BASKETBALLClass AAAA PlayoffsGirls
North Augusta 63
Carolina Forest 48
Sparked by a strong defensive effort, the North Augusta girls overcame a 4-hour ride across the state, a higher-seeded opponent and memories of last year’s first-round playoff loss. The Yellow Jackets faced all of those challenges and still beat Carolina Forest in the first round of the Class AAAA postseason.
“Defense led to the victory,” North Augusta (13-6) head coach Crystal Cummings said. “We got a lot of steals which led to turnovers and lots of layups. It was a total team effort.”
Jasmine Coach led the way for the Yellow Jackets with 22 points and Mallory Stone also had a big game, adding 20. North Augusta will play the winner of the game between West Ashley and Fort Dorchester in Friday’s second-round game. A West Ashley win would mean a trip to the Charleston area for North Augusta, which has good vibes with this victory.
“It’s a relief for me, getting that first playoff win under my belt,” said Cummings, who’s in her first year as the Yellow Jackets’ head coach. “It’s a good confidence booster for the girls. Everyone’s excited to get this first-round win.”
Class AAA Playoffs
Midland Valley 17
The Midland Valley High School girls’ team came to an abrupt end in a loss to powerhouse Orangeburg-Wilkinson. The Mustangs (8-15) couldn’t matchup with a team that’s 24-1 and advanced to the Class AAAA title game last season.
Class AA Playoffs
Battery Creek 57
Silver Bluff 18
The Silver Bluff girls made too many mistakes in a home-court loss in the first round of the playoffs, falling to Battery Creek. Roxanna Cheek led the Bulldogs (14-8) with six points.
BoysClass AAA Playoffs
Strom Thurmond 55
Baylor Jones had what his head coach called “the best game he’s ever seen him play,” in a playoff-opening win over Hanahan. Jones scored 20 points to lead the Rebels (19-7), who were still without injured star Daquarius Johnson. Sidelined with an ailing ankle, Johnson will try to return to action on Friday, when Strom Thurmond plays host to Wilson.
“It wasn’t as bad as they thought,” Strom Thurmond head coach Bo Rouse said of Johnson’s injury. “It makes us a better team with him in the game.”
The Rebels were good enough Tuesday, thanks in large part to Jones.
“He played a whale of a game,” Rouse said. “He and the guys were determined to win.”
Strom Thurmond also got a good game from Jaserigo Kennion, who scored 13 points. Deontrez Mealing and Aaron Cook both added seven points apiece, more than enough thanks to a determined defensive effort.
“Defense kept us in the game,” Rouse said, adding, “when we hold teams under 40 points, we usually win those games.”
Terrell Green led Hanahan (6-16) with 13 points while teammate Rodney Keener contributed 12 more.
Class A Playoffs
C.A. Johnson 71
In an upset, the Wagener-Salley boys’ basketball team was eliminated in the first round, in spite of opening the postseason on its home floor. The War Eagles (14-10) got 20 points from RJ Tyler and 19 more from Malcolm Stroman, but it wasn’t enough against a sub-.500 C.A. Johnson (7-11) squad.
“We were up eight points in the third quarter and let it get away from us,” said Wagener-Salley head coach Earl Seeley.
In other Class A action, Ridge Spring-Monetta’s season came to an end in a 72-39 loss to Lewisville.
Aiken Tech 63
Denmark Tech 56
The Aiken Tech men’s basketball team got a good win over Denmark Tech on the road. The victory improves the Knights’; record to 10-12 overall, but 4-3 in Region 10 action.
Keith Crump led the way for Aiken Tech with 20 points whole Maurice Strong pitched in 17. Ronkeem Salley-White rounded out the scorers in double figures, adding 10 for the Knights who will face a familiar opponents in their next game. They’ll play host to Denmark Tech on Friday.