TIMMONSVILLE — Carvers Bay managed to contain Timmonsville’s Sade’ Eli in the first half of Monday’s third-round playoff matchup, holding the junior guard to four points.
The same couldn’t be said for the second half.
Erupting for 15 points over the final two quarters, Eli led the Whirlwinds to a 50-32 win and a berth into the Class A Lower State championship, keeping their hopes for a second consecutive state title alive.
“It’s nice to have Sade’ so that she can do things like she did there in the second half,” said Timmonsville coach Perry Stokes, whose Whirlwinds led 25-17 at halftime. “We thought if we could hold [Carvers Bay] under 35 points, we’d have a good chance. We’re pleased to be moving on.”
After struggling against the Bears’ box-and-one formation early, Eli scored nine of her team’s 12 points in the third while helping to hold Carvers Bay to just four points, increasing the lead to 37-21.
Eli kept her foot on the gas in the fourth, scoring six more points as Timmonsville maintained its double-digit advantage from there.
“We kept the faith and believed we were going to come in and win,” said Eli, who finished with a game-high 19 points. “I figured they’d come out in that box-and-one, but I wasn’t going to let that stop me from playing my game. It’s good to be going back to Lower State. Hopefully, we can keep going from there.”
Freshman Justice Gee carried the load early for the Whirlwinds, scoring all 12 of her points in the first half. After the Bears cut the deficit to 17-14 with 3:13 to play in the second quarter, Gee sparked an 8-3 run with four straight points to put Timmonsville ahead by eight at halftime.
“Justice really showed up in the first half,” Stokes said. “She stepped up and played well and that helped us build that lead early.
“It’s hard to repeat as champions and hard just to get back to Lower State. We’re trying to take it one game at a time. Hopefully, we’ll be ready.”
Desaree Green led Carvers Bay with 14 points, scoring seven in the fourth quarter to keep Carvers Bay within striking distance. Anastashia Bromell followed with six.
“I’m so proud of them,” Bears coach Issiah Tucker said. “ We had some ups and downs. The more games we played the better they got. It just took a little time as we had two ninth graders, two tenth graders and senior playing.
“I’m looking forward. Next year we are going to be bigger, better, stronger and smarter.”
• CARVERS BAY (32) – Jasmine Cobb 2, Anastashia Bromell 6, Desaree Green 14, Quantaisha Robinson 7, Zaria Blain 3
• TIMMONSVILLE (50) – Justice Gee 12, Shaday Eli 19, Aaliyah Woods 3, McKayla Wright 7, Shanae Wright 1, Arenisha Brown 8
• 3-point goals: Carvers Bay 2 (Blain, Robinson); Timmonsville 2 (Woods, M. Wright). Team fouls: Carvers Bay 11, Timmonsville 12. Fouled out: None. Technical fouls: None.
• Records: Carvers Bay (12-9)