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Seahawks open season, hindered by injuries

 Seahawks varsity
basketball coach Ray Bailey expects that his team may lose a few of their early
games, but that won’t be the season’s whole story.

That’s because two of his leading players, juniors Ta’Shawn
Jones and Owen Poloronis, are out of the lineup.

“Unfortunately, yes, that’s the way it’s going to be,” he
said, following Franklin County’s home opener Nov. 22, in which they fell 73-65
to the Rutherford Rams. “It’s a good experience for a couple, of players.”

Poloronis, a 6-foot 1-inch shooting guard with lots of varsity
experience, sustained a fractured ankle at a workout in the fall. “He should be
back in a couple weeks,” said Bailey.

Jones, a 6-foot 3-inch strong forward, sprained an ankle at
a recent practice but he too should soon be returning to the lineup.

And so the burden is on 6-foot 1-inch senior point guard Jerymiah Stephens, who kicked in 20 points
against the Rams, even after being lifted in the third quarter due to foul

“He’s the man until we get
Owen back,” said Bailey.

Stephens got help from 6-foot 3-inch sophomore
forward Ethan Kembro, who drained 17 points, as he got hot with a string of
three-pointers that helped put the Seahawks ahead 10-6 after the first quarter,
and tied at 31 at halftime.

But after Stephens had to be lifted, the Rams went
on a 24-10 spree in the third, and while the Seahawks clawed back with a 22-17
fourth quarter, they sustained the eight-point loss.

“I thought we fought hard, it was a great effort,” said
Bailey. “We had 28 turnovers and we lost by eight. It’s going to take some time.”

Contributing to the scoreboard was 6-foot 5-inch senior
forward Carter Kembro, who scored 15. Jaidyn Rhodes, a
6-foot 3-inch guard, added five, and 6-foot 2-inch senior forward Darius
Johnson tallied four.

Jamal Robinson, a 5-foot 9-inch
senior, had a starting role, and Bailey thinks he’ll gradually sharpen after
being absent from the court for a
couple years. Jimmy Adair, a 5-foot
10-inch senior, as well as sophomore Braden Shiver and freshmen Josiah Friddle and Ajaylin McNair round out the

The Seahawks got started on their
season at the
preseason Tipoff Classic, where they were overwhelmed by Bay
High but bounced back to defeat Graceville 44-24.

Following last week’s game, the Seahawks spent that Tuesday
before Thanksgiving passing out turkeys, hams and Boston butts that they had
sold as a fundraiser. After practicing at the Matchbox in Apalachicola on
Wednesday, they took Thanksgiving off and they practiced Friday at the Nest.

On Tuesday, Nov. 30, the team traveled east to take on the
Wakulla War Eagles, and then were home Wednesday against Mosley. On Tuesday,
Dec. 7, they travel to Bristol to take on Liberty County in a district match-up/

“We’ll be a lot better,” said Bailey.

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