Lady Seahawks turn up the pressure for win over Baker

Tina Harbuck

In their first district game of the season, the South Walton Seahawks took care of business posting a 76-15 victory over the visiting Baker Gators in girls varsity basketball action Tuesday night at the Hawks Nest.

“We came out with a lot energy tonight. We had good ball movement,” said South Walton Coach Kevin Craig.

“And we had a lot of pressure and caused a lot of turnovers,” he added.

The win moved the Seahawks to 7-0 on the season and 1-0 in the district with their next district game set for 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at home against county rival, Freeport.

Against Baker, the Seahawks dominated from the opening tipoff with 11 players putting points on the board.

The Seahawks were led by junior Savannah Slade with 21 points. Meagan O’Neal, a senior, hit double digits with 15 points, and Allee Coble knocked down 12 points. Gabrielle Barksdale scored eight points, while Aidan Collins scored six. Gracie Ricci scored four, and Hayley Seible and Georgia Johnson each scored three points. Chipping in two points each were Courtney Chesser, Ciera Rowland and Shannon Cole.

Before the Gators could get a shot to fall, South Walton reeled off 20 points in the opening four ½ minutes. Slade dumped in six points, while Ricci hit for four points. Coble, with assists from Slade, scored a couple of inside shot and O’Neal broke to the basket for three layups.

Baker finally got on the board at the 3:36 mark on a shot from Isabella Cain. Kaitlyn Watts, who finished the night with nine points, came right back with a bucket.

In the last three minutes of the first period, South Walton put up nine points with O’Neal swishing a 3-pointer and a making a steal for a layup. Slade hit an inside shot and a free throw, and Coble made a free throw for a 29-4 lead at the buzzer.

In the second quarter, South Walton continued to take the ball inside drawing fouls and making shots for a 14-point run. Slade, Coble and O’Neal all had a couple of putback baskets. Baker’s Watts broke the streak, but the South Walton went right back at it with Collins hitting two from underneath, Slade a couple of free throws and Chesser drilled a long shot at the buzzer. South Walton led 51-6 at the half.

With a running clock to start the third quarter, the Seahawks continued to outscore Baker putting up 15 to their four points. Barksdale came off the bench for South Walton and knocked down two 3s and a two-pointer. Slade added a 3 and a bucket and Rowland scored the other two points.

In the final stanza, South Walton put up 10 points to Baker’s five for the win.