Special to the Aiken Standard

A sluggish second half by the South Aiken High School boys’ basketball team allowed visiting Dutch Fork to pick up a valuable Region 5-AAAA win.

“For whatever reason, we didn’t quite have the battle in us tonight to get it done. We did some good things,” South Aiken coach Drew Jernigan said, “but overall I thought Dutch Fork out-worked us and that’s why they won.”

Hank Edmonds and Watson Harris combined to score 35 points for the Silver Foxes (5-11, 2-4), many of them close to the basket in the second half.

South Aiken (6-11, 2-4) raced out to an 18-13 lead after one quarter, thanks in large part to the 3-point basket. Jordan Scott drained a pair of threes and Jordan Dingle added one of his own to put the Thoroughbreds ahead early.

The Silver Foxes caught up in the second quarter. Deion Frasier scored five straight points to tie the game at 20, and then the teams traded baskets for much of the remainder of the period. A conventional three-point play by Edmonds in the closing seconds of the first half gave Dutch Fork a slim 29-28 halftime lead.

Dutch Fork seized control of the game at the start of the third quarter. Edmonds book ended a Jordan Berry basket with a pair of his own to put the Silver Foxes up 36-30.

But South Aiken’s Richard Davis answered right back with a flurry of 3-pointers, connecting on three consecutive possessions to put the T-Breds up by a point and fire up the home crowd.

“He was one of the guys that we had that was really keeping us in the game,” Jernigan said of Davis.

Davis led South Aiken with 15 points, 10 of which came in the second half. Scott finished right behind him with 14 points for the T-Breds.

South Aiken’s 39-38 lead midway through the third quarter would be its last of the night.

Dutch Fork surged ahead with six consecutive points.

Austin Kyles scored inside for the T-Breds to halt the run, but Harris answered back right before the end of the period.

South Aiken saw an opportunity to tie the game in the fourth quarter slip away at the free throw line. Down 46-43, the T-Breds went to the line for five consecutive free throw attempts. Only one went in.

It appeared as though South Aiken might catch a break after Poole missed a pair at the other end. Instead, another empty offensive possession and a defensive breakdown led to an easy bucket by Dutch Fork’s Ty’shawn Bethea. That basket began a 10-0 run that allowed the Silver Foxes to put the game on ice, outscoring the home team 12-1 over the final minutes.

“It was just not being aggressive enough, not moving quickly enough, just not being sharp,” Jernigan said of his team’s late defensive struggles.

South Aiken will look to get back into the win column on Tuesday at Lexington.

DF 13 16 17 12 – 58

SA 18 10 13 4 – 45

Dutch Fork (5-11, 2-4 Region 5-AAAA)—Hank Edmonds 6 4-5 18, Watson Harris 8 1-3 17, Deion Frasier 3 3-3 9, Freddie Poole 2 1-3 5, Jordan Berry 2 0-0 4, Ty’shawn Bethea 1 0-1 2, DJ Dobson 1 0-0 2, Jamar Winston 0 1-2 1. Totals: 23 10-17 58.

3-pointers: Edmonds (2).

South Aiken (6-11, 2-4 Region 5-AAAA)—Richard Davis 5 2-5 15, Jordan Scott 6 0-0 14, Jordan Dingle 3 1-5 8, Adam Allen 2 0-0 4, Austin Kyles 2 0-0 4, Wayne Preston 0 0-1 0. Totals: 18 3-11 45.

3-pointers: Davis (3), Scott (2), Dingle.

Dutch Fork Girls 76, South Aiken 16

The Dutch Fork girls, the defending state champions, took control of the game from the opening tip and never looked back.

The Silver Foxes (20-0, 6-0 Region 5-AAAA) opened the game on a 35-0 run that covered the first quarter and half of the second. Courtney Farrell scored South Aiken’s (7-5, 2-4) first two baskets, drawing big cheers from a sizeable home crowd.

Dutch Fork’s Alaina Coates, a South Carolina signee, led all scorers with 22 points despite not playing for much of the second half. Coates was one of four Silver Foxes in double figures on the night.

“It’s over, you move on, you learn from your mistakes,” South Aiken coach Erin Brinkley said, looking ahead to the T-Breds’ next region match-up against Lexington. “We beat Lexington (on Jan. 11). So we move on. We can actually make playoffs whether we lose this game or not.”

Kyasia Youmans led South Aiken in scoring with five points.

DF 25 19 21 11 – 76

SA 0 6 4 6 – 16

Dutch Fork (20-0, 6-0 Region 5-AAAA)—Alaina Coates 10 2-4 22, Sydney Shull 5 1-1 11, Rose Robinson 5 0-0 10, Morgan Williams 3 4-6 10, Alexis Frasier 4 0-0 8, Zhane Green 3 0-0 7, Cherise Daniel 2 0-0 4, Tamara DeBarr 0 2-2 2, Kyla Wigfall 1 0-0 2, Camille Henry 0 0-2 0. Totals: 33 9-15 76.

3-pointers: Green.

South Aiken (7-5, 2-4 Region 5-AAAA)—Kyasia Youmans 2 1-2 5, Courtney Farrell 2 0-0 4, Makenzie Smith 1 0-0 3, Emma Ardington 1 0-0 2, Emily Koger 1 0-0 2. Totals: 7 1-2 16.

3-pointers: Smith.