PANAMA CITY — Darreyen Sims likes firing up shots like any other basketball player, but it was his work on the other end of the floor that benefited his team Friday night.
Sims locked down Mosley standout Nat Dixon for much of the contest, and Bay pulled away in the second half for a 73-50 victory over Mosley in a non-district boys basketball game at the John L. Cobb Gymnasium.
Post players Corey Brown and Tommy Wade combined for 30 points and several slam dunks for Bay, which improved to 12-8 overall. Bay point guard Ryan Norwood shredded the Dolphins’ defense and finished with a team-high 17 points, 13 of them from the foul line.
Dixon entered the game averaging 25 points per contest, and he wasted little time displaying his offensive prowess for visiting Mosley. He sandwiched a slam dunk between two 3-pointers during a 37-second span that gave the Dolphins a 17-12 lead. Mosley carried a 22-15 advantage into the second quarter.
The Tornadoes began to reverse the tide with a full-court press that flustered Mosley’s ball-handlers. The Dolphins had trouble initiating their offense against the pressure defense, and Dixon was held scoreless in the quarter until his 15-foot jumper with 2:35 left in the first half. That bucket gave Mosley a 28-24 lead, but Bay held the Dolphins scoreless for the rest of the half to rally and take a 29-28 lead into the locker room.
Sims shadowed Dixon around the court, and Mosley had trouble getting Dixon into the offense. Often it was Bay’s press that forced possessions away from Dixon, but more often than that it was Sims’ yeoman work on the defensive end that kept the ball out of Dixon’s hands.
“I thought he did an excellent job on him,” Bay coach Michael Grady said of Sims, who added eight points and held Dixon without a field goal for a 15-minute stretch covering both halves.
Added Sims: “I was trying to bring some intensity for my team. Nat’s a good player, and I was trying to do what I could to limit him.”
Mosley’s Josh Turner, who scored 16 points and hauled down 10 rebounds, pulled the Dolphins within 37-33 with a three-point play with 4½ minutes left in the third quarter. The Tornadoes answered with a 13-0 run, however, to put the game out of reach. Norwood dropped in 8 of 10 free throws during Bay’s scoring binge, and his two free throws with 1:06 remaining in the quarter gave the Tornadoes an insurmountable 50-33 lead.
Brown scored six points for Bay during a 10-0 run in the fourth quarter that gave the Tornadoes their largest lead of the game at 63-40.
Brown and Wade overpowered the smaller Dolphins in the interior, and Grady credited his young players for their ongoing development. Grady said Brown, who scored 16 points, is just a 15-year-old. Wade, who chipped in with 14 points, has been playing with the Tornadoes for two years.
“They’re starting to come along and be the mismatches we need them to be,” Grady said.
Wade enjoyed the victory over a county rival, and he said he and Brown simply were playing like they expect to play.
“He’s 6-foot-8, and I’m 6-6,” Wade said. “We should be able to dominate with our size.”
Mosley coach Chris Martello said his team’s 28 turnovers were five more than their season average per game.
“The wheels fell off tonight,” he said. “We just didn’t have our head in the game. We were up and down, and it showed.”
BAY (73) — Norwood 2 13-16 17, Goodman 0 0-0 0, Foster 2 1-2 5, Holloman 0 0-0 0, Sims 3 2-6 8, Butler 0 0-0 0, Shorter 2 0-0 4, McNeil 0 0-0 0, Patterson 3 1-2 7, Wade 7 0-0 14, Brown 8 0-0 16. Totals 27 17-26 73.
MOSLEY (50) — Ward 1 2-4 4, Dixon 6 5-6 20, Harrison 2 1-2 5, Stadmire 0 0-0 0, Corbin 0 1-2 1, Albert 0 0-0 0, Harris 0 0-0 0, Doolan 0 0-0 0, Salazar 0 0-0 0, Turner 6 4-4 16, Alexander 1 0-2 2. Totals 16 13-20 50.
Bay 15 14 23 21 — 73
Mosley 22 6 10 12 — 50