Second half lifts Gray Collegiate past Calhoun County

Thomas Grant photos.

With a state record of nine championships and over 700 career victories, Calhoun County boys’ basketball coach and former University of South Carolina scoring champion Zam Fredrick has a distinguished legacy. It’s one Dion Bethea, head coach of defending Class 2A champion Gray Collegiate Academy, greatly admires and hopes to emulate.

“From me coaching his son (in AAU) and just watching all of the championships that he won, there’s so much respect there,” Bethea said. “When I was talking to him before the game, he told me that he loved what I’m doing down there and he wanted me to make sure I keep grinding just like he is.”

The War Eagles used a dominant second half to pull away for a 73-58 win over the Saints. Jahlil Robinson sparked the charge with 15 of his game-high 22 points over the final two quarters.

Jalen Deloach had 17 points, most of which came off offensive rebounds, Ty Rivers finished with 13 and Khalil Robinson added 11 in the win.

Calhoun County (8-8, 0-2) jumped out to a 11-6 lead in the first quarter. Gray Collegiate battled back to take a 30-28 halftime lead despite missing 7-17 free throws.

The two teams exchanged the lead in the third quarter before Saints’ turnovers and an 8-0 run enabled Gray Collegiate to take a 51-40 advantage. The War Eagles extended their lead as many as 16 points before the Saints made a final comeback try to get within eight points.

A missed opportunity to close the gap to six was turned into transition points to help put the game away for the War Eagles.

“We’ve got to put two halves together rather than not coming out playing like the first half,” Bethea said. “The second half, we picked it up. My coaches, they did a great job making sure everybody was adjusting and getting the rotation right.”

Up next is a stretch of three road games in four days for Gray Collegiate (10-7, 3-0). It starts with a Region 3-2A contest at Eau Claire Friday, followed by a matchup against Greensboro Day in North Carolina at the Big Shots National High School Showcase the next day, and concluding with a return trip to Eau Claire to face W.J. Keenan in the MLK Classic Monday.

Categories: Lexington County, Sports, West Columbia