Region 5-AAAA basketball action is under way, and North Augusta High School's boys and girls started their region assignments on good footing – going 2-0 – over the past several days, heading into Tuesday evening's home contests against South Aiken.
The girls' squad, however, ran into a rare challenge and wound up on the short end of a 61-59 score against Westwood, in tournament action in Columbia Saturday, despite a 28-point contribution by J'Mani Ingram and 13 points from P'eris Smith.
Ingram, Smith and their teammates, playing in the Crescent Construction MLK Bash, saw the end of their 70-game winning streak against in-state opponents. The state's current AAAA rankings have North Augusta (winner of the past three state titles) at the top and Westwood at fourth.
Coach Al Young's squad, leading into the Westwood game, had destroyed Brookland-Cayce, 63-9, on the road Jan. 14; and stomped Airport Jan. 17 70-24 in a home game.
The boys, coached by Tony Harrell, won Jan. 14 at Brookland-Cayce, 60-55; and Jan. 17 at home versus Airport, 62-44. The boys entered this week with an overall record of 8-9.
The next few days of action for the boys and girls alike are to include action Jan. 21 at home versus South Aiken, Jan. 24 at Midland Valley, Jan. 28 at Aiken; Jan. 31 at home versus Brookland-Cayce; and Feb. 4 at Airport. The girls start at 6 p.m. and the boys begin at 7:30 p.m.