Thursday, February 20, 2014
Like everything else in the area, the North Augusta girls basketball team came to a halt.
Winter Storm Pax came and went and left behind a jumbled schedule for the Jackets (12-10, 7-1 Region 5-AAAA). Originally slated to play region foes Aiken and Dutch Fork before starting the playoffs this week, the team must now play three games in three days.
Crystal Cummings must lead her squad at Dutch Fork on Tuesday for the region crown, at home against Aiken on Wednesday and open the playoffs at home as the No. 1 or 2 seed on Thursday.
Head coach Crystal Cummings said she had just gotten power back on Saturday morning, and most of her team didn’t even have power.
“We are going to try and get together (Sunday) some time,” she said. “The only thing I’ve been able to do, since everyone is so spread out all over the place with different family members, is make sure they are still talking to each other. I want to make sure the team bond is still there. We haven’t put anything new in, so once we get back in practice we’re just going to take things the same way we’ve been taking it. They’re texting me saying they’re ready to play and want to play; we’ve just been keeping the phone lines open and trying to stay motivated and pumped up. If we get a call that says we need to play, we want to make sure we’re ready to play.”
Cummings said if her team was told that they needed to play on Saturday she was sure they would be prepared for the challenge.
That said, the Jackets will now be faced with the task of beating the defending AAAA state champions on their home court. North Augusta did beat Dutch Fork, 48-46, at home on Jan. 31, but this task will be much more difficult.
“Even if we lost to Aiken, we would have the same record as Dutch Fork, but we would have won both of the head-to-heads,” Cummings said. “The Dutch Fork game is an absolute must. I’m kind of glad that game is Tuesday instead of Wednesday just so we wouldn’t have them right after a big game. We’re not taking the Aiken game lightly, but essentially, if we beat Dutch Fork, we would be No. 1.”
The playoffs will start on Thursday, and win or lose against the Silver Foxes the Jackets will have a home game.
Scott Rodgers is the news editor at the North Augusta Star and has been with the paper since January 2013 after previously working at the Aiken Standard. Follow him on Twitter @NAStarRodgers.