Sharks fall to Eagles in season opener

Ritchie, Cowan score double-digits


The Ponte Vedra High boys basketball team opened the season with a tough test at home against Paxon School for Advanced Studies, and lost 64-50 to drop to 0-1 on the season.

There are positive signs the Sharks can take from the loss and work on building upon moving forward, including the way they came out of the gate and started both halves.

The Sharks led 11-9 at the end of the first quarter and matched the Eagles (2-0), who won 20 games a year ago, intensity to begin the second half, only being outscored by one point, 17-16 in the third quarter.

However, it was all Eagles in the two remaining quarters, as they outscored the Sharks 22-11 in the second quarter to grab a commanding 31-22 halftime lead that set the tone for the contest and never looked back.

Seniors Sam Ritchie and Tyler Cowan led the way in scoring for the Sharks, with 13 and 12 points, respectively.

Ritchie made a pair of three-pointers as well, but it proved to be the only production the Sharks had beyond the arc all night, as the Eagles drained seven more three-pointers, which proved to be a major difference in the outcome.

Junior point guard David Sanchez Barrera tallied eight points on the night, including making all four of his shots from the free-throw line.

Barrera and Ritchie also each had a team-high three assists, while Cowan had a full night with seven rebounds, three steals and a blocked shot to go with his 12 points.

The Sharks were hampered when they lost a good portion of their size around the basket, when 6-foot-5-inch sophomore Maddox Palmer got into early foul trouble and his minutes were limited throughout the night as a result.

The talented sophomore has a lot of potential, but staying out of foul trouble will be key to his development and the team’s growth moving forward.

Three of the Sharks’ scorers in the game are sophomores, which demonstrates the talent, but also the youth that they have on the roster this season.

The Sharks early season gauntlet continues as they host the Raines Vikings out of Jacksonville on Nov. 30 with tip-off set for 7:30 p.m.