FORT WALTON BEACH — The Crestview High School Lady Bulldogs basketball team made a statement that they are ready to run with the big dogs in District 1-7A Saturday night.
KK McTear and Jensis Coleman powered the Bulldogs with 19 points each as they upset Fort Walton Beach 73-66.
Crestview coach Kathy Combest attributed the win, the seventh straight for the Bulldogs (13-6, 4-2) to sound defense.
“We told them we weren’t playing defense good enough, but since the Christmas tournament and all this week, we’ve been working on defense,” Combest said. “I think that helped us the most.
This is going to help my girls believe in themselves a little more because they are still kind of young. Anything that is going to help build their confidence is going to help us in the long run.”
Crestview got off to a strong start in the first quarter behind the hot shooting of Arianna Simms who scored six points in the opening period as the Bulldogs had a 15-11 lead at the end of the opening stanza.
The Vikings (15-7) battled back in the second quarter behind the scoring of Quary McNab, who scored seven of her team-best 19 points in the quarter.
A DeDe McLane basket with 2:55 left in the half pulled the Vikings even with the Bulldogs at 23-23. Crestview quickly regained the lead on a McTear 3-pointer and stayed in front the rest of the half.
McLane, who finished the game with 13 points, gave the Vikings their first lead of the night with 4:51 left in the third quarter.
The lead would see-saw back and forth the rest of the way.
A Jasmine Middleton basket with 53 seconds left put Crestview in front 66-65.
Coleman and Simms, who scored 13 points, combined for 7-of-8 free throws in the final 26 seconds to seal the win for Crestview.
Randy Dickson is the Crestview News Bulletin’s sports editor. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, tweet him @BigRandle, or call 682-6524.