Bulldogs claim district crown

Crestview boys basketball

Crestview's Denzel Ware shoots for two on Saturday against Niceville during the district final at Fort Walton Beach High School.

Published: Sunday, February 9, 2014 at 12:30 AM.

FORT WALTON BEACH — Crestview High School’s Denzel Ware is headed to the University of Kentucky to play football in the fall, but that doesn’t mean he can’t play a little basketball.

The Bulldog senior post player was at his best with the District 1-7A championship on the line Saturday against a tenacious Niceville High School team at Fort Walton Beach High School’s Viking Gymnasium.

Ware proved his worth on the both defensive and offensive ends of the floor in the final 83 seconds of the game. Ware took a charge from Niceville’s Nick Morken with game tied 55-55 and 1:23 left in the fourth quarter. And as the final seconds clicked off the clock he powered into the lane to hit the game winning shot to give the Bulldogs a 57-55 win and the district title.

“I wasn’t worried about them calling the charge,” Ware said of his strong move to the basket. “He (the defender) wasn’t set and I pulled up and made the basket to win the game.

“I wasn’t worried about it all.”

With the game tied and less than 90 ticks left on the clock Bulldog Coach Greg Watson decided to play for the last shot that would give Crestview the win.

“I thought we had a little momentum going and I was just going to see if they (the Eagles) were going to stay zone (on defense),” he said. “If they were going to go man we were going to pound it inside. They stayed zone.

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