Silverdale Boys Advance To First Final Four

Seahawks Rally To Beat Webb For 30th Win

  • Saturday, February 24, 2024
  • John Hunt

The winning continues for the Silverdale Baptist Academy boy’s basketball team.

It’s been an incredible season for coach Slater Belew and his Seahawks. Winning for the 30th time in 33 games on Saturday night at the Silverdale Center before a loud and overflow crowd of mostly Silverdale folks, the Seahawks advanced to the Final Four next weekend at Tennessee Tech in Cookeville with a crazy and come-from-behind 63-51 state quarterfinal victory over the Webb School from Bell Buckle.

The Seahawks are making history with every game they play and every game they win as they’ve never won 30 games in a season and they’ve never been to a Division II Final Four.

Belew knew it would be a tough challenge for his team as they had beaten this same Webb team during their Thanksgiving tournament. But on a night when it was either win and advance or stay home, the Seahawks rallied and took charge when the game was yet to be determined.

“That was just unbelievable,” Belew said as he looked across the court at a sea of Silverdale parents, students and players following team pictures.

“The crowd was incredible and they were a factor as we rallied to win as a group. We’ve been in a lot of close games like this before and that helped, but we just had to make some adjustments at the half and we were able to do that.

“We got a few breaks and we made some big shots. And there in the fourth quarter with the game on the line, we made our free throws. I’m more pleased with the win than the way we executed at times, but this is a first in school history and we just want it to keep rolling.

“Kennedy Okpara is a monster. When he’s focused, he’s a pretty good basketball player. But we had a bunch of guys contribute to this win and that makes me really happy,” he added.

Webb coach Micah Williams was proud of his team for advancing to this point and was happy about the effort they displayed, but he wasn’t real crazy about the outcome.

“I’m proud of my guys as they played their hearts out in a big game involving two pretty good teams,” he said before going into the Webb dressing room following the game.

“In a game like this, it’s a call here or there or a play here or there that makes the difference. Unfortunately, we were on the wrong side tonight as things just didn’t go our way,” he said in a quiet tone.

The Feet entered the game with a 20-11 record and pretty much dominated the game for the first three quarters.

Elijah Brown and Jackson Howard both scored five points as Webb had a 14-9 lead when the first quarter ended. Brown canned a 3 from the corner to give the Feet their biggest lead of the half at 27-19 with 2:20 left in the second stanza before the Seahawks trimmed the difference to 27-24 at intermission.

Jedidiah Jarrett canned a 3 from the corner to start the second half as Webb’s lead swelled to 30-24 before Silverdale took the lead with seven straight points, the second of two free throws by Elyjah Richardson with 5:17 left giving the Seahawks a 31-30 advantage.

A drive along the baseline by Okpara with 1:09 left gave Silverdale a 40-38 lead before Webb finished the quarter on a 5-0 run for a 43-30 lead with one quarter remaining.

Silverdale scored nine of the first 12 points for a 49-46 lead following three free throws by Brett Wright, but the visitors from Bell Buckle knotted the score when Jarrett bagged another 3 from the corner to tie the game at 49-49 with 2:52 remaining.

That’s when the train jumped off the track for Webb.

Richardson calmly swished a 3 from the key with 2:34 remaining for a 52-49 lead before a technical foul was called on the Webb bench. Wright responded with two free throws and Silverdale proceeded to score seven more unanswered points for a 61-49 lead before Brown stopped the bleeding with a drive from the wing with 35 seconds to play.

Okpara made two more free throws three seconds later and that was the game as the Seahawks held the ball for the final seconds as the appreciative crowd stood and cheered for the home team.

Okpara scored 23 points to lead Silverdale while Wright and Houston Holland also finished in double figures with 18 and 10 points, respectively.

Taveon Comage and Brown both scored 16 points to lead the Feet.

Webb also had an unofficial 19-17 advantage in rebounds as Joel Wright grabbed eight and Comage five for the Feet. Okpara had five to lead Silverdale while Judah Richardson and Elyjah Richardson both claimed four each.

The pairings for the Division I, Class A tournament will most likely be announced on Sunday, but Silverdale will either play at 1:30 or 5 on Friday afternoon at Tennessee Tech. The Seahawks will be joined by teams from Evangelical Christian, Providence Christian and FACS in the Final Four.

 

WEBB SCHOOL

14

13

16

8

-- 51

SILVERDALE

9

15

16

23

--63

WEBB (51) – Jarrett 6, Elijah Brown 16, Howard 7, Mills, Wyatt 6, Taveon Comage 16, Kirby.

SILVERDALE (63) – J. Richardson 8, Kennedy Okpara 23, Hoewischer, Brett Wright 18, Houston Holland 10, McGraw, E. Richardson 4.

3-Point Goals: Webb 8 (Jarrett 2, Brown 4, Howard, Comage); Silverdale 4 (Okpara, Holland 2, E. Richardson).

(Email John Hunt at nomarathonmoose@gmail.com)

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