By PATRICK CASEY
The Paxton Bobcats boys basketball team won three games in three days at Walton High School to claim the eight-team tournament championship. Paxton defeated Tuscaloosa 55-29 in the opening round and Pensacola Tate 82-66 in the second round to set up a showdown with the Walton Braves for the tourney title.
The showdown didn’t last long as Paxton won the game 73-50. Paxton was on fire from the floor and hit 31-of-57 shots from the court while Walton could only connect on 21-of-67 shots during the game.
Paxton had four players in double figures as Demetrius Moore scored 19 points and Colby Forehand added 17. Shaq Jackson scored 14 points and Zack Vickers had 10. Vickers scored 30 points in the Bobcats semi-final win over Pensacola Tate as the Aggies sent Paxton to the free throw line 39 times in trying to rally from a 38-24 halftime deficit.
James Towery had 19 points against Paxton and put 38 points on the board in the season opener against Dothan Northside as the Braves won going away 83-48. Walton struggled in the second round as they fell behind Robertsdale in the first half, only to rally for a 64-54 second round victory as Tarrell Bramlet scored 31 points to lead Walton to the win.
Paxton (3-0) and Walton (2-1) will meet in the regular season on Friday, February 6, in Paxton and could see each other in the 16-team Freeport tournament in late December.
The meeting between Walton and Paxton’s boys teams was only the third regular season match-up in over a decade. Paxton won last year 60-49 after Walton had defeated the Bobcats during the 2005-06 season 58-30. The winning team both of those seasons went on to play in the Region final, a good sign for the Bobcats, who lost at the buzzer to FAMU in last year’s Class A Region final.