Tiger Sharks earn decisive victory over Wewahitchka amid losses

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The Port St. Joe boys basketball team had the same kind of results this past week as the girls team did, winning one game and losing two others. 

On Tuesday, January 10, Bozeman (10-6) visited the Dome, and although St. Joe showed much improvement since the December 9, 72-53 loss to the Bucks, Bozeman left town with a 56-48 win. 

Travis (TJ) Jenkins led all scorers with 31 points, including five 3-point shots, but no other Tiger Sharks scored in double figures. 

Zay Jenkins scored nine, LaJuan Zaccaro scored five, and Mario Larry added three points. 

Thursday’s home game against Wewahitchka proved to be much more satisfying for the Tiger Sharks, as St. Joe crushed the Gators 74-40. 

The Tiger Sharks led 25-13 after one quarter, and 42-23 at the half before outsourcing the Gators 24-8 in the third period to put the contest well out of reach. 

Zay Jenkins led the scoring with 24 points, 17 in the first half. Zaccaro had a strong first half, scoring 15 of his 19 points, while JD Becton added 10 points. 

Daren Angelino scored eight, Larry scored six, TJ Jenkins added five, and Donnell Hill scored two. 

BJ Cole led the Gators with 11 points, and Preston Stacy scored seven as Wewa fell to 1-11 for the season. 

Prior to the boys contest, fans were treated to a real barnburner by the JV boys teams. 

With Port St. Joe ahead 32-29 and only a few seconds left on the clock, Wewa’s Colton Johnson took the inbounds pass and heaved the ball nearly the entire length of the floor before it swished through the net to end regulation in a tie. 

The crowd went wild, with fans on both sides of the gym cheering the feat. 

In overtime, with Kaynon Jefferson and Jayden Reece leading the charge, Port St. Joe outscored the Gators 7-1 to win the game, but Johnson certainly provided a lasting highlight. 

Friday’s JV contest against Franklin County went Port St. Joe’s way as well, with the Tiger Sharks winning 37-29. 

The varsity outcome would not be as kind for the Tiger Sharks, however, as the Seahawks handled the home team 71-36.

Leading only 13-11 after the first period, Franklin County went on a 12-0 run midway through the second period, and ended the first half ahead 34-21. 

Holding St. Joe to only two points in the third quarter, the Seahawks increased their lead to 48-23, and steadily added to the lead during the final period, with Owen Poloronis scoring nine of his 16 points in the fourth quarter. 

Zay Jenkins led all scorers with 21 points, including five 3-pointers. TJ Jenkins added five, while Zaccaro scored six and Becton scored four points. 

A dominant inside game was one of the keys to the Seahawk win, with Ta’Shawn Jones and Jaidyn Rhodes using their height advantage on both ends of the court. Jones scored 11, and Rhodes added 16, with 10 of his points coming during the second quarter. 

Franklin County coach Ray Bailey, commenting on the Seahawk's strong inside game, said “I knew from watching the game last night (against Wewa) that they were small, and all season long we’ve been out rebounding a lot of people.” 

“So we wanted to make sure that we took advantage of that height (Jones and Rhodes), and we wanted to impose our will and use our size,” he added. 

With this being a rivalry game of sorts, emotions tend to run high. When asked about what he told his team after one chippy incident in the 2nd quarter, “I just told our kids to keep a level head. It’s a rivalry, We’re all here to play and have fun. Don’t get into all that talking back and forth.” 

Before the 3rd quarter began, the 3 officials gathered both starting 5’s at midcourt and talked to them about on-court behavior. Nothing but basketball ensued the rest of the way. 

Now 12-4, 3-0 in 1A D4, the Seahawks will host Port St. Joe on Friday, January 27. The Tiger Sharks, now 4-6, have three away games before hosting Taylor County next Saturday, January 21.

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