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Lady Jackets take third at tourney

  • Thursday, January 2, 2014

Staff photo by Scott Rodgers Cydney Matthews (21) drives through two Strom Thurmond defenders to attack the basket.

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A strong performance in the Lake Marion Invitational has the North Augusta girls basketball team prepared for region play.


The Jackets (5-8) won the third-place game in the tournament and finished with a 2-1 tournament record.


“We were 2-1 in the tournament, we won third place, which was nice,” Crystal Cummings, North Augusta’s head coach, said. “We were able to play our defensive game and not worry about the scouting report. We didn’t know the teams we were facing, so we just went out and played good defense.”


North Augusta dominated in its first game, beating Battery Creek 52-36 and dropped a close contest to Crestwood 55-51. In the third-place game, the Jackets defeated Lake Marion 61-29.


“We came into the tournament pretty focused,” Cummings said. “We worked hard the days before Christmas, then they had Christmas off, so it was like a normal week with only one day off. They were ready to go in the tournament and we were able to get some wins out of it.”


Next up for the Jackets is a contest against Cross Creek on Saturday. Cummings and her team are looking to avenge a 42-31 loss in November.


“We want to take this momentum into the Cross Creek game because we want to beat them,” Cummings said. “I think we can beat them, we just have to believe we can. We have to be aggressive, not passive, on defense to create turnovers.”


Following the contest with Cross Creek, North Augusta will move onto region play. They are scheduled to play Lexington on Jan. 14. That will be the first of ten region games for the Jackets.


“We want to do in region what we did in the tournament,” Cummings said. “The playing field in our region has been leveled, with Dutch Fork coming down a little. We’re going to try to use our defense to create our offense. We need Ja’Lyn (Sanders) to continue to be a consistent scorer. She’s a quieter scorer than Mallory (Stone) but we need those two to be big for us. We also need a third scorer to step up, either Sierra Sanders or Cydney Mathews, to keep us balanced on offense.”


The next contest for North Augusta is scheduled to be played on Saturday at 5 p.m.


T.J. Lundeen is a reporter for the North Augusta Star. Follow him on Twitter @lundeentj for more updates.


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