Marlin Classic boys: Walton wakes up for title triumph

Heather Leiphart photo
Published: Monday, December 30, 2013 at 21:48 PM.

PANAMA CITY BEACH – Walton took one quarter to wake up on Monday and when it did it put Ocala Trinity Catholic to sleep.

The Marietta, Ga., Raiders overcame a sluggish start to push past the Celtics of Ocala 57-42 in winning the ninth annual Marlin Christmas Classic boys prep basketball championship inside Arnold’s gymnasium. Walton remained unbeaten on the season and won a Bay County tournament for the second time and first since the 2007 Bay Barnstorm Classic.

Trinity Catholic fell to 9-6 overall and 1-2 in tournament games after advancing to the title game on the strength of a 60-44 win over North Greene of Tennessee on Saturday. The Celtics were unable to stop the Raiders’ momentum behind 16 points by Elijah Weems.

Monday’s previous two games were switched to avoid duplicate matchups. Marshall County of Kentucky routed North Greene 60-24 and Memorial surged past host Arnold 66-35 with both victors finishing 2-1 in the tournament.

Memorial was awarded the third-place trophy despite losing the head-to-head matchup with Marshall County during pool play on Saturday. The Marshals also had a larger point differential but the Mustangs left with the hardware.

Walton 57, Trinity Catholic 42

It took Walton more than seven minutes to record its first basket and it trailed 12-3 after the first eight minutes. The Raiders recorded 16 field goals in the final three quarters in running their record to 11-0.

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