The Port St. Joe Jr./Sr. High School boys’ basketball team opened Tuesday’s Region 2-1A title game seemingly intent on giving the title to host Vernon.
By the end the Tiger Sharks had fallen one step short of the state Class 1A semifinals, 66-57.
Turnovers and sloppy play from Port St. Joe allowed the Yellow Jackets to open the game on an 11-0 run and begin the second period, after Port St. Joe had closed to 12-9, on another spurt.
At halftime it was 33-18 and it was a deficit the Tiger Sharks, who finished the season 18-9, could not overcome.
“We came out exactly like we shouldn’t,” Quinn said. “It started rough and it started rough again in the second period.
“We were turning the ball over as if we had never seen the ball before.”
The Tiger Sharks finished with 28 turnovers and were just 3-12 from 3-point land.
Jy’trel Riley led Port St. Joe with 26 points and Lamarius Martin added 10, Demarion Gray seven.
Neshon Gadson paced Port St. Joe on the boards with nine..
There were hopes that the boys would duplicate the path of the Lady Tiger Sharks to Lakeland for the state Final Four, an unprecedented feat in the school’s history.
But, despite falling short, Quinn said it was a successful season.
“We had a good season,” Quinn said. “At the beginning of the season if you had told me we would get to the region final, I would have said I don’t know, we have a lot of work to do.
“But the kids pulled together and we got a lot accomplished.”
Port St. Joe 54, Malone 44
Balanced scoring helped Port St. Joe win the Region 2-1A semifinal.
Jy’trel Riley led all scorers with 17 points and added four rebounds, four assists and four steals.
Demarion Gray added 11 points, five rebounds, three assists and a steal and Neshon Gadson scored 10 points and added seven rebounds, three assists and a steal.
Trey Jones packed the stat sheet with nine points, three rebounds, two blocked shots, two assists and a steal and Lamarius Martin had five points and seven rebounds.
Bubba Ash had six rebounds and Lajuan Zaccaro had two points and two rebounds.
The Tiger Sharks shot just 1 for 14 from beyond the 3-point arc but also had 15 assists.