After posting a 46-45 victory over North Bay Haven Charter Academy on Monday in the first round of semifinal play in the District 1-5A Boys Basketball tournament in Panama City, the South Walton Seahawks were ousted in round two by the Pensacola Catholic Crusaders 66-23.
South Walton came into the tournament as the No. 5 seed, while Pensacola Catholic was ranked No. 1. And Catholic soon proved why they are at the top of the ratings in the district.
In the first quarter, the Crusaders shutout the Seahawks 19-0 with Nitrell Bledsoe scoring nine points
In the second, Pensacola Catholic continued to bury the Seahawks putting up 17 more points. South Walton finally got on the board with Jacob Tisdale hitting a field goal and a free throw, while Hayden Stroop and Jalier Ramos each scored two. Barrow Holloway hit the first of two tries from the foul line. Catholic led 36-8 at the half.
In the third, Catholic outscored South Walton 17-9 and then finished off the game in the fourth, 13 points to the Seahawks six.
For the game, Tisdale and Evin Maceaux each scored five points for the Seahawks and Ramos, four.
Scoring in double digits for Catholic was Jakobi Jackson with 14 and Bledsoe with 11.
On Monday, the Seahawks had a better outcome, posting a 46-45 win over the North Bay Haven Buccaneers.
During the regular season, the Buccaneers beat the Seahawks 77-75 in December and then 66-64 in January.
But Monday it was the Seahawks who came out on top.
“It was our turn to win,” said South Walton Coach Craig Smith. “Our guys did a good job, working hard.
“We took a couple of stupid shots there at the end of the ball game that I wasn’t real happy about,” he added.
“I’m proud of these guys,” Smith said.
In Monday’s game, the Seahawks fell behind early. With the game deadlocked at 11-11, the Buccaneers made an eight-point run with Luke Brooks, Corey Turner and Michael McLaughlin driving the ball inside. In the final seconds, South Walton’s Ramos drilled a 3-pointer, his first of three for the game, to finish the first quarter down 19-14.
In the second quarter, the Buc’s pulled away 25-18 in the first three minutes before Chandler Johnston broke away for a layup on a turnover. The Buc’s picked up one more point from the foul line and Ramos made a jumper from the paint and then nailed another 3-pointer to close it down. With a one-point lead, North Bay Haven killed about a minute and a half off the clock to hold on to the 26-25 lead at the half.
The Seahawks didn’t waste any time taking the lead in the third quarter with Holloway sinking a 3-pointer followed by a driving layup by Stroop for a 30-26 advantage. North Bay got the lead back momentarily with a couple of free throws and two put back shots from Brooks for a 32-30 game. In the last two minutes, the Seahawks put up eight unanswered points to go up 38-32. Caleb Donaldson made a free throw, and then Ramos put a rebound back for two points. Barrett Waldrop dropped one in from the paint and Ramos made his third 3-pointer of the night.
In the fourth quarter, the Seahawks hung on for the win. Halfway through the period, the Hawks were up 44-37. The Bucs made a little run with Ty Boles making a steal for two points followed by a long shot from Turner and a free throw for a 44-42 game.
With 1:23 left on the clock, South Walton’s Cade Rowland was fouled and hit both shots. However, the Bucs went right back down the floor with Turner drilling a 3-pointer with just over a minute to go. South Walton was still on top 46-45.
In the last few seconds both teams had chances to put more points on the board from the foul line but missed.
For the game, South Walton was led by Ramos with 11 points. Johnston scored eight, while Tisdale hit for six and Holloway six. Scoring in double digits for North Bay Haven was Turner with 11 and Wesley Wilmot with 10.