Special to the Aiken Standard

NORTH AUGUSTA — Fox Creek boys’ basketball coach Andre Baskett wasn’t sure what to expect from Predators forward Chris Harmon before their second-round Class A playoff game against McCormick. He found out.

The senior scored seven of his 13 points late in the fourth quarter with the score tied at 57-all to help lead Fox Creek to a 65-60 victory over the Chiefs at North Augusta Middle School before a standing room only crowd.

“He dislocated a finger in our last game (a 58-52 win over Southside Christian in the first round),” said Baskett. “I did not know what he was capable of. I am telling you, he came through big time.”

In a game that saw several lead changes, Fox Creek (20-6) wasn’t able to pull away from the pesky Chiefs until the Predators went on that 7-0 run, with Harmon the sole scorer, to take their biggest advantage of the night at 64-57. Harmon, who had struggled earlier in the game, said he expected to come thru with the game on the line.

“I am a leader,” he said. “I had to maintain a smart mind. It feels awesome.”

Harmon was one of three scorers to post double digits for the Predators. Brandyn Quiller led all scorers with 18 points, including five 3-pointers while Marques Sumner had 15. DJ Curry also had eight for Fox Creek, which will play the winner of game between Lewisville and Greenville Tech on Tuesday.

McCormick (13-11) was led by Angelo Littlejohn with 12. Maurice Jefferson had 10 and Shiheem Thurmond added nine.

Fox Creek needed the balanced scoring attack as McCormick matched it virtually bucket for bucket the entire game, which saw the first quarter end with the score locked at 25. In that stretch, Quiller had three of his 3-pointers and Sumner also had one. McCormick countered with five 3s of its own as Jay Weaver, who finished the game with eight points, had two 3s that period including one that tied the score at 25 right before the quarter ended. Nonetheless, Baskett was pleased with how his team started.

“We have not always started well,” he said. “We knew coming in it was a big game. We wanted to make a statement.”

After building a 38-35 halftime lead, McCormick outscored the Predators 10-7 to go into the fourth quarter tied at 45.

The contest stayed close until the Predators were able to pull away, with the help of Harmon, who had two field goals near the basket, including one in which he was fouled and he turned it into a three-point play. He also had two additional free throws.

“I was a little nervous (in the third quarter),” Baskett admitted. “We played much better in the fourth quarter.”

FC 25 13 7 20 – 65

McC 25 10 10 15 – 60

Fox Creek (20-6)—Brandyn Quiller 6 1-2 18, Marques Sumner 5 2-5 15, DJ Curry 4 0-2 8, Chris Harmon 5 3-3 13, Matrell Allen 1 0-0 2, Darshon Broadwater 1 1-2 4, Brandon Gladney 1 0-0 2, Corrin Cannon 1 0-0 3. Totals: 20 7-13 65.

3-pointers: Quiller (5), Sumner (1), Broadwater (1), Cannon (1).

McCormick (13-11)—Jay Weaver 3 0-0 8, Shiheem Thurmond 3 2-2 9, Kevin Marshall 4 2-3 10, Narjarvis James 1 3-4 5, Jalen Adams 1 0-0 2, Angelo Littlejohn 5 0-1 12, Trey Houston 2 0-0 4 Maurice Jefferson 4- 0-0 10. Totals: 23 7-10 60.

3-pointers: Weaver (2), Jefferson (2),Littlejohn (2),Thurmond (1), Marshall (1).