Thursday, February 20, 2014
For two of the basketball teams at Cane Bay and Stratford, the curtains came down on the season for good on Friday on Crowfield Boulevard.
But for the Lady Cobras and Knights the season will continue into the Class AAAA playoffs.
The Cane Bay girls knocked off Stratford 41-22 to finish second in the region standings while the Stratford boys knocked off the Cobras 72-63 to earn the third and final seed out of the region.
The Lady Cobras (8-13) will host their first-ever playoff game on Thursday at CBHS.
“I told the girls to keep playing hard and good things would happen,” CBHS coach Ira Owens said. “… We got the wins when we needed to and that’s put us in position to host a playoff game. That’s a first for either basketball program.”
Against Stratford Shameque Robinson had 10 points and nine rebounds, while Makayla Dudley chipped in 13 points, six assists and seven steals. Lindsay Manning added six points.
Caliyana White had eight points to lead Stratford and Madison Ackerman chipped in seven points.
“At this point, it’s a five-game season,” Owens said. “You’ve got to win four to get to the big one. I don’t know if we can do that but we’ve given ourselves a chance.”
On the season, Dudley leads the Lady Cobras in scoring at 12.5 points per game, while Robinson averages 7.7 points and 6.6 rebounds. Manning is top rebounder with eight a game.
The playoffs will mark the final moments in a Cane Bay uniform for five seniors, including captains Dudley, Manning and forward Brett Pitcher. Guards Shelby Kimbro and Traci Howell are also seniors.
The Stratford boys (16-8) outscored the Cobras 22-14 in the final period to avoid what would have been a devastating loss. They would have missed the playoffs.
The Knights got 37 points from Demetre Rivers, eight from Marquise Calvary and seven more from Xavier Owens.
Rivers scored 11 of the Knights’ final 15 points to help pull them through.
Jiquan Hammond poured in 32 points for the Cane Bay boys, while Louis Rivers added 17 points.
The playoffs will mark the last moments in a Stratford uniform for eight seniors, including the Mercer-bound Rivers. He is averaging 24 points and 10 rebounds a game for the Knights. The other captain moving on is forward Alvin Green.
Other seniors are forward Thad Thompson, the team’s second leading scorer, guard Rashad Palmer, Calvary, forward Steven Hill, guard Barry Wright, and guard Michael Simmons.
Stratford travels to Region 8-AAAA champion Summerville on Thursday for the opening round of the playoffs.
“We are elated to be in the playoffs,” SHS coach Troy Johnson said. “It’s been a collaborative effort from the players, the coaching staff, the students, the faculty and the administration.”
It’s the first playoff appearance for Stratford since winning the region in 2002-03.
“There is no pressure on us,” Johnson said. “We’re happy to be in it. We’re going to play like there is no tomorrow.”