Junior Ajaylen McNair (#10) in regular season action. [ Jayden Luberto | Contributed ]

Seahawks fall to Crossroads in district final

The Franklin County boys basketball team managed to put together two furious finishes in their last two games of the postseason.

Against Port St. Joe it was enough to win. Against the Crossroads Academy Scorpions, it fell short.

The Seahawks opened district play Feb. 6 with a resounding 72-22 win over Wakulla Christian in Jefferson County, 

Senior Lonnie O’Neal and freshman Sadiq Jones each scored 14, with eighth grader Dre North tallying 12, senior Ethan Kembro and sophomore Jamichael Miller each eight, freshman Jeremiah Allen six, and sophomore Nehemiah Robinson five. Junior Ajaylen McNair added three, and senior William Chastine two.

Two nights later in Jefferson County, the Seahawks faced off for the third time this season, the first two games both wins decided by three points or less.

After trading the lead back and forth all game long, Ray Bailey’s Seahawks put a surge on at the end to win 52-48 and advance to the district finals.

Kembro led the team with 17 points and 12 rebounds, followed by McNair with 14 points. O’Neal added seven points and six rebounds,  and Jones six points North four, Allen three and Miller one.

Against 16-7 Crossroads on Saturday night, the Seahawks battled back from a 20-point deficit after three quarters to nearly steal a win from the Scorpions.

“That was almost the greatest comeback I’ve ever witnessed in my life,” said Ricky Jones, who has assisted the team all year long with recordkeeping and stats.

A three-pointer by Allen trimmed the deficit to 17, and then after scoring seven unanswered points, the gap had been sliced in half.

Freshman Jeremiah Allen (#3) in regular season action. [ Jayden Luberto | Contributed ]

Bailey forced the Scorpions to go to the free-throw line, and “it came close to working,” said Jones.

With time running down, and Crossroads ahead 53-50, the Seahawks nearly tied it, but their three-point attempts fell short.

“We had the shot we wanted,” said Jones. “If we make that shot and send it to overtime, we win because they were out of gas.”

Kembro’s 22 points and 10 rebounds led the team, with Allen scoring 12, Miller nine, Jones five, and McNair two. O’Neal had nine rebounds.

The Seahawks’ 55-50 loss ended the Seahawks’ season at 16-12. 

In closing out the regular season Feb. 1 at home, the Seahawks downed FAMU Developmental Research School 69-63.

The team was led by Kembro’s 26 points and 11 rebounds, with Allen tallying 18 points and McNair and Jones each 10. Miller added four and eighth grader Braelin Morris one.

Kembro’s 16 points per game average this season contributed to his 1,119 point total over his high school career, which also saw him shoot 75 percent from the charity stripe, 51 percent from the field and 37 percent from outside the arc.

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Meet the Editor

David Adlerstein, The Apalachicola Times’ digital editor, started with the news outlet in January 2002 as a reporter.

Prior to then, David Adlerstein began as a newspaperman with a small Boston weekly, after graduating magna cum laude from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He later edited the weekly Bellville Times, and as business reporter for the daily Marion Star, both not far from his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

In 1995, he moved to South Florida, and worked as a business reporter and editor of Medical Business newspaper. In Jan. 2002, he began with the Apalachicola Times, first as reporter and later as editor, and in Oct. 2020, also began editing the Port St. Joe Star.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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