Sharks boys basketball team ends regular season with winning record


Winning two of their three games last week, Ponte Vedra’s boys basketball squad assured themselves of a winning season for the fifth straight year heading into the FHSAA playoffs.

The Sharks improved their record to 13-11 after defeating their archrivals from Nease 49-44 on Friday, Feb. 9, sweeping the season series over the Panthers.

The Sharks jumped out to an early 20-11 lead at the end of the first quarter and never looked back against a much improved Nease team. Jack Johnson recovered from an elbow injury to pace the Sharks with 13 points and continued his stellar defensive play with seven rebounds and four blocks. Johnson now has accumulated a total of 126 blocks during the 22 games he saw action in this year, a Ponte Vedra record that will surely be a challenge for future Sharks to emulate. Will Mons, with 10 points, scored in double figures for the fourth time in five games in the low scoring affair with Nease.  

After beginning the week by dropping a contest to Fletcher 61-54, the Sharks bounced back two nights later on Feb. 8 to defeat St. Augustine 67-60 on senior night at the Shark Tank.

With Reese Russi sitting out the St. Augustine game with an ankle injury and 6-foot-8-inch defensive swat man Jack Johnson seeing limited action nursing an elbow injury, Beech received some welcome play out of sophomore James Kohnke, who chipped in a career high 13 points in the win over the Yellowjackets.

The Sharks, trailing throughout the contest to St. Augustine, put on a furious rally in the game’s final quarter by outscoring the visitors 19-5. Junior forward Ben Houser gave the Sharks their first lead of the game at 61-58 with two minutes remaining after converting a three-point play. The Sharks capped their victory by going on a 14-0 run before the Yellowjackets were finally able to tally on a far too late bucket in the game’s closing seconds. Houser would finish his night’s work with a game high 17 points, with senior Will Mons joining Kohnke in double figures with 10 points.

The loss earlier in the week to Fletcher on Feb. 6 marred a career high 19-point output by senior guard Andrew Mathis.

            This article went to the printer prior to the team’s Feb. 14 matchup with Clay High School.