By PATRICK CASEY
The Walton Lady Braves rallied from a first half deficit to take a 59-51 victory over South Walton on Nov. 23.
The Braves, who won the game despite committing 40 turnovers, got solid play in the post from Taliah Moore and Alexis Howard as they held off a cold-shooting group of Seahawks in the first of two meetings between the county rivals.
South Walton held a 17-13 lead after one quarter of play and a 32-29 halftime advantage before Walton turned the tables with a 13-9 run in the third quarter to take a slim 42-41 margin into the final quarter of play.
The Braves struggled to beat the Seahawks’ pressure defense down the floor, but when they did they converted baskets on the interior for points in the paint. Alexis Howard scored 18 points while Taliah Moore added 17 with Sierra Contreras contributing 11 points as the Braves used their size to go inside consistently.
South Walton bombed away from behind the three-point line but had limited success as they hit only 8-of-44 shots from the perimeter in the second half. Sam Snider led the Seahawks with 13 points as eight different Seahawks players put points on the board in the game. Free throw shooting did not help South Walton’s cause as they converted only 8-of-17 shots from the charity stripe. Walton improved to 4-1 with the win while South Walton fell to 2-2 overall.
The two teams will face off again in DeFuniak Springs on Friday, Jan. 28.
Game Notes: Walton now holds a 13-5 lead in the series and the Braves have won 10 of the last 11 meetings. South Walton won a key district game in Bonifay against Holmes County 97-89 in one of the higher scoring girls games in recent memory. The Seahawks hit 21 shots from behind the arc in that contest. South Walton coach Kevin Craig is 111-58 in 6+ seasons at the school.