Thursday, January 30, 2014
The North Augusta girls basketball team was caught in a fight with Aiken on Friday.
The Jackets (9-9, 4-0 Region 5 4A) were able to escape with a win thanks to the play of their star, Mallory Stone, who scored eight straight points to put the game out of reach in the fourth quarter.
“We’re used to it. We see her every day in practice, and we know she’s capable of doing that at any time,” Crystal Cummings, North Augusta’s head coach, said. “She has the green light from me as a coach. If she sees an opening, we want her to take that, because that is her game. We’re better when she plays her game, instead of trying to fit her into a mold. If we run a play and she doesn’t have anything, she’ll kick it and run a play, but if she sees something, (she can) take it.”
In the first half against Aiken (5-12, 1-3 Region 5 4A) Stone’s shots weren’t falling. In the second half, she was able to finish at the rim for her team.
“I knew I had to do something,” Stone said. “In the first half, my shots weren’t really falling and I was turning over the ball. In the second half I finally picked it up – my game finally came back. I wasn’t going up as strong as I should have been – it wasn’t their defense. I just didn’t do what I needed to.”
The Jackets secured two victories on the week, defeating South Aiken 47-32 and Aiken 31-30. Cummings’ team has played everyone in the region aside from Dutch Fork, who they will play on Friday.
“It feels really good to be 4-0 in the region, 2-0 this week,” she said. ... We know what to expect from the teams, not to say that we’ll take them lightly. We’ll still play our game and work on what we’ve been working on in practice. It feels good to know the work they’ve been doing in practice has been paying off.”
The goal for North Augusta, to win the region, is almost halfway done and, according to Cummings, the team is going to continue to play their own game.
“Even though we’ve played almost everybody and we know what most teams have to offer, we’re still going to play our game,” she said. “We’ll look at the film and see what the tendencies are, but we’re going to work on our defense, offense and come out ready to play our game.”
The Jackets will play Lexington in a game that was to be played on Tuesday and will host Dutch Fork on Friday.
T.J. Lundeen is a reporter for the North Augusta Star. Follow him on Twitter @lundeentj for more updates.