rosa Beach.
“We came out and did something we haven’t done all year and went full court man to man, just to get some intensity,” said South Walton Coach Kevin Craig.
Bozeman jumped out to a 10-2 lead in the first couple of minutes.
“The kids never panicked, nobody got upset. We just kept playing,” Craig said.
At that point, the Seahawks switched back to what they normally do, playing a zone defense and running traps.
“Things just started to snowball. We went from being down 10-2 to being up 20-13,” Craig said. “We shot it well.”
The Seahawks had 10 players put points on the board with three hitting double-digits. Gracie Ricci scored 13, Aidan Collins scored 12 and Allee Coble hit for 10.
Down 10-2 early in the first quarter, South Walton’s Collins put a rebound back for two followed by a bucket from Coble. Seconds later Collins hit another from the paint for a 10-8 game. The Buck’s Kayla Bashore nailed a 3-pointer to widen the gap. However that would be the last for the Bucks in the quarter as South Walton went on a 12-point scoring spree. Collins hit one from the paint, Ricci scored a basket on a takeaway, Gracie Lowry and Ellie Wiggins drained back-to-back 3s and Allison Richards put a rebound back for a 20-13 advantage at the end of the first quarter.
In the second quarter, the Seahawks continued to bury the Bucks. Coble put a rebound back for two points, and then Ricci nailed a 3-pointer. Caroline Hanson scored for Bozeman before South Walton put up eight straight points with Collins, Devany Beard, Lowry and Richards scoring. Bozeman scored again and then Wiggins swished two 3’s back-to-back for a 39-17 lead. In the last couple of minutes, the Buck’s Emily Hurst hit a 3-pointer and South Walton’s Lowry and Coble scored. Bozeman scored one last time and then Ricci nailed a jumper at the buzzer for the Seahawks for a 45-22 lead at the half.
In the third quarter, South Walton outscored the Bucks 17-4 with Ricci, Collins, Coble and Shannon Cole scoring.
With a running clock in the fourth, South Walton tacked on eight more points to Bozeman’s four.
“One of the better things we do is we can apply pressure the whole game because we play 10 or 11 kids that can do it … that’s what’s important,” Craig said. “I don’t blink when I have to take out Allee or Gracie or any of the kids who have been here for a long time.”
In addition to the Seahawks who hit for double digits, Wiggins hit three 3s for nine points, while Lowry scored eight. Richards scored five and Beard hit for four.
“I thought Aidan Collins played really well tonight. She rebounded, she finished … she needed that,” Craig said. “We’re playing well right now.”