Aaron Spurlock knew he needed to be more aggressive and that he had to score more.
But he wasn’t the only one to do so.
After Curtis Baptist lost senior leadership from the previous team, Spurlock was ready to score 20 or 30 points, if needed. But his passing acumen and his talented teammates meant he didn’t have to.
Spurlock, a senior, paced a balanced attack, averaging 13.6 points, about seven rebounds and nearly two blocks per game. He was also second on the team with 68 assists, showcasing the all-around ability that makes him The Augusta Chronicle’s Independent boys basketball player of the year as the Crusaders advanced to the GISA Class AA state semifinals.
“I didn’t have to count on my abilities as much as everybody else’s,” Spurlock said about his junior season. “So I was more passive. If an opportunity came, I’d take it to the basket.”
“Now, this past year, I had to take over sometimes, but I still had a great team around me.”
Curtis Baptist coach John Spurlock – Aaron’s father – knew the forward would have to help fill the scoring void.
Spurlock was capable of scoring in bunches, whether he took it inside or stretched out the defense on 3-pointers. He was third on the team with 22 3-pointers made.
Spurlock, an All-State pick this season and a three-year starter, helped the Crusaders go 19-13 and win its first two state playoff games by a combined 24 points.
They didn't lose until they met eventual state champion Frederica Academy in the semifinals.
It was the deepest postseason run in more than a decade for Curtis Baptist.
But as Spurlock prepares for college, his father/coach hopes this season inspires younger players to build on the foundation Spurlock’s class set.
“The seniors have left a good legacy, some leadership. ‘OK, now I got to pick it up and take it,’ “ John Spurlock said. “I want them to be able to build upon it and grow, 'Hey, maybe we got to work just a little bit harder. What’s the next step to get to that big game?’ ”