Thursday, January 30, 2014
North Augusta’s boys basketball team suffered its first loss in overtime in region play on Friday.
The Jackets (13-4, 3-1 Region 5 4A) fell to Aiken in overtime 45-41. For Al Young, North Augusta’s head coach, the game was disappointing for a number of reasons.
“I thought we got off to a slow start. I think we were really excited at the beginning of the game, and that may have hurt us a little bit,” Young said. “We were making bad passes, missing people and missing shots. We got off to a bad start – that could have been our nerves. I know we were excited about playing.”
North Augusta scored only four points in the first quarter, all by Malik Dunbar, and were able to go into halftime with a 22-16 lead. The Jackets managed 15 points in the second half, leading to the overtime period in which they fell to Aiken.
“I don’t know that they did anything special, our shots just weren’t going,” Young said on the Hornets’ defense. “Sometimes you’re going to have that type of night. We weren’t able to run and get easy baskets like we’re used to.”
Young’s message to his team after the game was to move past the game, but also to look at the loss the right way.
“We’ve got to get past this, that was the first thing I said to the team,” he said. “We’ve got to look at this the right way, in the right frame of mind, and we have to come back and prepare for the next game, because we have another big game on Tuesday.”
The Jackets had three players score 13 points; Dunbar, Chandler Harrison and Christian Davis. The loss will hopefully going to serve as motivation for the team, according to Harrison.
“We’re going to take it as motivation to stay first in the region,” he said. “We want to win back-to-back region titles. It’s going to be way different in our house (when Aiken comes). It definitely won’t be the same outcome.”
For Young, the region loss came at a time in which his team could have taken a commanding region lead.
“I hate tonight. We really needed to establish ourselves (in the region) and we didn’t do that,” he said. “I think we’re much better than we played. We have to give Aiken all the credit, they played hard and did the things they needed to do to pull out the victory.”
North Augusta split its game on the week, throttling South Aiken 71-39 on Tuesday.
The Jackets are to play Lexington on the road in a game that was to have happened on Tuesday. Dutch Fork will visit North Augusta for a region game on Friday.
T.J. Lundeen is a reporter for the North Augusta Star. Follow him on Twitter @lundeentj for more updates.