Live Oak —
The Suwannee High School varsity basketball team beat the Wakulla War Eagles on Friday night by a score of 60-44, but were defeated in the championship game Saturday by the Raiders, 60-49.
The ‘Dogs battled turnovers in the victory against Wakulla. Wakulla’s man defense also blunted Suwannee’s perimeter shooting, but their team fouls sent Suwannee to the line for 20 of 26 free throws. Kevarrius Hayes led defensive blocking and rebounding, and scoring leaders were Jimmie Taylor III and freshman guard Jalon Perry. Perry ran the point for part of the game, pulled down three rebounds, passed for two assists and had one steal.
On Saturday, the Raiders played aggressive man defense from tipoff to final buzzer, and the ‘Dogs could not get the offense flowing. Early in the second quarter, the ‘Dogs trailed by 11.
Suwannee switched to man defense in the second quarter after the Raiders hit three back-to-back shots from downtown to end the first. However, with this year’s small roster, the ‘Dogs have not been successful running extended man defense and Rickards capitalized on the team’s inexperience.
With both teams in the double bonus, Rickards went to the free throw line 31 times in the second half for 20 points. Rickards slowed the game pace and ran a stall offense for most of the fourth quarter. A scoring run capped off by a Deangelo Ross three pointer brought the ‘Dogs to within four with 50 seconds in the game, but Rickards’ guards won the game in the end from the free throw line.
The seniors played their last game in the SHS gym, led by Jimmie Taylor III with a 24-point, 10 rebound game. Taylor also sank 13 of 14 free throws.
As the district runner-up, the ‘Dogs will travel on Thursday, Feb. 14 to the panhandle to play the Rutherford Rams at 7 p.m. in the quarterfinal. The ‘Dogs will have to regroup and make adjustments to defeat the Rams, who are known this season for their aggressive defense.
Good luck Dogs!
Game statistics (Pts-Rbs-Ast-Stl)
Jimmie Taylor III: (20-9-6-0)
Jalon Perry: (15-3-2-1)
Kevarrius Hayes: (7-13-0-0) 9BL
Raymond Gardner: (6-0-1-0)
Ty’Reece Ford: (5-5-0-0)
Aaron McAllister: (4-6-0-2)
Randy Waddy: (2-0-0-0)
Deangelo Ross: (1-5-0-2)
Jimmie Taylor III: (24-10-2-2)
Kevarrius Hayes: (13-14-0-0) 3BL
Jalon Perry: (6-4-1-0)
Deangelo Ross: (4-4-0-0)
Raymond Gardner: (2-1-0-0)