It's been a challenging season for coach Joe Galloway and his Lookout Valley basketball team, but they've been on a roll lately.
They entered Saturday afternoon's non-district game at Silverdale Baptist Academy with a not-so-impressive 5-13 record, but they headed back home with a 45-40 victory and their fourth straight win.
"I'm excited for our kids. We had two freshmen playing today for the first time and they gave us some good minutes as they came through big," Galloway said, praising the effort of Bailee Melton and David Sanders.
"We gave it all we had. You don't normally win many games shooting free throws like we did, but it's nice to get a victory when you play hard. They were a lot bigger than we were, but we battled them. They had a huge advantage in rebounds, but we got some big ones at the end.
"Nobody gave up on our team and we easily could have," the veteran coach added with a smile.
He was exactly right about success at the charity stripe as the Yellow Jackets made just six of 16 in the final two minutes.
Unfortunately for the homestanding Seahawks, they were never able to take advantage.
The game was tied at 17 each for halftime, but Lookout Valley surged ahead and had a 33-27 lead going into the fourth quarter.
Consecutive buckets by John Hall, Reid Clements and Spencer Mossburg allowed Silverdale to tie the score once more at 35-all with 5:07 to play and it looked like the Seahawks were ready to take charge.
Kenquel Dozier and Sanders both sank a pair of free throws to give Lookout Valley a 39-35 lead midway through the final stanza, but Silverdale never regained the upper hand.
Lookout Valley could have put the game away long before the final horn, but the Yellow Jackets missed more than they made.
Ben Strawn's long 3 from the wing with 37.6 seconds got Silverdale within a point at 41-40, but Sanders and Dozier both sank one free throw to make it 43-40 and Chase Clounch hit a pair with 6.9 seconds to play to seal the win.
Silverdale coach Randy Evans had no problem with his team's effort, but the Seahawks just didn't get the results they were looking for.
"That was ugly," Evans began after his team had lost for the 11th time in 15 games.
"We missed a bunch of point-blank layups and we weren't very good at the free throw line. I feel like we're better than that, but we just didn't finish.
"I really don't know what to say. We played so flat. We rebounded well and our effort was great, but we just didn't finish and it cost us the game," he added.
Dozier was the scoring leader for Lookout Valley with 18 points. Fitzgerald Morris played a steady game and finished with a dozen while Sanders was next with eight.
Hall was tops for Silverdale as he finished with a double-double, including 15 points and a dozen rebounds.
Mossburg and Clements were next with 10 and eight points, respectively, and both grabbed eight rebounds as Silverdale won the battle of the boards, 40-27.
Jamal Jones only scored five points for the Yellow Jackets, but he was the leading rebounder with 10. Dozier and Morris snagged seven apiece.
SILVERDALE GIRLS 58, LOOKOUT VALLEY 14: This was never much of a contest as the Lady Seahawks bolted to a 16-2 lead after the first quarter and were never challenged.
Mariah Massengill connected on 13 of 15 shots from the field and finished with 28 points to lead Silverdale, now 10-8 overall.
Megan Lewis and Sloane Woodward were also in double figures for the Lady Seahawks with 12 and 10 points, respectively.
Brianna Evers was tops for Lookout Valley with five points while Elexis Foster had four and Kristen Hall three.
Lookout Valley 2 5 5 2 -- 14
Silverdale 16 16 16 10 -- 58
LOOKOUT VALLEY (14) -- Hallowell, Foster 4, McBee 2, Hoge, Hall 3, Evers 5.
SILVERDALE (58) -- Alosi, Massengill 28, Lewis 12, Woodward 10, Smtmih 2, Redmond, Pike, Sims 3, Skelton 3.
3-POINT GOALS: Lookout Valley 1 (Evers); Silverdale 6 (Massengill 2, Lewis 2, Woodward 2).
Lookout Valley 10 7 16 12 -- 45
Silverdale 9 8 10 13 -- 40
LOOKOUT VALLEY (45) -- Melton, Clounch 2, Dozier 18, Sanders 8, Morris 12, Jones 5.
SILVERDALE (40) -- Delashmitt, Strawn 3, Keylon 2, Mossburg 10, Clements 8, Dye 2, Hall 15, Marshall.
3-POINT GOALS: Lookout Valley 2 (Dozier, Sanders); Silverdale 3 (Strawn, Mossburg 2).
(Email John Hunt at firstname.lastname@example.org)