State basketball championships recap
SCOTT’S BRANCH 63 HIGH POINT ACADEMY 49
First state championship in school history in girls basketball for Scott’s Branch. They had been three previous times but finally comes up with the win here. They had three in double figures including Mary Wimberly who had 20 points and eight rebounds. In a losing effort Taniah Wilkins had an outstanding 22 and 14 performance. Scott’s Branch exploded in the second half outscoring HPA 43-26 in the final 16 minutes of play.
HIGH POINT 70 HEMINGWAY 55
The Grizzlies were just too much for the Tigers. Jayden Byrd had 29 points, six of those coming on three-pointers. Isayah Owens had a double double with 17 and 10. Watch out for this High Point Academy club. They more than likely will make the jump to 2A when the realignment comes along.
GOOSE CREEK 52 SPRING VALLEY 51
The game of the weekend by far came in this contest as the Lady Gators took the 5A state championship in girls basketball. Goose Creek outscored Spring Valley in the fourth quarter 16-6 in the final quarter and came back from a nine-point lead in the final few minutes. SV actually led by as many as 12 at one point but the Goose Creek just kept hanging around. A great story in this one was Aniyah Oliver who missed all of last year due to a knee injury, and she ends her career with a state title. She scored 12 points with four assists. Goose Creek also had 13 points off the bench. In the loss, Taylor Lewis tried all she could in putting the team on her back scoring 24 points and grabbing nine rebounds. Ashley Williamson added 13 Taylor Britt fouling out early hurt the team down the stretch too.
DORMAN 46 BERKELEY 39
This did not feel as close as the score indicated, however Berkeley really scrapped and made a few runs against the number one team in the state. The stags brought a huge crowd from Moncks Corner, SC and were out in full force to support their team. The Cavs’ two top players and juniors, Myles Tate and PJ Hall, played a pivotal role. Tate had 19 points to go with five rebounds and four assists while Hall snagged 10 rebounds and blocked three shots. Dorman’s largest lead was only by seven points and that’s due to DJ Chisolm (14 points) and the rest of the Stags just simply not going away.
Dorman is the first team since Gaffney to win three straight titles in the state’s biggest classification.
CHRIST CHURCH 41 MULLINS 36
The Lady Cavs win another state championship. This was a slow defensive game but that’s the style both of these seem to play. Marissa Powe led the Cavaliers with 15 points as they had three players in double figures.
GRAY COLLEGIATE 79 ANDREW JACKSON 38
The War Eagles go back to back in 2A with a big win over Andrew Jackson. This game was actually closer than the what the final showed. The Vols never led in this one but showed they are a scrappy bunch and hung in there with one of the state’s elite teams. Tommy Bruner led all scorers with 19 points and six assists. Jalil Robinson had 15 points and nine boards to go along with five steals Gray blocked eight shots with five of those coming from Jalen DeLoach. Gray will lose some seven seniors which was a special group taking two state championships and numerous deep playoff runs. As for AJ, watch out for DJ Ealey. The sophomore surprised a lot of media folks on press row with his 15 points. AJ could possibly make a run next year with some key pieces returning. Gray outrebounded AJ 41-14.
BISHOP ENGLAND 54 KEENAN 46
This was a defensive slug fest to start out. The Lady Bishops held Keenan to just 31 percent shooting. Katie Brooks led the way for BE with 20 points which included 12 of 13 shooting from the free throw line. For the lady Raiders, the eighth grade phenom Milaysia Fulwiley scored 18 but needed a little more help. Dyani Burke added 17 for Keenan but no other player had more than four points.
KEENAN 70 RIDGELAND-HARDEEVILLE 40
Tight game in the first half as both teams sputtered a little on offense but the second half opened up for the Raiders. Keenan won its eighth state championship and did it in style outscoring RH 51-20 in the second half. It became a dunk contest as Asanti Price had a bulk of those on his way to 22 points. Dillon Jones had 15 points, six assists and seven boards. The fast break points showed Keenan having 20 total in the win. This was a real special club for Keenan. They lose a lot of seniors but they made the most of it winning a championship. Their one loss this season was to 5A champion Dorman.
NORTH AUGUSTA 50 SOUTH POINTE 39
This was not as close as it indicated. The Yellowjackets won their third straight state championship and they did it with defense. NA kind of forces you to play ugly and slow. Just stiff defense with the press and athletes that they have. Mya Burns 13 points and 16 rebounds but leading all scorers was Yellowjackets was J’Mani Ingram. SP made a little bit of a run in the second half but NA got off to a better start with a 28-12 lead after the first 16 minutes played.
RIDGE VIEW 65 WILSON 52
The Blazers take back to back state titles and knock off the Wilson Tigers two years in a row to do so. The game had an action packed first quarter going back and forth but a 21-12 second quarter for RV helped them gain momentum and eventually pull away in the second half. A three at the buzzer going into halftime seemed to really fire up the team going into the locker room. The athleticism on both ends was just too much for the Tigers. Georgetown signee Malcolm Wilson had a sequence where he blocked three shots in two straight possessions. He ended the night with seven blocks. Even though this Blazer team had a lot of senior leadership, it was their star juniors in Cincere Scott and Ja’Von Benson who established tempo. Benson had 14 and 10. Scott also added 14. Senior Walyn Napper 16 points and eight assists. The night ended with quite the high note and awesome crowd reaction as fan favorite Xavier Major came off the bench and scored a layup to end the Ridge View scoring. Major has autism and has been with the team all year doing what he can to help the team be engaged and win every night. Another stat that jumped out was the points in the paint as RV had 46 to just 22 for Wilson.