Friday roundup: Pine Forest clamps down on Pensacola in convincing performance

·7 min read

Note: Is your team missing from the roundup? Be sure to update your MaxPreps page regularly or file stats to the PNJ via email or phone.

Lucas Semb can be reached at lsemb@gannett.com or 850-281-7414.

Patrick Bernadeau can be reached at pbernadeau@gannett.com or 850-503-3828.

Here's a roundup of high school games and matches played on Friday, Jan. 14:

Kieantae Hill (2) leaps to dunk on a fast break during the Pine Forest vs PHS boys basketball game at Pensacola High School on Friday, Jan. 14, 2022.
Kieantae Hill (2) leaps to dunk on a fast break during the Pine Forest vs PHS boys basketball game at Pensacola High School on Friday, Jan. 14, 2022.

Boys Basketball

Pine Forest 59, Pensacola 37

In front of television cameras and a packed gym, Kieantae Hill brought the house down.

Late in the first half, the senior center created a 2-on-1 fast break after intercepting a pass. Hill had one of two choices to make: either draw in the defender before dishing the ball to his teammate or do the damage himself.

Hill, emphatically, chose the latter.

The 6-foot-5 big man rocked the rim with a right-handed flush over the contest of Pensacola junior guard Brian Harris.

"All I was thinking when I got the ball is that I got to dunk this," Hill said. "And when I did it, I didn't even know that I did it until my teammates were congratulating me. I was excited."

When asked if he's ever had a similar play during the course of his career, Hill recalled throwing down a putback dunk earlier in the season during a win against Booker T. Washington. However, given the electricity in the building, nothing quite compares to his slam from Friday night. The Barbara Rose Gym at the David M. Williams Sports Complex remained abuzz several possessions after the show-stopping highlight.

"It's feels good," the senior said. "It lets everybody know I'm the real deal."

Hill's dunk began an 8-0 surge as Pine Forest entered halftime with a 27-10 lead and was never challenged the rest of the way. Suffering a 61-60 defeat at Choctaw the night before, the Eagles rebounded, leading wire-to-wire en route to their 14th win of the season.

Cachaz Alfred (11) tells Felton Roberson (22) to check out the score as they exchange words during the Pine Forest vs PHS boys basketball game at Pensacola High School on Friday, Jan. 14, 2022.
Cachaz Alfred (11) tells Felton Roberson (22) to check out the score as they exchange words during the Pine Forest vs PHS boys basketball game at Pensacola High School on Friday, Jan. 14, 2022.

"Holding them under 40 points was a tough task. It was a tough ask, but we did it though," Pine Forest head coach Ty McCants said. "That's what most impressed me tonight, we played great defense tonight."

The Eagles (14-5) set the tone early as Pensacola did not put its first points up on the scoreboard until Tigers senior guard Jason Peoples scored inside with 1 minutes, 9 seconds remaining in the opening quarter.

Against an aggressive man-to-man defense, Pensacola never appeared settled in the half-court as Pine Forest guards Ozell Purifoy, Cachaz Alfred and Joshua Whitehurst hounded PHS' perimeter players.

If the Tigers manufactured a look, the length of Hill and 6-5 forward Omarayon Turner often resulted in tough shot in the paint or worse, a turnover. Pensacola (12-8) entered the night averaging 56.2 points per game, but Friday's output was a season low.

Omarayon Turner (1) tries to stop James Robinson (12) as he drives to the hoop during the Pine Forest vs PHS boys basketball game at Pensacola High School on Friday, Jan. 14, 2022.
Omarayon Turner (1) tries to stop James Robinson (12) as he drives to the hoop during the Pine Forest vs PHS boys basketball game at Pensacola High School on Friday, Jan. 14, 2022.

"When you have these long, athletic guys, it is pretty hard (to score)," McCants said. "When you do get by us, we have another line of defense. So you have to finish at the rim over these tall guys all night. And it's also hard to get past our guards initially, so it's a tough task to get past us."

Pine Forest's greatest advantage on the other side of the floor was controlling the glass.

Earlier in the second quarter, Eagles senior guard Robert Ward scored on a layup in a possession that featured two offensive rebounds. Ward's bucket capped a 9-0 run, put the road team ahead 17-5 and forced the Pensacola to switch from zone to man-to-man defense.

Powered by 10 offensive boards, Pine Forest won the rebounding battle 26-22.

Robert Ward (10) shoots for two during the Pine Forest vs PHS boys basketball game at Pensacola High School on Friday, Jan. 14, 2022.
Robert Ward (10) shoots for two during the Pine Forest vs PHS boys basketball game at Pensacola High School on Friday, Jan. 14, 2022.

"We wanted to be patient on offense, take the shots we wanted to get, and when we do shoot it, everybody crash," McCants said. "We work on that in practice and that's something we try to execute, and that's what they went out and did tonight."

"We just needed to be strong, crash the boards and box out," Hill added.

Turner led the visitors with 17 points and 11 rebounds. Nine Eagles recorded points to just four players for Pensacola. Peoples finished with a team-high 14 points.

Looking to avoid a three-game losing streak, the Tigers play at 7 p.m. Thursday at Crestview. Pine Forest next hits the floor at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at West Florida.

Bishop Snyder 60, Booker T. Washington 59

In their first game of the Dale Green MLK Classic in Jacksonville, the Wildcats fell by the slimmest of margins to Jacksonville Bishop Snyder. The lost dropped Booker T. Washington's record to 12-4 this season. Stats were unavailable.

Gulf Breeze 46, Choctaw 44

In a game that was tied entering the final eight minutes of play, the Dolphins outlasted the Indians at home to capture their fourth-straight win. Stats were unavailable.

Improving to 13-3 this season, Gulf Breeze is host to West Florida at 7:30 p.m. Monday.

Tate 57, Navarre 49

After dropping four of their last five games, the Aggies picked up a much-needed victory at home against the Raiders. Tate moved to 3-1 in District 1-6A play while Navarre dropped to 2-4. Stats were unavailable.

The Aggies play another home district game at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday against Escambia.

Milton 41, Pace 32

For the second time this season, the Panthers defeated the Patriots in a low-scoring affair. This latest victory came on the road and improved the team’s record to 10-7. Stats were unavailable.

Milton is host to Choctaw at 7:30 p.m. Monday.

West Florida Baptist Academy 56, South Haven Christian 19

The Conquerors won for the fourth time of their last five games after a romp over the Patriots (Tenn.) in the Middle Tennessee Classic. Stats were unavailable.

Girls Basketball

Navarre 46, Milton 41

Behind their five-point victory Friday night, the Raiders swept the regular-season series with the Panthers. Stats were unavailable.

Navarre previously earned a 46-34 victory at Milton on Nov. 18. The Raiders next face Baldwin County (Ala.) at 11 a.m. Monday during the MLK Classic from West Florida High School. After back-to-back losses, the Panthers are host to Pace at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Crestview 52, Pace 47

The Patriots saw their five-game winning streak come to an end after a five-point defeat at Crestview. Stats were unavailable.

Pace takes on McGill-Toolen (Ala.) at 4 p.m. Monday during the MLK Classic at West Florida High School.

Pensacola Christian Academy 51, East Hill Christian 12

Hannah Romero posted 18 points to lead the Warriors in a blowout at East Hill Christian. Nine players scored for PCA, who enjoyed a 15-0 advantage after the first quarter and a 31-2 cushion at halftime.

Pensacola Christian Academy plays Rocky Bayou Christian at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday from Niceville.

West Florida Baptist Academy 47, Berean Christian 20

Leading 42-12 after three quarters, the Conquerors cruised to an easy triumph over the Berean Christian (Ill.) during the Middle Tennessee Classic. Teagan Ellis paced West Florida Baptist Academy with 18 points on 8-for-12 shooting. The senior also had seven rebounds and four steals.

Boys Soccer

Gulf Breeze 5, Pensacola Catholic 0

Hanie Kousa and Peyton Tetro each scored twice to guide the Crusaders to a comfortable home win over the Crusaders. Gulf Breeze's victory on Friday was a far cry from the 1-1 draw the two teams played on Dec. 8.

Kousa added an assist on a goal from Will Woodward. Moving to 12-1-3 this season, the Dolphins are host to Niceville at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. Pensacola Catholic ends its regular season with a home match against Pace at 7 p.m. Friday.

Pace 7, Milton 0

The Patriots collected their third win over their last four matches following a shutout win over the Panthers. Stats were unavailable.

Pace is host to West Florida at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

South Walton 3, West Florida 1

The Jaguars are 1-3 in their last four matches after being dismissed on the road by South Walton. Stats were unavailable.

Girls Soccer

Escambia 8, Rocky Bayou Christian 4

Brianna Aaron racked up six goals and an assist to lead the Gators to victory over the Knights at Emmitt Smith Field. The senior striker padded her goal total to 20 this season. Kaiden Foree and Ashley DeWitt each added a score for Escambia, who is host to Pine Forest at 6 p.m. Tuesday.

Pace 2, Choctaw 1

Suffering their first loss of the new year on Tuesday, the Patriots bounced back with a 2-1 win at Choctaw. Pace improved to 8-4-1 with the win. Stats were unavailable.

The Patriots play at 2 p.m. Monday at Milton.

This article originally appeared on Pensacola News Journal: Roundup: Pine Forest never trails in rout at Pensacola