Jackets split opening week in region
The North Augusta High School basketball teams opened up their region slate this past week and the results couldn't have been more different.
The Jackets took a trip to Lexington on Tuesday and both the girls and the boys' teams fell in their region openers.
Kenny Finley had 10 points for the Jackets in their 67-44 loss. In the girls' game, Mallory Stone had 10 points, but the team fell short 46-36.
Both teams reversed their fortunes on Friday, however, against White Knoll.
The boys team had a team effort with four players scoring in double-digits - TJ Sheppard, Finley, Christian Davis and Tavarez Hall - to beat White Knoll 66-55. The win pushed the team to 11-4 on the year and evened their Region 5-AAAA record at 1-1.
Sheppard, who scored a team high 18 points for the Jackets, suffered a bloody nose toward the end of the game. North Augusta head coach Al Young said the injury wasn't serious and that Sheppard would be fine going forward.
Finley scored 15 points, Davis had 11 and Hall had 10 to round out the leading scorers for the team. Chandler Harrison also had nine points.
It was a crucial win for the team, as they would have faced an 0-2 hole to start region play.
"It's important, especially early on; we can't just drop off," Young said following Friday night's game. "We certainly can't lose at home. It's difficult to go on the road and win, so we can't give up those home games. This was a big game for us, and if we didn't win now we'd be down 0-2, and that's not a place you want to be."
The Jacket girls got a similar effort in their 60-44 win over the Timberwolves. North Augusta (7-3, 1-1) had three scorers in double-digits - Mallory Stone at 16, Jasmine Coach with 15 and Ja'Lyn Sanders with 14 - to lead them to a win.
Both teams had to weather the storm of White Knoll comebacks, and it was something that Crystal Cummings, who leads the girls team, noticed, as well.
"They looked like they were starting to get down and discouraged and I was saying 'Stay focused, stay in it, because this is our game. We can win if we get it on the defensive end and push it when we can and don't when you can't,'" she said following the game on Friday night. "But they were getting a little down and a little unfocused, and I think I had to pull one or two starters out to settle them down a bit. I had to pull Mallory Stone because she was all over the place, but once I pulled her out she refocused and she was there for us in the end."
This week's action was to have included a trip to South Aiken on Tuesday and a showdown at home against Aiken on Friday.