Jackets battle for win

Photo by Scott Rodgers Tavarez Hall of North Augusta goes up for a shot over a White Knoll defender. Hall finished with 10 points in the Jackets’ win.



NORTH AUGUSTA — The Jackets were able to get a win, but it sure wasn’t easy.

North Augusta (11-4, 1-1 Region 5-AAAA) got a win in front of its home crowd, and it was a total team effort. Four Jackets – TJ Sheppard, Kenny Finley, Christian Davis and Tavarez Hall – scored in double-digits, and a fifth, Chandler Harrison, scored nine.

“That’s what we believe in; we preach it all the time,” North Augusta head coach Al Young said about the team’s “spread the wealth” mentality. “It doesn’t always happen, but that’s what we want to do. We want to take good shots; we don’t care who it is. I think our kids can score; just get the ball to the right guy and have him score.”

Sheppard was the high scorer for the Jackets with 18. Late in the game, he suffered a bloody nose on a hit and was forced to the bench.

The Jackets got a challenge from White Knoll (11-6, 1-1) despite the final spread. White Knoll came back multiple times and closed the gap to two at the end of the second and third quarters.

Emarius Logan, who had a game-high 21 points, constantly made big shots for the Timberwolves, including three 3-pointers. As a team, White Knoll had eight 3s on the night.

It was the forth quarter where the game was won, however, as the Jacket defense clamped down and held the Timberwolves to six points.

“I called a timeout and talked about how we just needed to keep doing what we were doing,” Young said.

“We just needed to make sure we weren’t panicking and that we weren’t giving them opportunities. We needed to play good defense and stop gambling, and just make them make shots and not give them easy baskets.”

It was an especially big win for North Augusta to avoid going down to an 0-2 hole in the region.

“It’s important, especially early on; we can’t just drop off” Young said. “We certainly can’t lose at home. It’s difficult to go on the road and win, so we can’t give up those home games. This was a big game for us, and if we didn’t win now we’d be down 0-2, and that’s not a place you want to be.”

The Jackets will be back in action on Tuesday when they travel to South Aiken.

NA 16 18 17 15 - 66

WK 9 23 17 6 - 55

North Augusta (11-4, 1-1 Region 5-AAAA)—TJ Sheppard 8 0-0 18, Kenny Finley 7 1-4 15, Christian Davis 4 2-2 11, Tavarez Hall 5 0-2 10, Chandler Harrison 2 4-6 9, Steven Copeland 1 0-0 3. Totals 27 7-14 66.

3-pointers: Sheppard (2), Davis, Harrison, Copeland.

White Knoll (11-6, 1-1 Region 5-AAAA)—Emarius Logan 8 3-4 21, Julian Johnson 7 0-0 16, Najee Garvin 3 0-0 8, Brandon Tillman 1 3-3 6, Chris Dorrah 0 2-2 2, TJ Knight 1 0-0 2. Totals: 20 8-9 55.

3-pointers: Logan (3), Johnson (2), Garvin (2), Tillman.

The North Augusta girls evened their region record and picked up a home win over White Knoll.

Mallory Stone had 16 points, Jasmine Coach had 15 and Ja’Lyn Sanders had 14 to lead the Jackets (7-3, 1-1 Region 5-AAAA) over the Timberwolves (7-6, 0-2 Region 5-AAAA).

White Knoll managed to pull within one point multiple times before taking its first lead 37-36 in the third quarter.

“I think in the third quarter, we started playing their game instead of our game,” North Augsuta head coach Crystal Cummings said. “In the first half we were pushing the ball when we had the open transition layups, and we would set it up if we didn’t have anything open. In the third quarter they started rushing everything and trying to force stuff instead of letting the defense come to them to create out offense. During the timeouts I told them ‘Settle down, let’s play our game and not their game.’”

Cummings’ Jackets responded with a 20-point fourth quarter, and their defense held White Knoll to seven points.

“They started pressing us, and we have a press breaker that allows us to get out and get open layups thanks to the mismatch that comes with the press,” Cummings said. “So we were just running that right, and once we get those they get themselves back in the game.”

NA 15 11 14 20 - 60

WK 7 16 14 7 - 44

North Augusta (7-3, 1-1 Region 5-AAAA)—Mallory Stones 7 2-5 16, Jasmine Coach 6 3-5 15, Ja’Lyn Sanders 6 2-5 14, Brianna Dicks 2 0-0 4, Arielle Houston 2 0-1 4, Desmone’t Wilson 2 0-0 4, Cydney Mathews 1 1-2 3. Totals 26 8-20 60.

3-pointers: Sanders (2)

White Knoll (7-6, 0-2 Region 5-AAAA)—Summer Cagle 5 3-4 13, Charnie Wilson 2 7-12 11, Victoria Rivera 3 2-6 8, Timesha Moody 2 0-2 4, Tara Williams 1 0-0 3, Brittany Weeks 1 1-2 3, Antei Barns 1 0-0 2. Totals 15 13-26 44.

3-pointers: Williams