Port St. Joe guard Harmony Dwight (#12) takes it to the basket for two points after a steal in the second quarter of Friday’s contest against Mosley. [James Jackson | The Star]

Port St. Joe drops opener to Lady Dolphins

Looking to build on last season’s 13-9 campaign that concluded with seven consecutive wins before a postseason loss to Graceville, Port St. Joe stormed into the 2023-24 season swimming with confidence as they opened this year’s schedule on the road against formidable foe Mosley.

Overpowered by a deadly combination of defensive pressure and transition points off turnovers, the Port St. Joe Tiger Sharks (0-1) had no answer for a Mosley Dolphins (3-0) squad already operating in midseason form on both ends of the court.

Having already notched victories against Rocky Bayou Christian and Arnold this season, Mosley welcomed the Tiger Sharks to the Lynn Haven area with aspirations of sealing a winning trifecta to begin the 2023-24 schedule via a victorious final leg of their current three-game home stand.

However, focused on replicating the winning outcome of their last battle dating back nearly a decade to 2016, Port St. Joe entered Friday’s season opener prepared and more than aware of Mosley’s 15-6 edge against them in all-time head-to-head matchups.

Winning the opening tip for the Lady Dolphins was senior center Rowen Clements, as Mosley wasted no time netting three quick baskets to set in motion a 6-0 run to start the ballgame.

Tiger Sharks guard KK McNair (#3) gives Mosley center Rowen Clements (#15) a successful pump fake before driving to the basket. [James Jackson | The Star ]

With just under six minutes left in the quarter, back-to-back three point plays, one the conventional way by Mosley senior Sherilyn Sanchez and one via a deep shot from behind the arc by sophomore Abbygail Coleman, put the Lady Dolphins ahead 11-0.

Stifling defense by Mosley kept the Tiger Sharks scoreless throughout much of the first quarter, while also generating a number of steals that the Lady Dolphins converted into easy transition points.

At the one-minute mark, Port St. Joe’s Chloe Cook put the first points of the season in the books, and the only of the first eight minutes of action, via a putback jumper from just outside the lane to bring the score to 26-2 heading into the second quarter.

Hoping to build a bit of momentum, a steal by Harmony Dwight and subsequent layup just 30 seconds into the second quarter matched the Tiger Sharks’ entire point output of the contest to that point and brought the score to 26-4.

Port St. Joe’s Jayla Hills (#10) attempts to push the tempo in the Tiger Sharks’ loss to Mosley on Dec. 1. [ James Jackson | The Star ]

Continuing to battle Mosley’s relentless pressure on the defensive end, a trip to the free-throw line with just seconds remaining allowed Ty Shackelford to tack on the last two points of the half in the Tiger Sharks’ favor and bring the score to 37-7 after two quarters.

Adding to their points off turnovers, Mosley kept the defensive pressure cranked to the max in the second half, extending the overarching theme of the contest into the final 16 minutes of play.

Fighting until the end, the Tiger Sharks refused to quit hunting for baskets before the final whistle blew on the 60-9 Mosley victory.

Shackelford paced Port St. Joe in scoring on the night with four points, followed by three points for Alana Segree and two points for Harmony Dwight.

For Mosley, Persia Mineer banked a team-high 16 points, along with 14 points for Yva Toole, 12 points for Clements, six points for Sanchez, five points each for Mandi Grontas and Bryanna Bell, and two points for Cadence Keys.

Meet the Editor

David Adlerstein, The Apalachicola Times’ digital editor, started with the news outlet in January 2002 as a reporter.

Prior to then, David Adlerstein began as a newspaperman with a small Boston weekly, after graduating magna cum laude from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He later edited the weekly Bellville Times, and as business reporter for the daily Marion Star, both not far from his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

In 1995, he moved to South Florida, and worked as a business reporter and editor of Medical Business newspaper. In Jan. 2002, he began with the Apalachicola Times, first as reporter and later as editor, and in Oct. 2020, also began editing the Port St. Joe Star.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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