PANAMA CITY — Bay played well for half a basketball game on Tuesday. Gulf Breeze wasn’t sharp for three quarters. It added up to a win for the Tornadoes.
Bay’s Corey Brown led all scorers with 11 points in a close game through 24 minutes, as Bay secured a 41-27 victory at the John Cobb Gymnasium. The Tornadoes overcame sluggish first and third quarters in winning their District 1-5A opener. The Dolphins dipped to 1-1 in 1-5A games after scoring only five points in each of the final three quarters.
Bay started with turnovers on five of its first six possessions to stake Gulf Breeze to a 10-2 lead. Darreyen Sims scored two of his five points for Bay’s first basket at the 4:24 mark of the first quarter. The Dolphins (3-2, 1-1) led 12-4 at the end of the first quarter.
The lead grew to as many as six, 14-8, on a Carson Sharp score three minutes into the second quarter. Bay went on an 8-4 run, capped by Rayshawn Patterson’s 3-pointer with 3:26 to play in the first half for Bay’s first lead of the game. The advantage was only 21-17 at the half and it grew by only one point in a rough third quarter.
Bay opened the first three minutes of the second half with five fouls. Meantime, Gulf Breeze wasn’t sharp at the free-throw line, with Tyler Franks missing on all but one of his six attempts. Bay managed only six points, but still led 27-22.
Gulf Breeze’s lack of firepower was evident in the fourth, as it was able to scrounge together only five more points. Bay took advantage of more sloppy play from the Dolphins, including turnovers on three straight possessions, for a 33-22 lead on a Sims score with 6:46 to play in the contest.
Bay was unable to move the lead past 12 over the next five minutes. Gulf Breeze moved to as close to nine, 36-27, on a Nick Bookout free throw, but Bay ended the game on a 5-2 run to escape.
“It’s always nice to get a win,” Bay coach Michael Grady said. “But we have to do a better job on defense and do a better job taking care of the ball.”
Bay totaled 16 turnovers in the game, the bulk coming in the first and third quarters and at spurts in the fourth that stunted the Tornadoes’ progress. Gulf Breeze had 21 turnovers and had little offense to counter.
Brian Garbell scored eight points and Tyler Franks seven for the Dolphins. Ryan Norwood scored nine and Patterson eight for Bay, which overcame the foul trouble in the third and only had 10 fouls in the second half.
Grady said the troubles in the early going of each half could have been disastrous had Bay played a more up-tempo team than the methodical Gulf Breeze. The Tornadoes will face that quicker offense tonight at East Gadsden.
“That will be totally different,” Grady said. “We are happy to get this first district win, but we have more work to do.”
- GULF BREEZE (27)
- Learned 1 0-0 2, Bookout 1 2-4 5, Sharp 1 3-5 5, Franks 2 3-8 7, Garbell 3 2-2 8. Totals 8 10-19 27.
- BAY (41)
- Norwood 2 5-7 9, Foster 1 0-2 2, Sims 2 1-3 5, Patterson 2 2-2 8, Wade 3 0-0 6, Brown 4 3-3 11. Totals: 14 11-17 41.
- Gulf Breeze 12 5 5 5 — 27
- Bay 4 17 6 14 — 41
- 3-point field goals: GB (Bookout), Bay 2 (Patterson 2). Rebounds: GB 25, Bay 27. Turnovers: GB 21, Bay 16. Team fouls: GB 18, Bay 16. Fouled out: None.