BAKER — Ten senior Baker girls basketball players finished their regular-season careers in impressive fashion Tuesday as the Gators rolled to 57-37 win over Gulf Breeze.
“I can’t say enough about these seniors and the last four years and what they have meant to me,” Baker coach Brian Wagner said. “They have put in the work to improve and get better and they capped it off tonight with some great passing and moving the ball was nice.”
A basket by Bethany Chestnut gave the Gators a 2-0 lead with 6:20 left in the first quarter before Savannah Nixon scored three quick points for the Dolphins to put Gulf Breeze up 3-2 with a little more than two minutes gone in the game.
A Chestnut basket with 5:37 left in the first quarter put the Baker up 4-3 and they led the rest of the way.
The Gators (15-6) closed out the first quarter with an 11-2 run to take a double lead they would never relinquish on their way to their ninth-straight win. The run was fueled by a tough Gator defense that pressed the Dolphins the length of the floor and forced many turnovers off made baskets.
Cassidy Anderson came up big during the run scoring six of her game-high 19 points and Chestnut finished the quarter with seven points. Haley Wagner picked up a basket in the run as well.
Anderson continued her torrid pace in the opening minutes of the second quarter scoring six quick points as the Gators continued to press the Dolphins.
Baker led 21-5 with 5:21 left in the half and at that time the only question seemed to be by how much the Gators would win.
Baker led 27-9 at the half.
Gulf Breeze did manage to outscore the Gators 17-15 in the third quarter, but that only cut the Baker lead to 16 points heading into the fourth quarter.
The Baker seniors would not be denied a final home win as the Gators pushed the lead to 57-34 on a Kathryn Quigg layup off a Wagner assist with 1:43 left in the game.
A 3-point basket by Liz Hoehn of Gulf Breeze with 25 second left in the game finished out the scoring for the night.
Lily Phillips joined Anderson in double figures for the Gatos with 10 points. Chestnut scored nine points and Sarah Hudson eight points.
The Gators will now get ready for next week’s District 2-1A tournament and Freeport.
There are certain times that you can peak and I hope for us we’ve peeked at the right time,” Brian Wagner said. “The tough part for us now will be trying to maintain that from today until next Tuesday.”
Randy Dickson is the Crestview News Bulletin’s sports editor. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, tweet him @BigRandle, or call 682-6524