CAROLINA FOREST — The South Carolina Warriors ended the regular season on a 16-game winning streak, beating the Electric City (Anderson) Lions 121-102 on Sunday at the Carolina Forest Recreation Center.
Mike Vogler had 38 points and 10 assists, former Coastal Carolina standout Mario Edwards added 20 points and seven assists, and the Warriors got 19 points apiece from Barry Jordan and Don Hughes.
“It was a good way to close to get ready for the playoffs,” Warriors coach John Kefalas said. “We were really tenacious. It’s obviously been a good year for us.”
South Carolina – which finished 25-1 on the season – will find out its playoff destiny Monday. Third in the ABA rankings, the Warriors could end up with a bye to start the postseason.
“I think we’re ready to make a run,” Kefalas said. “When you have a [good] record – like when I played [in high school] at DeMatha and you’re national champs – every game is important. Everybody is out to beat you so you can’t have a bad game.”
Edwards, who played with the team last year, rejoined the Warriors recently and has already moved into a starring role with former standout Kellen Brand having left recently for a professional job in Mexico.
“He’s an athlete. He creates more of an open floor for us,” Kefalas said. “He’s a slasher. He’s a great defensive player, a total team player. He lifts the spirits of the guys – him, Mike and Don, threesome are incredible.
“Coaching, when you miss a piece [like Brand] you try to get another piece to go in there. You put them in there and they fit and boom, boom, boom.”
Jordan provided a lift off the bench, also grabbing 14 rebounds and recording four blocks.
“Barry came off the bench and did very well,” Kefalas said.
Once again, the Warriors finish off a regular season in which they opened up international opportunities for several players.
“We had 11 guys we moved up into Europe,” Kefalas said. “This thing has worked for us.”
The Warriors hope to continue their success with a long playoff run. Last season, South Carolina opened up at home and, with their record this year, it’s again a possibility.
“Our fans have been fantastic,” said Kefalas, who chose not to predict whether the Warriors would play at home again this season. “Our support factor has been incredible.”