Goose Creek works hard for sweep of Hanahan
Competitive games in the Goose Creek-Hanahan basketball series have been few and far between in recent history.
But on Friday night, a packed crowd at HHS saw a pair of close contests, with the Lady Gators and Gators completing a sweep despite Hanahan’s resiliency.
Goose Creek’s girls won a defensive struggle 34-27 and the boys surged away from the Hawks in the fourth quarter for a 70-63 victory.
Goose Creek has dominated Hanahan for a long time in the rivalry.
“You’ve got to give Hanahan a lot of credit,” Goose Creek boys coach Blake Hall said. “They played very well. They capitalized on some mistakes we made. They played hard. We were lucky to get out of here with a win.”
The Hawks led by as many as three points in the third quarter before Goose Creek came to life.
Hanahan last led 45-44 in the final minute of the third before Goose Creek’s Kameron Robinson drilled a 3-pointer from the corner to put the Gators back in front. Dantez Bennamon then made a steal and raced down the court for a layup with 1.2 seconds left in the period. He was also fouled on the play and made the free throw to give Goose Creek a 50-45 lead heading into the final quarter.
The Gators, winners of five straight since losing their opener, outscored Hanahan 15-4 to start the fourth and led 65-49 on Shaquille Patrick’s 3-pointer with 4:05 left in the game.
Hanahan (1-4) hung in there, though, cutting its deficit to 65-57 on Marquise Mack’s 3-pointer with 1:58 remaining. The Hawks had the ball with a chance to cut further into the lead but came away empty.
Chris Singleton’s free throws iced it for Goose Creek with 41.3 seconds left, giving the Gators a 67-57 advantage.
Bennamon led all scorers with 30 points, while Patrick added 12 and Robinson chipped in 11. Singleton finished with nine for the Gators.
Mack had 22 for the Hawks, followed by Terrell Green with 16 and Justin Pruitt with 11.
While it was close, it didn’t soothe the sting for second-year HHS coach Pieter Smits, a former Goose Creek JV coach and varsity assistant.
“This is a young team and I’ve been dealing with a lot of moral victories,” he said. “Moral victories only get you so far.
“It’s about time we step up and get (a victory).”
The Gators were set to host Timberland on Tuesday after press time before playing in the Stall tournament Dec. 21-22. The other three teams in the event are Stall, Cane Bay and Cross.
The Hawks host Ashley Ridge on Wednesday before playing in the West Ashley tournament.
In the girls game, Goose Creek (6-0) led 14-11 after a quarter and never trailed. But the Lady Gators left the door open with poor free throw shooting and lack of execution, coach Tim Baldwin said.
“On free throws, we were just awful,” he said. “We sit there and it’s like clank, clank, clank over, over and over. In a game like this, it’s going to make it close if you don’t make free throws.”
The Lady Gators finished 7 of 19 from the charity stripe and 1 of 17 from beyond the arc.
Goose Creek’s Ashley Fields led all scorers with 16 points, while Jalvin Jones and Semoine Frazier had six points apiece.
“Give them credit,” Baldwin said. “They came out and hustled after loose balls and did a great job rebounding the ball. They outhustled us tonight.”
Hanahan (3-2) was led by Alyssa Kinsey and Hannah Brown with eight points each.