CRESTVIEW — Spurred by a strong defensive effort the Crestview boys basketball team took a 50-43 win over District 1-7A rival Fort Walton Beach on Tuesday.
First-year Bulldog coach Greg Watson was pleased with his team's effort on both on both ends of the court.
"We played well defensively," he said. "We held them to 43. Effort wise we did a good job.
"Coach (John) Lavin does a great job (with the Vikings). They play hard defensively. It was tough for us to score as well."
Ronnie Baylark opened the scoring for Crestview 28 seconds into the game as the Bulldogs took an early 2-0 lead. Baskets wouldn't come so easy the rest of the quarter.
Back-to-back scores by Marquese Davenport and Chris Bowden gave the Vikings a lead they held most of the first quarter.
The biggest Viking lead of the game was five points at 8-3 after a Trace Ryan basket with 4:02 left in the period.
Crestview tied the game at 11-11 on a Jerry Aaron basket with 21 seconds left in the opening period. The Vikings answered with basket from Jack Bristot as the first quarter ended.
Marcelle Moorer and Rusty Moorer sparked a 10-2 Bulldog rally to start the second quarter. A Baylark basket with 5:38 left in the half put Crestview up 17-15 and the Bulldogs wouldn't trail again.
Israel Black did his best to keep the Vikings (6-3, 1-2) close in the second period as he scored eight of his game-high 19 points.
But Black was just one man and as he carried the load for Fort Walton Beach the Bulldogs (6-1, 2-0) had seven players score in the period.
Crestview led 32-22 at the half and increased the lead to 31-29 after three.
Black made another gutsy effort to pull the Vikings back into the game in the fourth quarter as he scored seven more points. Fort Walton Beach was able to cut the Bulldog lead to five points with 2:56 left in the game, but it wasn't enough.
Davenport scored 10 points to join Black in double figures for the Vikings.
Baylark topped Crestview with 16 points. Marcelle Moorer scored eight. Rusty Moorer scored six points as did Wesley St. Vill.
Randy Dickson is the Crestview News Bulletin’s sports editor. Email him at email@example.com, tweet him @BigRandle, or call 682-6524.