Krista McQueen knocked down 26 points to lead the Walton County Braves in a 57-36 win over the South Walton Seahawks in girl’s varsity basketball action Thursday night in Santa Rosa Beach.
"Our biggest problem right now is a lack of practice time with our entire team," said South Walton Coach Kevin Craig, whose team is off to a bumpy 0-4 start.
Craig explained that he has only had three full practices since Oct. 21 with the whole team. "We are very out of sync,” Craig said Friday morning following the loss to the Braves. “The lack of practice time is catching up with us."
And it was obvious on the floor against Walton Thursday night.
The Seahawks were 11 of 64 on shots.
"When you miss, miss, miss … it really deflates you," Craig said. "We got great shots. We just couldn't make them."
In the first quarter, South Walton scored first on a shot from Casey Perot, who led the Seahawks with 13 points. But after that initial basket, the shooting went flat. Neither team scored until the last two minutes of the period. Casey went to the line and hit the first of two free throws, and then Walton finally got a basket to fall at the 1:03 mark. A few seconds later, McQueen took it inside for a bucket and a chance from the foul line for a 5-3 lead. South Walton's Mackenzie Perot hit one free throw with less than a second on the clock to end the quarter, 5-4.
In the second quarter, both teams again struggled to get a shot to fall. Walton's McQueen scored the first basket of the period at the 4:55 mark. After South Walton made a couple of free throws, McQueen came back with two more baskets to go up 13-6. The Seahawks answered with a couple of put-back baskets from Katie Logan and Savanah Hiers. Seconds later, Mackenzie and Casey Perot hit back-to-back baskets to give the Seahawks their last lead of the game 14-13. But even that was short lived as the Braves finished up by the half at 19-14.
In the third, Walton outscored South Walton 20-10 with McQueen knocking down half of the points for the Braves. In the fourth, Walton continued outdo the Seahawks 18-12.
"As they stretched the lead, they just got more comfortable," Craig said of the Braves.
"We out rebounded them, we just can't finish baskets. It's just a lack of being in the gym."
For the game, Mackenzie Perot and Hiers each scored seven points, while Logan hit for six, and Laia Burton, three.
In addition to McQueen's 26 points, Deja Tuck hit double digits for the Braves with 15 points.
South Walton will be playing in a holiday tournament at Choctawhatchee High at 1 p.m. Monday.
"Our schedule is very ambitious right now," Craig said. "When we get through this Novemberfest, we will be alright."