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Ready or not, here comes Region play

  • Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Dan Brown/Independent Demery Ford helped lead the Stags to their first Region 7AAA win over Hilton Head.

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Ready or not, it’s January and region play is here.

The official second half of the 2013-2014 basketball season has tipped off with abandon as teams began playing their respective region schedules.

The slate on whatever has happened over the past six weeks is washed clean. Losing streaks are merely a number.

Everybody is 0-0 and tied for first place.

The Berkeley basketball teams began their Region 7AAA schedule hosting Hilton Head on Jan. 14, and Hanahan on Jan. 17.

Coaches Crystal Peace and Joe Wallace know their respective teams have to come ready to play. These are the games that count.

For Peace, her Lady Stags have struggled to find their rhythm over the season’s first six weeks.

“Our ladies have to be consistent,” she said. “Jonnay Anthony is playing great right now, but everyone has to show up and be consistent.

“Region is the only thing that matters at this point. We’re going to have some stiff competition too.”

The Lady Stags have to deal with top-ranked Orangeburg-Wilkinson and Hilton Head, ranked ninth in Class AAA.

“Orangeburg-Wilkinson is always good and so are the rest of the teams in the region,” Peace said. “The kids know what our coaching staff expects and at this point it’s: work hard and apply the things you work so hard on in practice. All of that must transition into the game. We’re focusing on staying positive.”

The Lady Stags fell to ninth ranked Hilton Head 62-38 on Jan. 14.

Peace said success must come from within.

“They have to believe in themselves and I know that they do. It’s going be interesting to see it all come together.”

For Coach Joe Wallace and his Stags it’s about continuing to ride the wave of momentum over the last six weeks of play.

While their won/loss record may not reflect it at 8-6, these Stags will be a force to be reckoned with in Region 7AAA.

“As we enter region play, I firmly believe that we are in good shape because of our non-region schedule,” he said. “We have played some stiff competition and we have already played in and won three overtime games.” Wallace, in his third year at the head of the Berkeley basketball program thinks his team can make a move through the region and into the state playoffs if they are prepared mentally.

“I definitely like our chances to be successful in region play this year,” he said. “But that success is dependent upon us being mentally ready, playing together as a team, and selling out on defense.”

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