The Franklin County Seahawks varsity boys basketball team was busy over the Christmas break, practicing regularly and playing a triad of away games.
Unfortunately, they didn’t come home with any wins.
Taking part in the Mosley Christmas tournament, Ray Bailey’s Seahawks opened play Dec. 27 against the Chattanooga School for the Arts & Sciences, out of Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Don’t let the name misled you; the Patriots, now 13-3, are ranked second in Tennessee’s Class 2A division.
The Seahawks kept it close all game long, trailing 19-15 after the first quarter, and 36-28 at the half. Trailing 51-40 going into the final stanza, the Hawks chipped away at the margin before falling 67-61.
Senior Jeremiah Stephens put together an outstanding game, leading the team with 21 points, including hitting both of his three-point attempts, and shooting 60 percent from the field. He sank seven of 10 free throw tries and led the team with 10 rebounds. He also had four assists and two steals.
Senior Carter Kembro followed with 13 points and eight rebounds, and sophomore Carter Kembro 12 points and seven rebounds. Junior Owen Poloronis followed with 10 points, as he hit two of his three three-point tries.
Senior Jamal Robinson added three points and junior Jaidyn Rhodes two, plus six rebounds.
The following night, Bailey put his Seahawks up against his mentor, former Seahawks coach Nathan West, who now is at the helm of the Darlington Tigers, a private school in Rome, Georgia. The 9-2 Tigers stand atop their six-team private school region.
West didn’t let up against his former protege, as Darlington pounced 73-37. The Seahawks hit a dismal 11 of 46 shots from the field, under 25 percent.
Ethan Kembro led the team with 14 points, including four of nine three-pointers, and pulled down four rebounds and blocked three shots.
Stephens scored 10 points, Poloronis eight, and junior Ta’Shawn Jones and Carter Kembro each two. Robinson scored one.
The Seahawks wrapped up the Mosley tourney with a hard-fought game Dec. 19 against the Class 1A Bozeman Bucks, now 11-2.
When the final buzzer sounded, the Seahawks had sustained a 70-65 loss and took a 4-8 season record going into 2022.
Stephens led the effort against Bozeman with 19 points, on the strength of nine of 14 from the field. Ethan Kembro and Poloronis followed, each with 15 points, while Carter Kembro contributed 11 and Robinson five. Carter Kembro snared 10 rebounds and Ethan Kembro pulled down eight.
Stats for the first half of the season in 2021 show that Stephens is averaging 14.5 points and five assists per game and Ethan Kembro 12.5 points, with both snaring about six rebounds per game. Carter Kembro on average scored 11.8 points per game, and brought down 6.7 rebounds.
Poloronis is averaging 9.3 points per game, and Jones five, plus more than six rebounds per game.
Jones was the most accurate shooter, hitting nearly 70 percent of his shots, followed by Stephens at better than 50 percent, and the rest in the 40 percent range.
Ethan Kembro took the lion’s share of three-point shots, and led the team by hitting 44 percent of them, followed closely by Stephens at 40 percent.
As a team the Seahawks nailed only 53 percent of their free throws, and shot 48 percent from the field, and 34 percent from outside the arc.
Carter Kembro led the team with 74 rebounds, and Stephens with 58 assists and 31 steals. Jones led the team with 14 blocked shots.
After traveling to Mosley Wednesday and Altha Thursday, the Seahawks are back home Friday night to face arch-rival Port St. Joe.
Expect a packed house.