By PATRICK CASEY
The Freeport Bulldogs got their Christmas gifts early as the boys basketball team swept Ponce de Leon, South Walton and Walton last week.
Freeport beat PDL at home 65-58, then went on the road to knock off South Walton 67-54 and Walton in a high scoring affair 88-81.
Against Walton, both teams lit up the scoreboard as the two teams both shot near 50 percent from the floor. Johnny McCormick scored 36 points and neither team’s defense proved very adept at stopping the other. Alex Newkirk scored 28 points and Chase Martin scored 12 on several key 3-point shots and Freeport rallied in the final quarter of play for the victory.
Tarrell Bramlet and James Towery scored 22 points apiece as Walton built a 47-43 halftime lead. Walton was outscored 24-15 in the final period of play and Walton hits the Christmas break with a 7-3 record.
The Freeport boys started the week with a 65-58 victory over Ponce de Leon at home. Freeport trailed 30-27 at halftime, but finished with a strong second half as they got 29 points from Alex Newkirk and 19 from Johnny McCormick while hitting 22-of-26 shots from the free throw line.
The Bulldogs also rallied from a 30-25 deficit against South Walton. The Seahawks could not stop the potent combination of Newkirk and McCormick as the two combined for 51 of the Bulldogs 67 points in a 67-54 win at South Walton.
Newkirk scored 27 while McCormick had 24 points as the Bulldogs kept the Seahawks from recording their first boys basketball victory over the Bulldogs until a future meeting.
Game Notes: Freeport is 7-1 on the year and would likely be undefeated if not for poor free-throw shooting against Baker. Freeport has improved at the charity stripe since the loss to Baker and will enter their own tournament on December 27 as one of the hottest teams in the area. Walton won the junior varsity contest 66-39. David Burke is in his 11th season at Freeport with a record of 167-124 at the school. Freeport has won six of the last seven games against Walton, but the Braves lead the season series 12-10 dating back to the 1988-89 season. Walton’s Jerry Hester is 106-65 at Walton and is in his seventh season at the school.