Martin County 72, Fort Pierce Central 54: Elijah Duval scored 10 of his 16 points in the fourth quarter and Brandon Brazell added 14 points as the defending 6A state champions began their season with a victory at home.
The Tigers flew out of the gates leading 14-4 in the first quarter before leading 17-12 after the first eight minutes on the strength of three made 3-pointers.
Fort Pierce Central ripped off a 9-0 run to start the second quarter and thanks to 13 made free throws for the half held a 29-25 halftime advantage led by eight points from Joshua Williams.
Two 3-pointers from South Fork transfers Noah Josie in the third quarter helped Martin County go into the final eight minutes with a 45-44 lead.
Duval, one of the top juniors in the country and Brazell, a freshman forward, helped the Tigers begin the fourth quarter with 12 straight points to blow the game open and for the quarter, the duo netted 18 of Martin County’s 27 points.
10 different Tigers scored on the night as the program replaced four senior starters from last year’s state title team.
Williams led Fort Pierce Central with 15 points, Joesph Gayle added 13 points and Josh Banate chipped in 11 points for the Cobras.
Okeechobee 65, Vero Beach 63 (OT): Bryce Ward scored 12 points and his layup with 2.7 seconds to go in overtime sent the Brahmans (1-0) to a win at the Heritage Thanksgiving Tournament in Palm Bay.
Charlie Van Eman’s steal and pass ahead to Braydon Reynolds set up Reynolds to throw to Ward for the go-ahead basket.
Oliver Saunders led Okeechobee with 22 points, Luke Bryan added 12 points and Van Eman chipped in 10.
Eddrick Willis scored a game-high 29 points for Vero Beach, who led by as many as 11 in the fourth quarter. Jaylen Shelley added 14 points and Derrick Davey scored 13 points for Vero.
Bryan Cooney is a high school sports reporter at TCPalm, part of the USA TODAY Network. You can reach him at [email protected] and also on Twitter at @Bryspann_Cooney.