The Franklin County Seahawks fell 45-35 to the Port St. Joe Tiger Sharks Saturday evening, to finish as runner-up in Class 1A, District 4.
The Seahawks (12-15) now head west to Baker (15-9). They'll square off on Thursday, Feb. 22 at 8 p.m. against the Gators in the regional semifinal.
Baker defeated Chipley 76-51 Friday evening to win the District 3 crown.
“Defensively we held St Joe to the season low, but we couldn't get stops down the stretch when they mattered,” said Coach Nathan West. “We did a terrible job at taking care of the basketball as we committed 25 turnovers as a team.
“St. Joe did a good job at pressuring the basketball and getting into the passing lanes,” he said.
The Seahawks missed 15 free throws on the night. “I always tell the guys more games are lost than won,” West said. “St. Joe didn't win that game, we lost it. We beat ourselves."
Junior Daijon Penamon led the way with 19 points. Junior Alex Hardy finished with a team high nine rebounds.
A fierce fourth-quarter rally lifted the Franklin County Seahawks Friday night to a 49-37 win over Bozeman, and a spot in Saturday night's contest for the district crown at Port St. Joe.
Trailing by eight at the half, 23-15, the Seahawks slowly eroded the margin against the second-seeded Bucks, but even after three quarters, trailed by six, 30-24.
"We picked it up defensively, we made them take shots. We rebounded well. We took their point guard out of the game," said Coach Nathan West. "Offensively, we remained patient, moved the ball around real well, and slowly chipped away."
In the final stanza, the third-seeded Seahawks outscored the Bucks 25-7 to secure the 12-point win, and avenge two regular season losses.
West said the Bucks "did a good job packing the lanes. They took away our inside game. We stretched the zone out and once we got them man-to-man, we started running a motion offense.
"It was a good team win," he said. "Everybody contributed their part. We've done a good job playing as a team.
“Going into the game, I made sure the guys knew that it was a win-or-go-home situation. Their level of focus to attention to detail had to be high. I thought we did a good job at following the scouting report and executing down the stretch,” West said.
West made light of a weak spot in the team's performance, that has bothered him all season, an inability to execute at the3 free throw line.
"We missed 23 free throws," he said. "We were trying to set a state record and get a win at the same time.
“It's all mental,” he stressed. “Too many guys go to the line shooting not to miss instead of shooting to make.”
Penamon led the way in scoring with 22 points and eight rebounds.
The team opened post-season play earlier in the week with a 59-25 win over Altha.
“I thought our guys came out with good energy and focus. We did a good job at playing very unselfishly and playing as a team.”
Junior Rufus Townsend led the way with 12 points, followed by senior Nate Jones with 11 points and eight rebounds. Penamon finished the game with a season-high 10 assists.