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Almost perfect

Screven hands WJMS 1st loss in title game

Almost perfect

Almost perfect

William James Middle School's Dra Har...

    The William James Middle School boys compiled a perfect regular season and breezed through the first two rounds of their postseason tournament, but the magic came to an end Saturday afternoon.
    Screven County scored the first 10 points of the second half and held off a late surge stopping the Knights (16-1) one game shy of perfection with a 60-48 win in the Coastal Empire Region championship game.
    Kim Hunter and Tyquan Johnson both had huge games for Screven County. Hunter led all scorers with 21 points while Johnson scored 19 — including a run of field goals on four consecutive possessions that fueled the Gamecocks’ fast start in the second half.
    Dra Harrison scored 20 points to lead William James and drained a pair of long 3’s to contribute to the comeback attempt.
    “We’re very excited to be able to beat a great team like William James,” Screven coach Doug Dirst said. “I thought we played aggressive and took the ball to the hole. We made some big shots and free throws when we needed to.”
    Screven led William James throughout much of its regular season meeting before the Knights mounted a big comeback. This time around, the Gamecocks had just enough gas in the tank to get through all four quarters.
    Ahmad Edwards (10 points) connected on a short jumper at the 3:08 mark to close the Knights within 48-43, but Screven’s defense shored up down the stretch and scored a pair of late buckets off of turnovers to pull away.
    “I thought we played hard,” William James coach Brian Hall said. “We made some shots late, but we just couldn’t get a stop on the other end of the court. Give a lot of credit to Screven. They definitely played a great game.”
    The Gamecocks’ height advantage proved to be too much for William James to overcome. Screven was nearly a head taller than the Knights at every position and dominated on the boards throughout the game.
    Screven’s size advantage also affected the Knights’ offense, keeping the ball out of the paint when William James set up in their half court offense and keeping the Knights’ shooters from getting good looks from beyond the arc.
    “We did a better job of rebounding in our first game against Screven,” Hall said. “Things just didn’t work out for us today.
    “But I couldn’t be more proud of our guys even if we had won. They grew up and improved a lot this season. Hopefully, they’ll get themselves a region championship at the next level.”

LCMS girls fall to Richmond Hill
    Another Bulloch County squad also fell just short as Langston Chapel Middle School dropped the girls’ region championship game by a count of 30-15 against Richmond Hill.
    The Lady Blue Devils didn’t allow any Richmond Hill player to score more than eight points, but LCMS was unable to find an offensive rhythm against a talented Lady Wildcat squad.
    “Today wasn’t our day, but I’m extremely proud of what we were able to accomplish,” Langston Chapel coach Marty Holder said. “We’ve come a long way in the last couple of years. I feel like we’ve got a lot of good seventh graders coming up next season. Hopefully, we can build that winning culture that we want here.”

    Mike Anthony may be reached at (912) 489-9404.

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