The Warriors and Warriorettes traveled to Panama City Beach to compete in the 16th Annual Marlin Christmas classic. The games kicked off on Dec. 28, with the boys playing at 11:30 a.m. and the girls at 7 p.m. Both teams jumped out on their opponents and won big.
The boys faced a local Liberty County. Their #11 hit a three right off the bat. Tucker Nash drove and got fouled where he hit 1/2 free throws. The score was 1-3 at 40 seconds into the game. Liberty’s #12 hit a layup that put them up four. For five straight minutes, the Warriors scored basket after basket. With 2:06 remaining, they were up 25-5. Kade Clark, Tanner Paul, Nash, Gentry, and Grant Slatten all contributed with points and assists. Slatten had three dunks in the first five minutes. Liberty scored a basket, but they couldn’t compare to the Warriors. A layup by Slatten and a block by Gentry kept the scoring drive going. The first quarter ended 38-7 for the Warriors.
Liberty’s #2 started the second quarter with a completed And1. Slatten was fouled on the other end to go 2/2. Stephens steps in and hit a two. The next play, Tanner Paul is found in the corner for a three. Liberty gets sent to the free throw line but misses both. Slatten drives for two. The next seven possessions would be owned by the Warriors: Tanner Paul hit another corner three, Stephens scores six points straight, and Thomas Paul fought for six as well. At 1:40, #2 got sent to the free throw line twice, making all four. Thomas Paul drove on the other end for a foul where he went 1/2. Brock ended the half with an offensive put back. Sparta led 65-25 at the half.
The Warriors took control of the third and the whole game. For four minutes, the Warriors scored at will. Slatten came out the gate with a three. He then assisted Tanner Paul with a layup. Clark scored back to back, with an offensive rebound and then a reverse layup. Brock stepped up and hit two threes. With 3:38 remaining, Liberty scored two. Richmond assisted Stephens with two. Back to the Warriors’ goal, an offensive rebound led to a Davis three. Stephens scored another two, making the score 90-28. Liberty scored four, which brought them to 32. Thomas Paul and Davis drained threes. Thomas Paul also got Davis’ offensive board for a 1/2 free throw chance. The third ended 97-32.
The younger Warriors never let up. Rylan Bumbalough hit a layup and then a three the next play down. Brock stripped a deep three. Stephens blocked a Liberty player, which led to a Richmond two. Stephens hit a two and then Brock hit another deep three. Richmond assisted Stephens with another 2. Dickerson entered the game and automatically nailed a three. Bumbalough put an offensive rebound back for a two. He also dribbled all the way for a layup. Liberty got off a three with about a minute remaining. They also tried to get a last shot at the buzzer, but Richmond sent it to half court. The Warriors had a promising game and finished 119-41.
The Warriorettes played a local Marianna team. White County got the tip, and Murray drove to the basket to get fouled. She hit 1/2. Marianna’s #1 made a layup. Murray took it all the way to the other end for a two. Morgan Quick got after a loose ball and passed to Frazier for 2. #21 scored a two for Marianna. Quick answered with a three. The score was 8-4. Quick stole the ball and took it all the way for a layup. Marianna scored a layup and then a three. The Warriorettes then took off and didn’t look back. Frazier found Nia Powers down the floor for two. The score was 12-9 and a Marianna timeout. Around the two-minute mark, Reed assisted Gracie Dodgen for a layup. After a few no-scoring possessions, Reed stole the ball and advanced it for another Dodgen layup. Dodgen then steals the ball and looks to Reed down the court for a layup. Dodgen hit a three off of an offensive rebound. She also hit a two to close out the first quarter. Sparta led 23-9.
Dodgen got fouled at the start of the second and made both free throws. After a few missed buckets by the Warriorettes and some makes by Marianna, Frazier stole the ball and lobbed it to Powers for a layup. Quick hit three straight threes to make the score 36-16. Frazier stole the ball once again and hit Dodgen for three. After a Marianna bucket, Dodgen drained another three. With 3:30 to go in the half, White County led 42-18. Marianna made another basket, and both teams had a few turnover spells. Less than two minutes, Dodgen drove in for a layup. She then made a three off of an inbound play. At the half, the score 47-20 in White County’s favor.
The Warriorettes outscored Marianna 17-6 in the third quarter. Dodgen knocked down a three after a visitor bucket. Frazier passed to Stiles where she got fouled and completed both free throws. Quick blocked a shot that sent Stiles to the other end with a basket. Around 5:30, Frazier advanced it to Dodgen for a quick two. Powers got sent to the line where she missed both, but Stiles rebounded the second and put it up for an And1. She completed it to make the score 59-22. Marianna scored on the other end but Haston shot back with a three. After another visitor bucket, Brown ended the quarter with a two. The score was 64-26 at the end of the third.
Marianna opened the fourth with a two. Brown got an And1 on the other end but missed her free throw. White County rebounded it and kicked it to Haston for another three. Marianna scored a few more buckets but capped at 30. Golden hit a three for Sparta, and Rittenberry scored a two. Bella Stiles closed the game out with a three. White County won 77-30.