The Port St. Joe Jr./Sr. High School girls’ basketball team powered past defending state champion South Walton to claim the District 4-1A crown on Monday.
The Lady Tiger Sharks are 14-10 and advance to the Region 1-1A semifinals, hosting Chipley, state runners-up last season, at 7 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Feb. 11.
Port St. Joe, a young team with no juniors or seniors and which has come of age during the season, drew a bye as top seed in the opening round of the district playoffs, which were delayed by last week’s winter storm.
The Lady Tiger Sharks faced West Gadsden in the semifinals and jumped out to an early 12-3 lead, pushing the margin to 26-14 at the half.
The rout continued in the second half as Port St. Joe won 57-21.
Teiyahna Hutchinson, just an eighth-grader, led all scorers with 21 points and Brooklyn Quinn, also an eighth-grader, added 14.
Callie Fleshner, a sophomore, scored eight points, Hallie Jasinski, a ninth-grader, six and Java Patterson, Flossy Pittman, Jamarion Larry and Maliyah McNair each scored two points.
The finals pitted the Lady Tiger Sharks against South Walton after the teams split during the regular season.
The Lady Seahawks scored the first six points of the game, but Fleshner, Quinn and Hutchinson combined to score the next eight.
At the half it was 11-10 South Walton, but after three periods Port St. Joe had squeezed out a 25-22 lead.
The Lady Tiger Sharks won 37-30.
Hutchinson led Port St. Joe with 21 points and Quinn added 10. Fleshner chipped in four points and Jasinski two.