Thursday, February 27, 2014
The North Augusta Middle School girls basketball team finished its season undefeated, but will not be crowned as a champion.
The Jackets, along with the Paul Knox Middle School boys basketball team, were both set to participate in the Aiken County playoffs. However, due to Winter Storm Pax, both teams had their postseasons wiped out. The South Carolina High School League, which also includes middle schools around the state, dictated that all subvarsity contests were to be completed by Feb. 15. An exception was placed for tournament play through Feb. 18, but due to the school cancellations, both teams were placed behind the proverbial 8-ball. Appeals were put in to the SCHSL on behalf of the North Augusta, Leavelle and Kennedy middle school girls; along with Paul Knox, Kennedy and Schofield middle school boys, but rejected. All of the teams were left with unfinished seasons.
The Jacket girls were the only undefeated basketball team in Aiken County, and finished their year at 15-0. The team was champion of both the conference and the city, but will never know if they would have been crowned county champions.
“Our season was very successful,” head coach Kenneth Brown said. “We won our games by an average of 34 points. We scored over 60 in four games and opponents only scored 20 or more twice on us. We averaged 57 points per game. This was the hardest working, most talented group of girls I have ever coached. We are disappointed in how the season ended but still consider our season a huge success.”
Brent Dorn, the head coach for the Paul Knox boys, said his team also had a successful year. His boys finished the season with an 11-3 record and were also both conference and city champions.
“Discipline and work ethic was the main reason for our success this year,” he said. “The players knew they would have consequences for any behavior issues not only on the court but in the classroom as well. Our practices involved a lot of running and drills that involved more running. We even practiced on Saturdays. The players bought into the offensive and defensive schemes I wanted to run. As far as the playoff situation, I was highly disappointed in the way it ended. I had two players who had to sit out of the first half of the season when we played both Schofield and Kennedy. I felt as if we had a good chance to win the county championship, especially with those two guys who had to sit.”
Scott Rodgers is the news editor at The North Augusta Star and has been with the paper since January 2013. Follow him on Twitter @NAStarRodgers.