The Franklin County varsity boys basketball team opened post-season play with a resounding defeat at home Tuesday night against Wewahitchka.
But it’s going to get harder from here.
Coach Ray Bailey’s ball club opened a 27-4 first quarter lead, and a 57-6 bulge at the half that had the running clock running full steam. The Seahawks eased off in the second half, and went on to an 85-22 victory in the opener of the district tournament.
In an away game Wednesday night, the team was slated to take on the sixth-seeded Bozeman Bucks (5-11), a team the Hawks defeated easily during the regular season.
Unless there is an upset, a victory by the Seahawks would set up a Thursday night match-up against top-seeded Crossroads Academy, a team that Franklin County fell to 72-66 on Dec. 18.
That loss had send the Seahawks into a tailspin at the end of the year and into 2021, as they lost six straight, including a 66-29 loss on Dec. 22 to City of Life Christian Academy; a 61-45 loss to Mosley Dec. 28; a 54-48 overtime loss to Rutherford Dec. 29; a 39-38 overtime loss at Graceville Dec. 30; a Jan. 8 overtime loss at North Florida Christian 64-62; and a 75-62 loss at Arnold Jan. 9.
But with a team led by senior guards Eden Brathwaite and Lamarius Martin, Bailey righted the ship, and Franklin County notched eight straight wins, to finish 8-1 in Class 1A District 4, their only loss to Crossroads.
On Jan. 18, the Hawks dismantled Bozeman 58-29 in an away game, and the following night overwhelmed Liberty County 81-52 on the Bulldogs’ court.
On Jan. 21, at home, the Seahawks defeated Blountstown 88-52, and the following night at the Nest, defeated Wewahitchka 76-39. Franklin County continued its domination of Gulf County on Jan. 23 at home, crushing Port St. Joe 69-22.
On Jan. 25 at Wakulla, the Seahawks defeated the War Eagles 87-66, and then at home the following night, beat the Liberty County Bulldogs 80-21.
On Feb. 23 at Sneads, the team won 87-36 and then Friday night at Bay High School, closed out the regular season with a 69-52 loss in a non-conference game.
Martin has led the team in scoring, averaging nearly 20 points per game, with Brathwaite at close to 16 points per game. Jerymiah Stephens has tallied more than nine points per game, while Carter Kembro has averaged eight, Poloronis close to eight, Neshon Gadson about seven, Ethan Kembro and Jaiden Rhodes each four, and Jarvis Turrell two.
Poloronis has nailed 35 of 87 three-pointers, or 40 percent, the same percentage as Gadson and Ethan Kembro. Martin and Brathwaite are slightly behind, at 34 and 36 percent, respectively.
The team is hitting about two of every three free throws they try, hitting 235 out of 350. Brathwaite, with 150, is the leading rebounds, with Polonis grabbing 62, Ethan Kembro 55 and Rhodes 51 and Turrell 45.
#1 Senior co-captain guard Eden Brathwaite, 6' 0" and 185 pounds
#2 Senior guard Jarvis Turrell, 5' 9" and 175 pounds
#3 Sophomore guard Jaiden Rhodes, 6' 2" and 135 pounds
#4 Senior forward Trey Jones, 6' 3" and 185 pounds
#10 Junior guard Jerymiah Stephens, 6' 0" and 180 pounds
#11 Freshman guard Ethan Kembro, 6' 2" and 160 pounds
#21 Sophomore guard Owen Poloronis, 165 pounds
#22 Junior Jimmy Adair, 5' 10" and 145 pounds
#23 Junior guard Neshon Gadson, 6' 1" and 175 pounds
#24 Junior forward Carter Kembro, 6' 4" and 205 pounds
#35 Senior co-captain guard Lamarius Martin, 6' 0" and 175 pounds
This article originally appeared on The Apalachicola Times: Seahawk hoopsters embark on playoff run