The Franklin County Seahawk varsity basketball downed Altha and North Bay Haven, but endured some losses against tough competition over the last two weeks.
The Seahawks Friday at Bozeman, where they square off against the 13-10 Bucks in the semi-finals of the district tournament,
On Jan. 31 at home, after a furious fourth quarter where they outscored their opponents 27-15, the Hawks fell to the Crossroads Academy Scorpions 56-52, largely due to 17 turnovers, and going just 1 for 10 from the free throw line, including missing three front ends of 1 and 1s.
“I thought we came out flat, and not ready to play,” said coach Nathan West.. “Crossroads jumped out on us early and we had to play catch-up the remainder of the game. When any team commits that many turnovers and misses that many free throws they are not giving themselves a good chance to win.”
The Hawks fought back from a 23-point deficit, but it wasn’t enough. The team was led by senior Aric Sowell, who drained five treys for 15 points. Junior Daijon Penamon scored 11 points, and freshmen Lamarius Martin 10. Senior Nate Jones tallied 10 points, and junior Alex Hardy pulled down 12 rebounds.
The team got back in the winners circle in an away game Feb. 2 as they defeated North Bay Haven 49-44.
“I thought we did a nice job at setting the tempo. Guys came out focused and ready to compete,” said West. “We still need to do a better job at understanding time and score and how to protect a big lead.”
The Seahawks were up by 15 in the third quarter, and started to relax, said the coach. “We committed careless turnovers and stopped crashing the glass late. North Bay Haven capitalized and made us grind out a win late,” West said.
Martin led the team with 23 points, with Penamon contributing 11 points and eight assists, and Hardy snaring 10 rebounds.
On Feb. 6 at home, the team lost a 51-49 heartbreaker to Wakulla.
“Defensively we got back on our heels,” said West. “Wakulla came out the gate slowing the pace, going four corners while we were up 3-2.”
The War Eagles led 23-21 at the half, and it was nip-and-tuck from there. Down two with the ball and six seconds remaining, West drew up a play to get the ball to Martin.
“Wakulla did a nice job at denying him and we went with our next option, Daijon Penamon, who did a nice job at attacking at the rim and just missed the layup,” said West.
Penamon led the team with 26 points, with Martin adding 14 points. Jones had 10 rebounds, and Hardy had eight.
The team lost 56-39 at Bay Feb. 8, and then to FAMU 59-44 on Saturday at home. The Seahawks (11-15) bounced back with a 59-25 trouncing of Altha Tuesday in the opener of the Class 1A District 4 tourney, where Franklin County is a third seed. (Those games will be covered in next week’s Times)