Class 1A girls: South Walton rallies past Chipley for title

Lakeland Ledger photo
Published: Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 08:46 PM.

LAKELAND — Chipley’s Rakeia Sorey staying on the bench for much of the fourth quarter with foul trouble wasn’t the deciding factor in Wednesday’s Class 1A state title game loss to South Walton. It was one of many.

Poor shooting, a lack of making good on second-chance opportunities, a wide disparity in fouls and a pair of surging South Walton scorers in the second half helped the Seahawks pull away for a 58-49 victory at The Lakeland Center. It was the first state championship for South Walton (23-6). Chipley finished the season 23-5 in its first appearance in a state title game and second trip to the Final Four.

Sorey recorded her fourth foul on a Katie Logan shot with one second to play in the third quarter. Logan missed both attempts and Chipley led 39-35. Sorey, however, was relegated to the bench after scoring 14 points through three quarters and South Walton capitalized without the senior on the floor.

“She definitely had a passion for us on defense and without her in it brought the level of intensity down,” Chipley coach Heather Hingson said. “She played really hard for us on defense.”

Casey Perot moved the Seahawks within two early in the fourth quarter. Mackenzie Perot scored a possession later to provide the first tie of the game. Casey Perot then gave South Walton its first lead, 41-39, a minute into the fourth.

South Walton went on a 9-0 run to open the fourth quarter to turn a four-point deficit into a 44-39 lead with 4:40 showing on the clock. Casey Perot scored all 13 of her points in the second half. Eve Heffron added 10 points, also notching all her points in the final 16 minutes.

 Sorey returned to the game with 4:48 to play, but fouled out with less than a minute to go while the Tigers tried to stop the clock. That measure proved difficult as well with South Walton able to milk the time from 1:40 to 1:04 before a foul. Chipley trailed 51-45 at that point and couldn’t pull any closer.

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