The Seminole Warhawks and Tarpon Springs Spongers, both teams having one loss, faced off to see who would reign supreme in the conference.
The Spongers would succumb to the wrath of the Warhawks offense and would become Seminole’s seventh straight win; the Warhawks would remain undefeated in 7A District 9.
For coach Josh Walker, this win comes at a pivotal time in the season when observing your competition and seeing how similar it will be with districts.
“I got to hand it to Tarpon they are a good team and have a lot of pieces at different spots which play to their advantage,” said Walker. “Looking back on the game, we had some issues especially in the first period when we couldn’t seem to get a consistent tempo going.”
The Warhawks and the Spongers would battle for control of the court with Tarpon’s Mitch Wilcox and Trai Halton setting up the tempo for the Sponger offense. The Warhawks would struggle to keep control of the lead, but Tanner Cowan would be present and ready for rebounds that the Warhawks needed for a 14-11 lead in the first period.
Tarpon’s offense would come alive in the second when Scottie James’ six points would help keep Spongers in a 23-22 lead. But with the help of Seminole’s Henry Beard and Marco Behori, the Warhawks would tie the game up at 26 at halftime.
“At first when I went into the locker room, I felt this is not the team I know. They (Tarpon) kind of dictated the things that we were doing wrong in the first half. I told them to focus on offense rebounds, understand on the screener role that they were running with Trai Halton while also trying to make them play our game offensively.”
At the start of the third, the Warhawks would barely hold a 41-37 lead and seemed in trouble after an absence from Behori.
“I tried to steal the ball and I bumped heads with the other guy causing a gash just above my left eyebrow,” said Behori. “The whole time I was getting my eyebrow treated, all I could think about was getting back into the game and needing to be back out there.”
The Spongers would try for one last comeback in the fourth after the return of Behori scoring 26 points in that period.
But foul shots from Beard and Conner Frain would shut the Spongers down with a final score of 67-49.
“Although a great win for the guys and a high point for the season, next weeks games will be a very important for us because they are all three district games,” said Walker. “Each game like we always say is “brick by brick” that’s how it always is.”
The Seminole Warhawks (8-1) will be away at Countryside facing the Cougars and the Tarpon Springs Spongers (9-2) will face off against the Fivay Falcons on Dec. 20.