SOCASTEE — Earlier in the afternoon Saturday, DeAndre Scott stopped the team’s abbreviated pre-game practice.
Without raising his voice, he told the Socastee basketball team that if it didn’t rebound against Georgetown a few hours later, the Braves would lose.
The point must have stuck.
The Braves nearly doubled up Georgetown on the boards and went on to a 55-35 victory.
“Rebounding’s everything,” junior forward Max Kjosa said. “If you get offensive and defensive rebounds, that stops them from scoring.”
As simple as it might sound, one would be hard-pressed to find more influential reasoning for Saturday’s result. Socastee owned a 43-22 advantage in that category, getting eight rebounds each from Kjosa and freshman Tamir Brown. Four of Kjosa’s came on the offensive end.
And while the numbers were somewhat inflated because Georgetown (8-10, 0-5 Region VII-AAA) attempted 20 3-pointers (making just three), the Braves maintained a double-digit lead by limiting Bulldog second-chance baskets.
“I knew we did a good job on the glass,” Scott said. “That’s pretty much how it played out.”
Said Georgetown coach Alvin Walker: “Offensive rebounds were killing us. We didn’t put the ball in the hole.”
No Bulldog finished with more than seven points. Meanwhile, Socastee had four players eclipse that total, led by Kjosa’s game-high 12.
The game, originally scheduled for Friday, pushed the Braves (12-7 overall) to 4-1 in Region VII-AAA. Scott’s squad is still very much alive for a region title, although Socastee will have to prove it against the division’s top two teams to this point.
The Braves – who already lost to Myrtle Beach once – play the Seahawks on the road Tuesday before hosting North Myrtle Beach on Wednesday.
Myrtle Beach won the first meeting 57-46. A Braves win on Tuesday, though, would even the score and propel Socastee into a two-way tie for first.
“We’ll see,” Scott said of his team’s chances against those two teams. “We beat Wilson [once] and Georgetown twice. The one time we played Myrtle, they smacked us around pretty good.”
• GEORGETOWN (35) – Dae’Quan Gibson 6, Stephen Cuttino 4, Marquez Drayton 2, Darrion Graham 3, Davious Grant 1, Michael Billings 7, Sean Maybank 5, Amalek Nesbit 5, Jaquise Myers 2.
• SOCASTEE (55) – Dylan Thompson 2, Dante Moore 6, Finn Melko 8, Max Kjosa 12, Tamir Brown 6, Koel Cutler 9, Grant Pezikan 2, Adarius McCray 10.
• 3-point goals: Georgetown 3 (Darrion Graham, Sean Maybank, Amalek Nesbit) Socastee None. Team fouls: GT 13, SOC 11. Fouled out: None. Technical fouls: None.
• Records: Georgetown 8-10, 0-5 Region VII-AAA; Socastee 12-7, 4-1
Bell leads Socastee girls to win
Kira Bell made sure a hectic two weeks for the Socastee girls team started in the Braves’ favor.
The freshman guard scored 23 points and added 14 rebounds and four assists as Socastee beat Georgetown 49-40 on Saturday.
“She was pretty tough today,” coach Ginger Ford said. “She’s a very unselfish player. To get her to give me numbers like this is tough.”
The Braves scored just five first-quarter points before Bell took over. She and the Braves score the first 12 points of the third quarter to overcome a four-point halftime deficit. Bell had 10 points in the third quarter alone.
From there, Socastee never relinquished the advantage.
Fellow guard Mia Angelo added nine points for Socastee, and teammate Sydney Wortham had eight. Georgetown’s Moet Spann had a team-high 15 points. Kayla Howard also finished in double figures with 12.
Saturday’s result was a welcome sight for the Braves, who lost their region opener to Georgetown 42-38 on Jan. 13.
“Since the Georgetown loss, we’ve started to play better,” Ford said. “We’re understanding timing situations.”
The win keeps Socastee (12-7, 3-2 Region VII-AAA) in the top half of the region in a de facto tie with Wilson for second place behind undefeated Myrtle Beach. Georgetown (9-7, 1-4) will have to make up some ground in the final five games in order to get into one of the top four spots.
Both teams will return to the court Tuesday, when Socastee heads to Myrtle Beach and Georgetown plays host to St. James.
• GEORGETOWN (40) – Moet Spann 15, Justis Evans 7, Jamia Porcher 6, Kayla Howard 12.
• SOCASTEE (49) – Amber Rutledge 1, Maegan Harrelson 2, Kira Bell 23, Sydney Wortham 8, Madison Lowe 2, Mia Angelo 9, Sierrah McCarthy 4.
• 3-point goals: Georgetown 3 (Jamia Porcher, Moet Spann, Kayla Howard) Socastee None. Team fouls: GT 18, SOC 17. Fouled out: Madison Lowe. Technical fouls: None.
• Records: Georgetown 9-7, 1-4 Region VII-AAA; Socastee 12-7, 3-2
Contact IAN GUERIN at email@example.com.