By PATRICK CASEY
Pensacola High fell in the Class 4A state semi-final in boys basketball to undefeated Spring Hill Springstead 61-49. The Tigers fell behind early and had to play catch-up for almost all of the game. The Tigers did not help themselves with 23 turnovers in the contest and they finished the year at 29-6.
After the game, Coach Bob Stinnett announced he was retiring. Stinnett has been coaching the squad for the past two seasons to a 54-10 record.
Franklin County put up an outstanding fight against Arlington Country Day but fell 65-59 in a Class 2A state semi-final. Franklin County trailed by just two points with 43 seconds left when the Apaches missed a shot at the free throw line but grabbed the rebound and scored on a put-back to increase the lead to 63-59.
Marianna lost to Orlando Jones in the Class 3A state semi-final as Angelo Warner made a free throw with three seconds left to edge the Bulldogs 42-41. Marianna’s Chris Blount fouled Warner on the final possession of the game and the Bulldogs lost a defensive battle in a very close contest that saw neither team shoot the ball well from the floor in Lakeland.
Paxton’s Erin Walker took first place in the discus at the Max Bruner Relays that was held at Choctaw High School on Saturday. Katie Kinkey took first place in the high jump.
The 2009 Freedom All-Star Classic high school basketball showcase is set for April 11 at Gulf Coast Community College. Gypsy Griffin of Ponce de Leon will play for the girls East roster while Walton’s Lee Paulk and Betsy Stevenson along with Paxton’s Stevie Davidson and South Walton’s Sadie Hussien will play on the West squad with South Walton’s Kevin Craig serving as one of the West’s coaches. On the boys side, Paxton’s Zach Vickers, Freeport’s Johnny McCormick and South Walton’s Jordan Colson will suit up for the West roster.
The loss of former Panhandle Conference team North Florida, which cut its athletic programs after last season, hasn’t drastically changed the baseball schedule for the remaining squads. Baseball teams last season played five conference opponents four times each. This season, the schedule has the same number of games, with each playing opponents five times for a total of 20 games.
Contact Patrick Casey at The DeFuniak Springs Herald with more local sports notes at: firstname.lastname@example.org.