Lady Vikings fall to Central High Falcons in Destin tourney

Tina Harbuck
Fort Walton Beach Viking Dominique Darby fights for the rebound against Central High's Shunterius Stephens.

After posting a big win on Day 2 of the Destin Holiday Classic, the Fort Walton Beach Lady Vikings lost 49-36 to the Central High Falcons of Tuscaloosa, Ala. on the final day of the tournament played at Destin Middle School.

The Falcons finished in fifth place in the Sandollar Division of the tournament that boasted 16 girls basketball teams from around the Southeast.

In the first quarter, the scoring went back and forth with Fort Walton Beach taking an early 5-2 lead on a 3-pointer from Julia Turner followed by a layup by P-Nut Payton. Central got the advantage with Traniya Pitts tossing in two baskets. Fort Walton scored one more time on a pair of free throws from Alysia McLeod, before Central finished up with two baskets for a 10-7 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Central pulled away momentarily in the second quarter on inside shots from Jada Prewitt and Pitts. However, the Vikings closed it back down with Payton hitting a jumper followed by a drive to the basket by Leesa Greenwood. Seconds later, Payton hit the second of two tries from the foul line for a 16-14 game. In the last minute, Central swished a 3-pointer and Payton put a rebound back for two. Central led 19-16 at the half.

Early in the third quarter, Fort Walton took what would be their last lead in the game. McLeod hit a layup followed by a 3-pointer from Greenwood for a 21-19 go ahead. At that point, the Falcons reeled off eight consecutive points to take the lead. Fort Walton scored one more basket on a turnaround jumper from Yvonne Ford before Central went on an 11-point scoring spree leaving the Vikings behind 38-23.

Fort Walton Beach gained some ground in the fourth, putting up 13 points but could never overcome the deficit. Central won it 49-36.

For the game, Fort Walton Beach was led by Payton with 12 points. Greenwood was also in double digits with 10.

Tops for Central was Pitts with 26.