|Aiken's Devon Young faces the basket during Tuesday's win at North Augusta|
#9 Aiken surged to a 4-0 start in a very difficult five team region with a 52-49 road win over rival North Augusta's (#7) Tuesday behind a brilliant defensive effort spearheaded by senior Devon Young, and key plays made down the stretch by sophomore Nazae Baltimore. Aiken improved to 17-4 overall while North Augusta fell to 16-4 overall and 2-2 in league play at the halfway point of the regular season region schedule.
As we discussed in our post game interview above, Young handled the challenge of guarding North Augusta's star guard Tez Collins, holding him to 11 points and making him work very hard over all 94 feet of the court.
With the scored tied at 49 and less than a minute remaining, Baltimore came up with an important blocked shot that led to Jordan Lytes being fouled and making a free throw to give Aiken a 50-49 lead. Then after Collins missed a pair of free throws, Baltimore put back his own miss on the other end to give the Hornets a three point lead that North Augusta could not overcome.
Lytes led Aiken with 10 points. North Augusta was paced by Darius Copeland's 20 points.
Aiken travels to rival South Aiken Friday in the Hornets' third consecutive road game. The Thoroughbreds, 3-1 in region play, have won three straight since losing the league opener at Aiken.