Following a sluggish first quarter the Ponte Vedra boys’ basketball team needed an offensive spark. The answer was three-year starter and team captain Quinn Carey, who exploded with 18 points, tw blocked shots, and eight rebounds to lead Ponte Vedra to a 36-18 win over county rival Creekside.
“Quinn is definitely a guy that the kids all look too,” said Ponte Vedra coach Bud Beech. “Quinn got off to a slow start but he became very active and started making plays.
Throughout the entire first quarter neither team had much of a pulse on the offensive side of the ball. Carey landed an early jump shot and Matt Johnson went 1-for-2 from the free throw line to give the Sharks a 3-0 at the conclusion of the quarter.
“We were slow getting things started from turning the ball over to much,” Beech said. “They defended hard, but obviously you have to respect what we did defensively.”
Offensively, Creekside had a difficult time finding a shooting rhythm as the Knights were 0-for-12 shooting during the opening quarter. Creekside was also called for traveling three times.
“Ponte Vedra played great defense and I give them a lot of credit,” said Creekside coach Will Mayer.
Ponte Vedra continued to extend the lead with strong play from Carey who added six points in the second quarter. Creekside finally was able to get on the board with 6:17 left in the half when Adam Trethewey landed a free throw. The Knights were also able to get more momentum when James Tolar landed a 3-point basket to cut the deficit to 17-9 at halftime. The Knights relyed heavily on their defensive effort.
“Our focus is to play man to man defense,” said Mayer. “I think we’re getting better at it and getting tougher.”
Following intermission Creekside once again fell victim to a scoring drought as the Knights failed to score a basket until 38 seconds left in the third quarter via a J’Michael Plummer’s jump shot. During the third Carey continued to add to the Ponte Vedra lead scoring on free throws, 3-point shots and layups. Ponte Vedra defensively also continued their aggressive play with Thatcher Rottinghaus and Ross McCarthy.
“We finally had some breakaways in the second half to push the lead,” Beech said.
Ponte Vedra continued to push the gas pedal in the final quarter of play showcasing an impressive inside game that continued to out rebound the Knights.
Ponte Vedra improved to 3-2 on the season. The Sharks, who won District 4-5A last year, are coming off a big district win over Menendez Tuesday and will refocus on district play next week.
“Our district as a whole is a lot stronger this year,” said Beech. “Us and Palatka were always nip and tuck. Clay has nice players this year and Pedro is also very tough with (Zack) Bryant.”
Creekside falls to 3-2 overall. The Knights, who beat district rivals Nease by 21 on Tuesday, return to district play when they host St. Augustine Friday night.
“This is over tonight,” said Mayer. “Our focus is on the district and our game with St. Augustine Friday night.”