Girls basketball kicks off at both Gulf County high schools
With three starters returning from last year’s final four team, Coach Kenny Parker hopes to take the Tiger Sharks back to Lakeland for the sixth consecutive year.
Parker and the Tiger Sharks also aspire to continue their nine consecutive district title streak, and improve on last season’s 18-8 record.
Leading the charge is senior point guard Jae Lenox, who led last year’s team in scoring (15.6 per game), assists (5 per game), and steals (2.8 per game).
Senior post player Mari Johnson finished third in scoring (10.2) and second in rebounding (8.9) last season.
Senior guard Alonah Segree and junior post player Ty’Shawn Shackleford both saw significant playing time last season and will be key to this year’s success.
Junior India Gant, sophomore Carly Hatcher, and freshman Aaliyah Thompson are joined by eighth graders Alyah Covington, Niyah Covington, Jayla Hills, Cynthia Lewis, and Anna Van Heerden. Seventh grader Chloe Cook rounds out this year’s Tiger Shark squad.
St. Joe’s District 4 opponents now include Aucilla Christian, Franklin County, Jefferson County, and Wewa.
In a nip-and-tuck affair last Tuesday, November 22, the Tiger Sharks lost to 5A Choctawhatchee 54-47 to start the season.
Down only 38-37 going into the final quarter, St. Joe’s hopes slipped away when Lenox fouled out after scoring 25 points and dishing out three assists.
Johnson notched a double-double with 16 points and 14 rebounds to go with her three blocks and four steals.
Gant scored the remaining six points and pulled down 11 boards. She also led the team with eight assists.
Although Shackleford failed to score, she did have 12 rebounds and four assists.
The Tiger Sharks will play five more away games before tipping off at home on Monday, December 12.
Their opponents are Chipley (11/29), Graceville (12/1) Jefferson County (12/3), Holmes County (12/6), and Bozeman (12/9).
By winning their first game of the young season, Coach Joseph Glisson’s Gators have already improved from last season’s 0-18 record.
Behind freshmen Mahayla Hann (17 points, including 3-3’s) and Shamyah Cole (8 points), Wewa defeated Jefferson County 32-30 on Monday, November 14.
Knotted at 23-all going into the final quarter, Wewa held on for the win.
The next two games did not end up as well, with the Gators losing to Bozeman 48-18 on November 15, and Sneads 35-19 on November 17. Hann scored 12 and 14 points, respectively.
Glisson’s young squad consists of junior Leah Bean, sophomore Logan Taylor, freshmen Cole, Hann, and Rita Peak, and eighth graders Xyniah Carter, Leslie Cox, Hadassah Dixon, and Anaabella Whitfield.
The Gators travel to Altha on Tuesday, November 29 before facing district rival Franklin County in Eastpoint on Friday, December 2.