Caroline Roberson was the catalyst in an all-around team effort Friday night as the Augusta Christian Lady Lions beat the Hammond Lady Skyhawks, 40-30.
Roberson had 14 points, three assists, two blocks and a steal and led a suffocating zone defense that made life miserable in the paint for the Lady Skyhawks.
“When they come inside that’s our house and we’re not going to let them in,” said Roberson.
The Lady Lions (12-12, 3-4 South Carolina Independent School Association Region 1-AAA) beat the Lady Skyhawks’ traps repeatedly and jumped out to a 9-1 lead as Roberson scored four points, Kendall Brown hit a 3-pointer and Hannah Howard hit a jumper.
“We executed really well tonight,” said Lady Lions head coach Nick Isaac. “Caroline (Roberson) has really come around the last two weeks.”
Roberson downplayed her contributions.
“It was a team effort,” she said. “It wasn’t me in particular.”
The Lady Skyhawks (16-6, 5-3) closed to 13-10 early in the second period before Brown sparked a quick 6-0 run with her second 3-pointer of the night and finished with eight points. Anna Motes hit a 3-pointer as well and finished with 12 points.
Unable to generate transition opportunities and score inside, the Lady Skyhawks were relegated to shooting 3-pointers and connected on just one attempt early in the first period.
Amoshia Blakney was the Lady Skyhawks’ leading scorer with seven points.
In the boys game, Lions head coach Marty Griffin knew his squad would have to have a good shooting night to keep up with the region’s No. 1 team.
Unfortunately the Lions produced the exact opposite as the Skyhawks ran away with the 64-47 win.
The Skyhawks improved to 20-4, 7-1, while the Lions dropped to 18-5, 3-4.
The Lions couldn’t contain heralded freshman Seventh Woods, who scored 20 points, including three one-handed monster jams in the first half. Fast and long sophmore Xavier McDaniel scored 16 points and Spencer Carlson added 16 points and four blocked shots.
“You can’t play a team like that and have your poorest game of the year,” said Griffin.
While hitting five 3-pointers, the Lions struggled mightily with their perimeter shooting.
Nick Fortenberry led the Lions with 13 points while Jacob Greenway and Ashton Roper added 10 points apiece.
The Lions finish the regular season Monday against Ben Lippen before heading to the state tournament.
“I have no doubt our guys will respond Monday and we’ll have momentum going to the state tournament,” said Griffin.
The Evans boys finished the regular season with a 72-60 win over Grovetown and ended up 21-4, going 9-0 in Region 2A-AAAAA, entering the region tournament as a No. 1 seed.
“That was one of our goals,” said Evans’ head coach Kevin Kenny. “If you go undefeated in the region it means you go undefeated in the county.”
With the Grovetown loss and Greenbrier’s 57-54 win over Lakeside, the three remaining teams each finished with a 3-6 region record. Grovetown (8-17) won its season series against Greenbrier; the Wolfpack (5-18) took two out of three from Lakeside and the Panthers (8-15) bested Grovetown. A coin flip was needed to break the three-way tie and Grovetown got the No. 2 seed, Greenbrier was third and Lakeside fourth.
The boys Region 2-AAAAA Basketball Tournament starts today at Jones County.
Today, Feb. 13
No. 1 Evans at No. 4 Houston County, 3:30 p.m.
No. 2 Northside, Warner Robins vs. No. 3 Greenbrier, 5 p.m.
No. 2 Grovetown vs. No. 3 Jones County, 6:30 p.m.
No. 1 Warner Robins vs. No. 4 Lakeside, 8 p.m.
In girls play Friday, No. 1 seed Evans (16-7, 8-1) beat Grovetown (13-11, 2-7) 51-36, while No. 2 seed Greenbrier (17-7, 6-3) beat Lakeside (7-11, 2-7) 60-49. Finishing the season with the same region record, Grovetown took the No. 3 seed by virtue of winning the season series 2 to 1 over the Lady Panthers.