Opportunity is knocking at the door of the Hawks Nest.
At 7 p.m., Saturday, the South Walton Seahawks will square off against the Ponce de Leon Pirates in the Girls Basketball Class 1A Regional Finals on their home court — the Hawks Nest.
"What we have Saturday is the greatest opportunity that the school has had," said South Walton Coach Kevin Craig. "... To play at home with a chance to go to the state Final Four. If people don't come out and see this one, they've missed the boat."
And to sink the Ponce de Leon Pirates boat, "it's going to take what we've been doing," Craig said. "Great defense and rebounding is going to be key, and keeping our poise."
Poise was something the Seahawks lost momentarily during Tuesday's 65-35 semi-final blowout of Cottondale Hornets.
"They got really physical with us and we kind of got back on our heels," Craig said. "But like I told them at half time, 'we're playing as bad as we can and we're up by 7.’ ”
With just under 2 minutes to go in the third, Morgan Kennedy dished off to former Destin Marlin Katie Logan who drilled a 3-pointer that fired up Coach Craig on the sideline. By the end of the quarter, the Seahawks had outscored the Hornets 23-10 for a 44-24 lead.
In the fourth, South Walton continued to bury the Hornets with Eve Heffron putting a rebound back for two followed by a drive to the basket seconds later. Kennedy drew a foul and hit both shots stretching the lead to 50-24. The scoring went back and forth with Logan swishing another 3-pointer. In the last three minutes, South Walton put up six points to finish with a 30-point victory.
"The third quarter was big ... we went from being up by 7 to being up 20," Craig said. "I thought Logan gave us a little spark there (with a 3-pointer)."
For the game, South Walton had four players in double figures. Kati Trejo led with 14 points, while Heffron hit for 12. Scoring 10 points each were Kennedy and Mackenzie Perot. Menard and Logan each scored seven and Casey Perot hit for five.