With three players in double digits, the Fort Walton Beach Vikings out shot the South Walton Seahawks Monday night, handing them a 70-51 loss in boys varsity basketball action at The Fort at Fort Walton Beach High School.
Calvin Payton led the Vikings with 16 points, while Rylan Banks tossed in 11 and J.D. Rouse picked up 10.
As for the Seahawks, they had a tough night shooting with only one player able to hit double figures, Alex Kilpatrick with 12 points.
“We still can’t throw it in the ocean,” said South Walton Coach Craig Smith. “We haven’t put four quarters together yet. We make little runs here and little runs there.”
In Monday’s game, the Vikings jumped out to a 15-0 start with Payton hitting a little jumper to get things rolling. The Vikings were making steals for quick baskets as well as hitting the outside shot. Payton scored five, while Micah Strahm and Jaden Lovett each added four. Rouse picked up the other two on a jump shot.
South Walton finally got a shot to fall at buzzer with Kilpatrick draining a 3-pointer for a 15-3 game.
In the second quarter, South Walton’s Kacen Corder scored before the Vikings went on a 10-point scoring spree. Brandon Ervin put a rebound back for two, and then Tyrese Thompson made one from underneath. Banks made a fast-break layup and Thompson followed with a 3-pointer before Ervin finished up the run with another break to the goal for a 26-5 lead.
In the last four minutes of the period, South Walton’s Corder hit a 3-pointer and the Seahawks picked up a couple of points at the free-throw line, as did the Vikings.
Fort Walton Beach led 28-12 at the half.
In the third quarter, the Seahawks outscored the Vikings 15-13. Midway of the third, South Walton made one of those little runs that Smith talked about. Barrett Waldrop hit an inside shot and then Spencer Burden drove the ball inside making the shot and getting the foul for a three-point play. Burden came right back with one more drive to the bucket to finish off a seven-point run. South Walton trailed 41-27 at the buzzer.
Early in the fourth quarter, the Seahawks closed it down to a nine-point game with Dylan Hebert nailing a 3-pointer and Kilpatrick cashing in on a steal. However, South Walton soon lost ground again when the Vikings poured on the pressure and made steal after steal in less than a minute for eight quick points. Devon Thomas hit a baseline shot, then Strahm made a steal for a bucket and Payton made two steals for four quick points and a 49-32 game.
In the last six minutes of play, the teams swapped basket for basket with the Vikings getting a bit of an edge in the last minute with a pair of free throws followed by a 3-pointer from Ramyah Jarboe-Alford and a layup from Banks.
“The four games last week just killed us ... no time to practice,” said Seahawk Coach Smith. “We’ve just got to get back to work, that’s it. It’s on me.”
Up next for the Vikings is a 7 p.m. game at home Friday against the Choctaw Indians. The Seahawks will be on the road to Paxton this weekend for the Cats against Cancer Tournament. They are scheduled to play at 6:15 p.m. against Paxton on Friday and then at 11:45 a.m. on Saturday against Baker.