Stags fall as region first half concludes
This one qualifies as a good old-fashioned blowout.
Trailing by just four at the end of the first half the Berkeley Stags watched as Hilton Head went on a 24-4 run in the third quarter to win going away 63-47 to wrap up the first half of Region 8AAA play Friday night at BHS.
The Stags entered the second half of region play with a 3-3 record, tied for second place in the region and well in the hunt for a post-season playoff spot. Orangeburg-Wilkinson leads Region 8AAA with a 5-1 mark. With round two of the region schedule set to begin this week, look for a mad scramble to ensue for the available playoff spots.
“All of our games have been competitive,” said BHS Coach Joe Wallace, “And we have to stay focused and not slip up as we play these teams again. I'm hoping that our tough non-region schedule has prepared us to make a good run.”
The Stags didn’t play a bad game against the visiting Sea Hawks, jumping out to a quick 8-2 lead on a 3-pointer by Dee Harley, a layup by Tairi Major and another 3-pointer by Ormaine Thomas. Berkeley was just a point behind, 12-11, at the end of the first quarter and trailing by a point 17-16 as the first half was about to conclude.
With 3.8 seconds remaining on the clock Sea Hawks point guard Jason Coltrane took an inbounds pass in front of the scorer’s table, took two dribbles and launched a desperation shot from midcourt as the buzzer sounded.
Coltrane drained the 45-footer off the glass to put Hilton Head up by four 20-16, and drove the dagger into the heart of the Stags.
In the third quarter Coltrane picked up where he left off with the buzzer-beater, nailing a pair of treys to put Hilton Head up 29-18 and the doors were blown off the barn.
The Sea Hawks put together a 24-4 run in the third quarter to put the game away.
Berkeley caught fire putting up 24 points in the final frame but could only pull to within 11 points going into the game’s final minute.
Coltrane led all scorers with 16 points, 12 of them coming off four three-pointers. Michael Julian chipped in 12 points to help lead the Sea Hawks.
Dee Harley and Ormaine Thomas popped in 12 points apiece to lead the Stags.
Stags 53, Stall 45
Berkeley helped cement its place in the playoff scramble with a big road win on Jan. 22, 53-45 against Stall.
The two teams traded leads back and forth throughout the first half with neither squad able to pull away by more than five points. Stall took a narrow 31-30 lead into the locker room.
“At halftime we really stressed the importance of getting stops on defense,” Wallace said. “The guys bought in to it and we started to build and keep our lead.”
Wallace praised the Warriors coached by former Berkeley assistant Steve Guerry: “They have a good team and they are very rangy players. We just had to stay fundamentally sound on both ends of the court.”
The emergence of guard Dee Harley as a consistent outside scoring threat continued against Stall. Harley led all scorers with a game-high 17 points.
“He seems more relaxed and confident as a ball player,” Wallace said. “Harley has really emerged as a scoring threat along with Ormaine Thomas and D'Andre Richardson.”
Richardson pitched in 13 points and Thomas added nine in the win.
“All of our success is built around what we do as a team,” the coach said. “When we play great team defense, it turns into great offense with everyone sharing the basketball and setting each other up. Our team chemistry is continuing to get better.”
The Stags tip off against Hanahan on Tuesday. The girls game begins at 6:30 p.m.