SEBRING - The Sebring boys basketball team overcame a slow start to post a 46-40 win over Teneroc on Friday night.
The win improved the Class 5A Blue Streaks to 5-2 on the season.
"It was an ugly win," said Sebring coach Princeton Harris. "We got really sloppy and Teneorc made a run at us, but we were able to make some plays down the stretch to get the win.
"It's good for us to face some adversity and still come away with a victory."
Both teams came out ice cold from the floor, but Sebring guard Connor Cook was able to score five of his team-high 13 points, including a 3-pointer, to give the Blue Streaks an 8-3 lead over the Titans heading into the second period.
Sebring found the range to open the quarter as senior forward Gary Demarest powered his way to six points in the paint and Cook added six on acrobatic drives to the basket to help the Blue Streaks take a commanding 24-15 lead at the half.
"We executed much better and moved the ball around," said Harris. "We just need to have more patience and continue to look for the open man."
Sebring struggled to score to open the second half, and Teneroc took advantage as Justin Downing scored six of his eight points and Lucius Everett added six of his team-high 15 points to pull the Class 6A Titans within 31-29 heading into the final eight minutes.
The Blue Streaks regained their shooting touch as Terrell Williams scored six points, including four free throws and Demarest dominated the paint to score eight points to build a 10-point lead midway through the period.
Teneroc made one last run as Everett poured in seven points to trim the Titans' deficit to four points, but Sebring ran the clock on each possession and made enough free throws to seal the hard-fought win.
"It was good to see us finally make some free throws," said Harris. "We've been struggling from the line and it's just a matter of confidence."
Sebring hosts the Taveniere Tournament Thursday through Saturday in the Blue Streaks gym.
Lake Placid plays Teneroc at 3 p.m. Thursday, Sebring takes on county rival Avon Park at 7:30 Thursday night.
"There are some very good teams in the tournament," Harris said. "We'll have our hands full and we're looking forward to playing Avon Park for the first time this season.
"That should be a great game and we're expecting a big crowd to come out."
The tournament concludes with the championship game at 5:30 on Saturday.
"I'm looking for some Christmas gifts," said Harris. "They can be belated and that's fine with me.
"We want to play hard, execute and get better for our district games coming up the first of the year."
Sebring is in Class 5A-District 11 with Hardee, Lemon Bay and DeSoto. The Blue Streaks are tied for first place with Lemon Bay and DeSoto, with games against both teams remaining on their schedule.
"Our district is very competitive," said Harris. "We've played Lemon Bay and DeSoto and we know what they want to do and it's our job to play our game and take care of business."