Strong second half lifts T-Breds to win
SOUTH AIKEN 68, YORK 51
In a game full of runs, South Aiken’s boys’ basketball team made the biggest one of the night to send it to a 68-51 win over York in the opening round of the Class AAAA playoffs.
After squandering a nine-point lead in the first half, the Thoroughbreds (14-6) trailed the Cougars 38-33 early in the third quarter, prompting head coach Michael Prandy to call a timeout.
South Aiken went on a game-changing run from there, outscoring York 14-2 the rest of the quarter and 35-13 the rest of the game.
“I thought our guys played hard,” said Prandy. “We’re just that team that will get a lead, give it up, get it back, and they play with a lot of heart and a lot of guts and I’m proud of them.”
Prandy said the change in play from the T-Breds came from his team refocusing on the defensive end of the floor.
“I told them that anytime you play a team that’s not supposed to win and you let them stick around, they start getting confidence and believe they can win and you end up losing,” he said. “We just had to get back to playing defense and getting turnovers and turning that into offense.”
While South Aiken ran away with the game late, the two teams traded runs and battled closely throughout the first half.
The T-Breds opened up a 13-4 advantage in the first quarter, before the Cougars (9-9) fought back to tie it midway through the second.
South Aiken then closed the half on another run to take a six-point lead at 31-25 before settling for a 33-28 advantage at the break.
Prandy said he was pleased to see the second-half effort, which allowed him to rest some starters and go deep into his bench.
“It’s always scary when your main guys who are usually in come out, and our guys responded well – the guys who came in – and that lead started to build, and that’s what you like to see, that you don’t have any letdown when guys come in,” said Prandy. “It’s a great confidence-builder. We want to make sure that we belong, whether it’s home or on the road, that we compete and have a shot to win.”
Ten T-Breds scored on the night, led by Josh Drayton’s 16 points. Melvin McKie, Cincere Scott and Damar Johnson each scored 12 to help pace the effort.
Cameron Jones led York with 18 points.
South Aiken will play at Travelers Rest Saturday night in the second round of the Class AAAA playoffs.