The Seattle Prep boys' basketball team leaves Florida with two straight losses, but it wasn't Martell Webster's fault. Webster, a 6-7 senior guard who has committed to Washington...
FORT MYERS, Fla. — The Seattle Prep boys’ basketball team leaves Florida with two straight losses, but it wasn’t Martell Webster’s fault.
Webster, a 6-7 senior guard who has committed to Washington, scored 33 points — including nine three-pointers — in the Panthers’ 64-62 loss yesterday to Arlington Country Day of Jacksonville in the third-place game of the City of Palms Classic.
Seattle Prep won its first two games in the tournament. It beat Dunwoody, the top-ranked 3A team in Georgia, and Milwaukee’s Vincent, ranked No. 16 in the nation by USA today.
Arlington Country Day has two Division I signees in 6-5 guard David Huertas (Florida) and 6-7 forward Sammy Hernandez (George Mason). It is No. 1 in Florida’s Class 2A poll and No. 4 nationally by USA Today.
With Prep trailing by 13 points in the fourth quarter, Webster led a comeback. After going scoreless in the third quarter, Webster scored 14 fourth-quarter points, including eight points in final 90 seconds.
Webster made his last shot with 11.2 seconds to go, but time ran out on the Panthers.
“He’s shooting the ball better than when I first got here,” Seattle Prep coach Michael Kelly said. “Teams are going to double-team him every time. We have to work on how to get out of that.”
Kelly said his team learned from the experience.
“I’ve learned that we can play hard after a loss,” said Kelly, whose team fell to Florida’s top-ranked Class 6A team, Palm Beach Lakes, in the semifinals. “We have the potential to be a pretty darned good team in February.”
Webster, the tournament’s leading scorer with 117 points in four games — an average of 29.3 per game — said he learned a lot as well.
“Defense is the key to winning games,” said Webster, who also had seven rebounds yesterday. “Whoever wants it more is going to come out on top. Defense starts with what you have in your heart.”
Webster, who missed all but three games last year because of an ankle injury, said he was thrilled to be back at full strength.
“I was held to just three games last year, and I missed playing,” Webster said. “Playing against good competition is something I love.”
Seattle Prep 6-11 junior Spencer Hawes had 13 points and five rebounds with North Carolina coach Roy Williams watching.