District Champs: Bulldogs rally to snatch title from Spruce Creek
Up three points with 10 seconds to play in the Bulldogs’ district final matchup against Spruce Creek, Hawks guard Danika Hamilton had a wide open 3-pointer from the corner that could have tied the game. Hamilton had taken two threes the entire night — both of which were misses — before her third and final attempt.
As Hamilton rose for the shot, Bulldogs coach Javier Bevacqua had a bad feeling shiver through his body.
Hamilton missed, and despite giving the Hawks a second chance following guard Brianna Ellis’ free throw miss on the front end of a 1-and-1, the Hawks missed once again — and this time, it spelled the end.
“That’s what they do. They run dribble-drive offense. They like to kick it out, and they had the look they wanted,” Bevacqua said. “That was one of the few times it didn’t drop for them.”
Despite playing from behind for most of the game, the Bulldogs rallied to top Spruce Creek 58-55 on the night of Friday, Feb. 9, at Flagler Palm Coast High School to claim the district title.
The district championship was a dream realized for some of the Bulldogs’ players.
“I’ve been dreaming of this since I was little,” said Ellis, who scored 15 points for the Bulldogs. “I worked my butt off every single day, and to finally be a district champion is great.”
However, after a 9-0 run by the Hawks to begin the first half— spurred by the play of Hawks guard Jayla Adams, who scored a game-high 20 points — a chance at the title seemed to be slipping away.
Until Bevacqua was able to rally his troops.
“I had to call a timeout and strangle a couple of them,” Bevacqua joked. “We had to calm down. We talked about it at halftime. That’s where we have been lacking all year: that third quarter. And we had to do a better job. We didn’t at the start, but we responded after the timeout.”
The Bulldogs were still down by one point with under five minutes to play in the fourth quarter.
Enter FPC’s star forward Skye Green.
Green scored 10 of her 19 points in the final period to lead the Bulldogs to their 10th-straight win — a win that took a combination of three things, according to the team: “Patience,” Green said. “Confidence,” Bevacqua said. And “effort,” Ellis said.