The South Carolina Warriors’ result on Saturday night was the same as in their first two games: a win.
However, the way in which they got there was a little different.
Against a smaller Gainesville Heat squad, the Warriors played small ball en route to a 136-113 victory at the Carolina Forest Recreation Center.
Warriors coach John Kefalas chose to insert forwards Emanuel Jackson and Shaq Johnson into the lineup in place of 7-footer Matt Kendrick and 6-10 Marquise Gainous to give his team a different look.
Johnson was the second-highest scorer for the Warriors with 22 behind Kellen Brand (31), and Jackson provided a boost on the boards with 14 rebounds.
“I learned a lot about a couple guys that woke me up a little bit,” Kefalas said of going with a different lineup. “These guys playing against the smaller guys was a learning stage. I was happy with it. We stuck in there and got better.”
He said Jackson in particular made a big impact.
“He came in and basically started rebounding and boxing out. He turned the game around,” Kefalas said.
However, Kefalas wasn’t overly pleased with his team giving up well over 100 points.
“It was a tough game. Our kids played well. The defense got better in the second half,” he said. “We got the ‘W’ and we’re improving. You don’t win a lot of games giving up 113 points. But we picked it up on offense and hit some shots. Our kids, they all stick in there and play. They play all 48 minutes.”
The Warriors play the second game of a back-to-back weekend as they host the Fayetteville Flight on Sunday. Kefalas said they will likely go back to the big lineup.
“We play big and go inside out,” he said.