MIDLAND VALLEY 56, WAGENER-SALLEY 45


GRANITEVILLE — Most of Midland Valley’s team couldn’t get its offense going in Friday’s semifinal game against Wagener-Salley in the Aiken County Challenge, but Daniel Carr and Javoddis Coach did enough to give the host team a 56-45 win.


Carr gave the Mustangs (9-4) a game-best 22 points off the bench, and he did it mostly on drives to the basket. Head coach Mark Snelgrove said that the sophomore is developing as a player but already has enough tools to lead the team almost any night.


“Daniel’s a scorer,” Snelgrove said. “He’s got more ways of scoring, plus he’s getting better as a defensive player.”


His defense created several turnovers that turned into transition points, something that aided the host team on a night it wasn’t shooting particularly well.


The War Eagles (6-6) jumped out to an early 6-0 lead that they relinquished before the end of the first quarter. Their early success was due to strong play underneath by RJ Tyler, who finished with a team-high 14 points.


He scored 10 points in the first half, and Snelgrove acknowledged the junior’s high skill level at getting points and rebounds but said he wasn’t pleased with the looks Tyler was able to get before halftime.


“We weren’t happy with it in the first half,” Snelgrove said of defending Tyler. “Second half, we did a much better job.”


Wagener-Salley head coach Earl Seeley said Tyler was a “pretty big presence,” but he said the team was hampered by Duane Davenport’s absence while dealing with a death in the family.


“That hurt us quite a bit,” Seeley said. “He’s definitely a double-digit scorer.”


After taking a 34-22 lead into the break, Coach and sophomore Kameron Brown tightened up on Tyler on defense after that, and Coach went to work on the offensive end. He finished the night with 13 points including a couple traditional three-point play opportunities.


Snelgrove said that while Coach isn’t the biggest player in the paint, he has the ability to “make a living” in the lane by using what size he does have.


“He’s really the only true guy we’ve got that can play around the basket consistently,” Snelgrove said.


The War Eagles also got 11 points from Gregg Hicks, and they’ll play Silver Bluff in a consolation game today at 3 p.m.


Midland Valley will play Strom Thurmond in the championship game today at 4:30 p.m. He anticipates a good crowd from both his team and the Rebels, and he said that his team needs to play in big games to get ready for Region 5-AAA play, a slate that also includes Strom Thurmond.


“It’s been a couple years since we played in a championship,” he said. “It’s got a more big-game atmosphere. ... I think it’s a very good measuring stick.


WS 12 10 12 11 - 45


MV 18 16 8 14 - 56


Wagener-Salley (6-6)—Gregg Hicks 5 1-2 11, Malcolm Stroman 2 3-5 7, Kavon Mitchell 1 0-0 2, Kyiian Miller 1 0-0 2, RJ Tyler 5 4-7 14, Justin Gray 1 0-0 2, Gerald Landy 0 1-2 1, Trey Davis 2 2-6 6. Totals 17 11-22 45.


Midland Valley (9-4)—Jaquan Hall 1 0-0 2, 3 0-0 7, Kameron Brown 3 1-3 7, Javoddis Coach 4 5-10 13, Daniel Carr 9 4-6 22, Breland Prescott 1 0-0 3, Jaysen Jones 0 2-2 2. Totals 21 12-21 56. 3-pointers: Lee, Prescott.


3-pointers: None


Midland Valley (9-4)—Jaquan Hall 1 0-0 2, 3 0-0 7, Kameron Brown 3 1-3 7, Javoddis Coach 4 5-10 13, Daniel Carr 9 4-6 22, Breland Prescott 1 0-0 3, Jaysen Jones 0 2-2 2. Totals 21 12-21 56.


3-pointers: Lee, Prescott.


Jeremy Timmerman has a journalism degree from Mercer University and has been at the Aiken Standard since June 2010.