Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Championship Week (Episode 1): Augusta Christian vs Hammond; Lakeside vs Greenbrier

Every morning, starting Wednesday and ending Sunday, I will release an episode of "Championship Week," which will chronicle all the region tournament action I can see!

Monday:  Lakeside 62, Greenbrier 55

Kre'sean Hall made 5 of 5 free throw attempts
during the final 4 minutes of Monday's win
"Championship Week," my term for the week our local teams play in region tournaments with state tournament slots and seeding on the line, tipped off Monday at Richmond Academy.  Lakeside defeated Greenbrier in a 5A "play-in" game after erasing a 7 point fourth quarter deficit.  6'9" senior center Jake Gilbert scored 16 points and grabbed 16 rebounds in a consistently dominant performance on both ends.  And sophomore Kre'sean Hall added 15 points, including 7 during a 73 second long, 12-3 Lakeside run that gave the Panthers a 53-51 with 2:34 remaining. Lakeside would not trail again.

Riding the hot shooting of junior guards Jakob Nelson and Justen Hartfield, the Wolfpack controlled the first 12 minutes of the second half, eventually building the 7 point cushion Lakeside would eventually overcome.  Lakeside's final push was fueled not just by Hall, but also by fellow sophomores Cordell Hudson and Jalen Nealous.  A Nealous bomb from the right wing reduced Greenbrier's lead to 51-50, setting up a three point play in transition by Hall that put the Panthers ahead by two, 53-51.  And after an Austin Canady free throw cut Lakeside's lead to one, Hudson would give the Panthers a 55-52 advantage after rebounding his own missed free throw and converting a put back.

This is the third time I have featured Lakeside's inside-outside combination of Gilbert and Hall. Gilbert is so consistent.  And Hall is a scorer.  I have enjoyed watching his progress.

The Panthers will head to Jones County Wednesday to join the quarterfinal round of the region tournament.
Seventh Woods (23) and Xavier McDaniel (34)
have given Augusta Christian trouble this season

Tue:  Augusta Christian 55, Hammond 43

During these team's first matchup (see here), it was Xavier McDaniel who carried Hammond to victory over SCISA's defending state champion. Tuesday would be Seventh Woods' turn.  After falling behind 19-7, Woods scored at will by beating the initial defender and using his athleticism and soft touch to bring the Skyhawks all the way back even before halftime, and far ahead by the end of the game.  This game was not part of a region tournament because the South Carolina Independent School Association (SCISA) has no region tournaments.  But the game will affect state tournament seeding.

My plan is to watch Josey play Glenn Hills, Washington County play Westside, and hopefully one more game Wednesday.  I'll be back with episode two of "Championship Week" Thursday morning with highlights and commentary from those region tournament games!

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