NORTH AUGUSTA 44, SOUTH AIKEN 38
AIKEN – The North Augusta Yellow Jackets survived a scare Friday night at South Aiken, riding Mallory Stone's fourth-quarter surge to a 44-38 win.
“There's nothing better than having a Mallory Stone on your team,” said North Augusta head coach Crystal Cummings of Stone, who scored 12 of her game-high 16 points in the game's final frame, including a string of six straight after an Emily Koger 3-pointer tied the game at 32.
Stone, Ja'Lyn Sanders and Destiny Matthews handled the scoring in the fourth quarter for the Lady Jackets (11-10, 6-1 Region 5-AAAA), much like they did throughout the game; the trio combined for 37 of North Augusta's 44 points.
Koger led the T-Breds (6-12, 1-7) with 12 points. Keisha Whitaker joined her in double figures with 10.
Whitaker got the T-Breds off to a hot start, scoring the team's final seven points in the first quarter to give South Aiken a 14-9 lead. From there, North Augusta began slowly chipping away at the deficit.
Sanders drilled four first-half 3-pointers for 12 of her 14 points as the teams entered halftime tied at 22. She scored her final two points with just over 90 seconds to play to put the Lady Jackets up six.
“(Sanders) has been knocking down three's since last year,” Cummings said.
“She's stepped it up some this year. She's been consistently knocking down that outside jumper, which gives us the inside game with (Stone) slashing and she has somebody to kick it out to that can consistently hit that jumper. I'm real excited about that.”
The Lady Jackets ran into plenty of early foul trouble, giving the host T-Breds a big advantage at the free throw line in the first half; South Aiken hit 8-of-14 free throws before intermission while North Augusta was just 2-of-6.
“We just switched to a 1-3-1 defense,” Cummings said of adjusting to the foul trouble.
“We play that fairly well and were able to trap some. We just picked it up on the defensive end and got a couple of steals and some turnovers and pushed the ball in transition.”
The teams will continue play on Tuesday, Feb. 11, with North Augusta hosting Aiken while South Aiken will hit the road to face White Knoll.
NA 9 13 7 15—44
SA 14 8 5 11—38
North Augusta (11-10, 6-1 Region 5-AAAA): Mallory Stone 5 6-11 16, Ja'Lyn Sanders 5 0-1 14, Destiny Matthews 3 1-4 7, Cydney Matthews 1 1-5 3, Tempestt Key 1 1-2 3, Alexus Williams 0 1-2 1. Totals 15 10-25 44.
3-pointers: Sanders (4).
South Aiken (6-12, 1-7 Region 5-AAAA): Emily Koger 4 2-3 12, Keisha Whitaker 3 3-6 10, Morgan Fair 1 3-4 5, Carley Dempsey 2 0-0 5, Zina Weaver 1 0-2 2, Randi Damron 0 2-6 2, Abby Ray 1 0-2 2. Totals 12 10-23 38.
3-pointers: Koger (2) Whitaker, Dempsey.
BoysNorth Augusta 58 South Aiken 40
North Augusta head coach Al Young cited halftime adjustments as the key to his Yellow Jackets' 58-40 victory at South Aiken Friday night.
“We talked about (how hard South Aiken was playing),” Young said. “Our intensity was not matching their intensity and we needed to do that. (The T-Breds) were playing like somebody that wanted to win.”
The teams entered their locker rooms for intermission with North Augusta (17-4, 7-1 Region 5-AAAA) holding a slim 31-29 lead over their hosts. A late 3-pointer by Malik Dunbar gave the Yellow Jackets a lead they wouldn't relinquish.
North Augusta held South Aiken (4-14, 0-8) to just six points in the third quarter, both 3-pointers by DJ Perry, and five in the fourth.
Dunbar (23 points) and Chandler Harrison (20) paced the Yellow Jackets in the absence of Christian Davis, who left the game early due to injury. Dunbar's emphatic put back slam with around four minutes to play proved to be the dagger, putting North Augusta up 12.
Perry led South Aiken with 15 points thanks to four 3-pointers, many of which were from well beyond the arc.
Both teams will be back in action on Tuesday, Feb. 11, as North Augusta will host Aiken while South Aiken will travel to White Knoll.
NA 16 15 14 13—58
SA 15 14 6 5—40
North Augusta (17-4, 7-1 Region 5-AAAA): Malik Dunbar 9 2-4 23, Chandler Harrison 6 5-6 20, Keyon West 2 3-4 8, Victor Johnson 2 0-0 4, Jaleel Bryant 1 0-0 2, Raekwon Daniels 0 1-2 1. Totals 20 11-16 58.
3-pointers: Dunbar (3) Harrison (3) West.
South Aiken (4-14, 0-8 Region 5-AAAA): DJ Perry 5 1-3 15, Josh Kiser 3 1-2 8, Kingsley Priester 2 1-2 5, Sam Okey 2 0-0 4, Adam Allen 1 2-2 4, Mark Moore 1 0-0 2, Damion Brown 1 0-0 2. Totals 15 5-9 40.
3-pointers: Perry (4), Kiser.
Staff photo by Jeremy Timmerman North Augusta's Chandler Harrison (10) drives through the defense of South Aiken's Zelair Knowles.×
Staff photo by Jeremy Timmerman North Augusta's Mallory Stone goes up for two of her 12 fourth-quarter points against South Aiken on Friday.×
Staff photo by Jeremy Timmerman South Aiken's Sam Okey (14) drives against the defense of North Augusta's Chandler Harrison (10).×