Lady Seahawks blow by West Florida High

Tina Harbuck

In their first district contest, the South Walton Lady Seahawks blew past the West Florida High Jaguars of Pensacola 65-24 in varsity basketball action Tuesday night in Santa Rosa Beach.

“I wasn’t sure, but the next two weeks are going to tell me where we are,” said South Walton Coach Kevin Craig.

Tuesday’s game was the Seahawks first district game in the new 5A Classification.

The Seahawks 5A District 1 is made up of Pensacola Catholic, North Bay Haven and Walton High. South Walton is scheduled to take on Pensacola Catholic on Dec. 16 and North Bay Haven on Dec. 18.

But as for Tuesday’s game against the Jaguars, Craig said, “I’m very pleased with how hard we played.”

South Walton came out and jumped on the Jaguars 12-0 in the first 3 minutes of play with Gracie Ricci, Devany Beard and Allee Coble each putting up points.

“We’re going to be a team of runs,” Craig said. “And there’s nobody you can key on this team. We have several players who can score.”

As a matter of fact, nine players put points on the board against the Jaguars. Ricci led the way with 20 points, followed by Ellie Wiggins who nailed three 3-pointers en route to 11 points. Coble scored 10 and pulled down eight rebounds. Beard and Gracie Lowry each scored seven and Shannon Cole four. Scoring two each were Gracie Neville, Aidan Collins and Ciera Rowland.

“The way we are playing is fun,” Craig said. “We’re playing 10 or 11 people and we’re playing with a lot of intensity and passion,” he added.

After South Walton jumped out to 12-0 the start, the Jaguars put up six points in the last four minutes for a 12-6 game.

In the second quarter, South Walton made two big runs on West Florida. The first came early again with Coble putting a rebound back for two points, followed by back-to-back 3s from Wiggins. Beard finished off the run with a steal and a layup for a 22-6 advantage. The Jags scored then South Walton went on another run. Coble put a rebound back for two, and then Ricci made a steal and cashed in on a little jumper. Lowry picked up a couple of points from the free throw for a 28-8 game.

In the last four minutes, the Seahawks made a nine-point run with Neville, Cole, Lowry and Coble putting up points. In the last minute, the Jags put up four points and Wiggins nailed her third 3-pointer for a 40-13 lead at the half.

In the third quarter, the Seahawks continued to take it to the Jags. Ricci nailed a couple of 3s early and Cole an inside shot. About midway through the period, South Walton pulled away with 10 consecutive points for a 35-point lead and a running clock on the game. South Walton led 60-22.

In the final stanza, South Walton put five points and West Florida two.

In earlier action, the South Walton junior varsity girls beat West Florida 26-24.

“I’m very proud of our JV team,” Craig said, noting they came from behind to capture the win.

Craig said the young Seahawks scored the last eight points of the game for the win.