NICEVILLE — Some coaches don’t put a lot of stock in holiday basketball tournaments. Don’t count Crestview High School’s boys basketball coach George Stakley in that group.
Stakley understands the lessons learned the week after Christmas can pay dividends when district tournament time rolls around in February.
“This gives us a chance to play better teams,” he said. “That’s what we are here to see.
“It’s not going to hurt us in our district. It’s going to help us by the teams we play.”
A win or two a holiday tournament is often makes the learning process that much sweeter.
Crestview picked up such a win Tuesday against Seigel, Tenn., in the Go Southern Beach Blowout at Northwest Florida State College.
Led by Rusty Moorer’s 24 points, the Bulldogs had three players in double figures in a 65-56 win.
Marquis McClain pitched in 14 points for Crestview and Marcus Purcell added 13. Crestview faces Bainbridge, Ga., at 5:30 p.m. today in the consolation finals at Northwest Florida State.
“Rusty got hot and we just followed his lead,” Stakley said. “Once we got into our offense we were able to get things going.”
Seigel’s Omar Lyons scored the game’s first basket 26 seconds after the opening tip.
Less than 20 seconds later, Purcell hit a 3-pointer to give the Bulldogs a lead they wouldn’t relinquish. Baskets by Chris Bryant and Moorer pushed the Crestview lead to 7-2.
Purcell had the hot hand for Crestview (11-2) in the first quarter scoring nine points a three 3-point baskets.
The Bulldogs led 16-11 at the end of the first quarter and 26-20 at the half.
Moorer got stronger as the game went on. He scored two points in the first quarter, six in the second quarter, seven in the third and nine in the fourth.
McClain was at his best in the second half scoring six points in the third quarter and eight in the fourth.
Crestview’s largest lead of the night came with 4:18 left in the fourth quarter when Moorer hit a pair of free throws to put the Bulldogs up 56-40.
The Stars outscored Crestview 16-9 the rest of the way, but by then it was too little too late.