Seahawks send Bay High Tornadoes spinning

Tina Harbuck

The South Walton Seahawks took care of business on senior night, sending the Bay High Tornadoes packing 69-39 in girl’s varsity basketball action.

“We started off sluggish,” said South Walton Coach Kevin Craig, noting with senior night comes a lot of emotion.

But once the Seahawks got rolling there was no stopping them with 10 players putting points on the board. Ellie Wiggins came off the bench and scored 12 points, while Aidan Collins put up 11 points. Devany Beard scored nine, while Allee Coble, Gracie Ricci and Allison Richards each scored eight.

Bay High took an early 6-4 lead, but South Walton answered with seven consecutive points to take the lead. Coble hit an inside shot and then Ricci was fouled, hitting the first of two tries. Richards knocked down a jumper off an assist from Gabi Barksdale. Beard finished up the run with a put back basket. Bay scored once more and Beard added a free throw for a 12-8 advantage at the buzzer for the Seahawks.

In the second quarter, Bay High closed it down to a two-point game in the first three minutes. But then South Walton came roaring back with Collins putting a rebound back for two followed by a shot from Beard. Coble was fouled and then hit two shots for a 24-16 lead. Bay dropped in a free throw and then Wiggins came off the bench and nailed a 3-pointer and a steal for a layup. Ciera Rowland finished it up with a South Walton basket and a 31-17 lead at the half.

In the third quarter, the Seahawks buried the Tornadoes outscoring them 21-10. South Walton made three runs on the Tornadoes. Coble scored and Collins turned in a three-point play on a bucket and a free throw for the first run. Bay scored, and then the Seahawks put up nine-consecutive points. Collins scored and then Ricci swished a 3-pointer. Beard hit one from the paint and then Collin made an inside shot for a 45-19 advantage. Bay picked up two more baskets and then South Walton put up seven points with Richards making a jumper followed by a pair of free throws from Wiggins and a 3-pointer for a 52-23 go ahead.

Bay High finished the third with a basket from Kamera Johnson and Alana Williams.

South Walton wrapped up the fourth with Ricci scoring four points, and Georgia Johnson, Coble, Richards, Beard, Wiggins and Gracie Lowry each scoring two. Shannon Cole chipped in one.

“I thought Wiggins and Aiden Collins both played well tonight,” Craig said. “And I was very proud of our seniors. It’s hard to play all eight of them at a time, but I was just very proud of them.”

The Seahawks finished up their regular season at 18-4.

South Walton, as the No. 1 seed, was scheduled to play in the District 1-5A Girls Basketball Tournament at North Bay Haven in Panama City on Tuesday night. Results were not available at press time.

“This is the time of year I love,” Craig said. “I love the playoffs.”

The Seahawks have been in the playoffs for the past six years.

“We’re going for No. 7,” Craig said.