EAST LAKE — Armed with a shooting touch to compliment his quickness, Seminole's Marco Behori is starting to emerge as one of the county's top scoring threats.
Three days after finishing with a career-high 33 points in a win over Pinellas Park, Behori's streak of high scoring and efficiency continued as he had 31 in a 62-51 win over East Lake that gave the Warhawks sole possession of first place in Class 7A, District 9.
"(Marco) is tough and we have kids who are dedicated to getting him open," Seminole coach Josh Walker said. "They set screens and take pride in their roles."
With his teammates intent on proving him open looks, Behori provided some electrifying, on-your-feet moments in the first half, scoring 24 to give the Warhawks a 35-23 lead.
Often Behori's points came at pivotal moments. Early in the second quarter, the Eagles cut the score to 21-16. They did not get any closer as Behori countered with consecutive 3-pointers to put Seminole (13-2, 6-0) ahead by double digits.
"The scoring is nice, but it's not about me," Behori said. "It's about getting the win."
Entering the season, the Warhawks were a young team that needed leadership after graduating nearly every contributing player. Behori's first big moment came last month when he returned from a head injury in the fourth quarter against Tarpon Springs and scored seven straight points to secure a victory.
That star turn was an affirmation of his talent and gave him the confidence to take over games.
In the second half, Behori had just seven points. His teammates picked up the slack as Tanner Cowen (14 points) and Connor Frain (11 points) each reached double figures.
"Basketball is about runs," Behori said. "We were able to go enough of one in the first half to give us a big enough lead and my teammates did the rest."
East Lake (10-5, 4-2) was led by Cody Carden and Trevor Schnell, who each had 10 points.
"This game was a chess match," Walker said. "Both teams are very familiar with each other. The key was we got the early lead on the road. That's something we've been working on getting better at."