SEBRING – The Sebring Blue Streaks struck down the Haines City Hornets in Tuesday night’s game. The Blue Streaks got the lead early and never let up in earning the win over the Hornets by a final score of 66-54. The win improved Sebring’s record to 11-2 on the season.
“It was a good game,” said Sebring head coach Princeton Harris. “Haines City is a tough team that came in here ready to play. The kids came out and executed. We did some good things but fell out of our defensive effort again. We continually have to work on that. Overall I am happy with the win. They all played well tonight. Ryan Brown came out hot the first couple of minutes of the game. He came off the bench with us having some players out tonight. He did a very good job.”
It was raining threes in the first period. Sebring jumped to an early lead with Jehovany Garcia and Ryan Brown each making layups giving the Blue Streaks a 4-0 lead. Haines City tied the game at 4 and Sebring’s Brown sank a 3-pointer and Norris Taylor drained a 3-pointer to make it 10-4.
Brown made a layup, Taylor made a 3-pointer and Garcia followed suit with a 3-pointer for a 20-5 lead.
Will Desources went two-for-two at the line, Alkervion Hester made one of two free throws and at the buzzer, Shamar Hawthorne sank a 3-pointer to give the Blue Streaks a 26-10 lead heading to the second quarter.
Sebring stayed hot in the second period as Mason Hutchins made a put back and Eric Brown made a basket.
The Hornets rallied putting up 9 points narrowing the deficit to 30-19. Garcia made a bucket and Taylor went two-for-two at the line furthering Sebring’s lead to 34-21. Hester added a shot off the glass and Haines City made 5 points bringing the score to 36-26 at the end of the first half with Sebring still on top.
Sebring continued to build its lead in the third period. Hutchins made a jump shot, Taylor netted the ball and Brown dunked widening the gap to 42-28. Taylor made both his shots from the line and Garcia netted another 3-pointer.
Brown added a basket extending the Blue Streaks lead to an overwhelming 48-28. Haines City trimmed the deficit with a run.
Garcia made yet another 3-pointer and Taylor banked a shot. Garcia scored 15 total points. The Hornets’ Antwan Walker went two-for-two at the line but Haines City still trailed Sebring 54-37 at the end of the third quarter.
“The first quarter was great,” said Norris Taylor. “The second quarter we slowed down, third quarter we got a little bit right but in the fourth we ended it. We are going to practice hard to get ready for Lake Wales on Friday. It is hard knowing this is my last season but I am going to go all out this season. My goal is to get a basketball scholarship if I can. I have a few schools looking at me for football but none yet for basketball. Our team goal is to make it to state. Our team is good and if we stay injury free then we should make it to state.”
Haines City rallied in the fourth and put up 10 points trimming its deficit to 56-47.
Brown went two-for-two at the line and Emmitt Beck made a jump shot from the left side and Taylor added a free throw. Taylor also charged down court for an easy layup to make it 61-52 with 2:05 left in the game.
Hutchins netted a jump shot and Desources made a free throw expanding the Blue Streaks lead to 64-52 with 1:19 left in the game. The Hornets made a basket bit wasn’t enough as the Blue Streaks claimed the victory.
“We try to build the schedule so we are competitive with everybody and Haines City is just a tough team,” said Harris. “We are going to learn some things from this game and get better. We are going to continue to work on our defensive effort, continue to work on offense and get our players back up to speed. We are going to work on what need to get better and that starts with defense.”
Sebring stole the ball 11 times and only gave up the ball 7 times. The Blue Streaks will host their Class 6A-District 10 foes the Lake Wales Highlanders on Friday night.