AIKEN — Even when he’s racing down the court, Christian Davis is thinking.
Instead of Aiken snatching the win with a late score, the North Augusta point guard made two huge steals.
Davis also showcased his good instincts when he had the ball to give the Yellow Jackets four late points and a 66-63 win Tuesday night. The game featured teams that were both 5-3 in Region 5-AAAA play.
“We really needed that win,” Davis said.
With Aiken up one, Davis made a steal and then gave his team a 64-63 lead when he followed up a North Augusta missed chance with a basket.
Then, with the Hornets hurrying with 15.5 seconds to go, Davis again made a steal, this time intercepting a pass before he started dribbling away precious seconds. With his strong dribble, Davis didn’t have to pass the ball and risk a turnover. Instead, he was finally fouled, and he hit both foul shots with 5.2 to go.
Aiken did have a chance to tie, but the 3-point attempt was off, and the Hornets, who did get 23 points from Shawn Moore, lost a tough one.
The final miss completed North Augusta’s rally from 10 back in the fourth, with Tavarez Hall igniting the rally by scoring eight of his 18 points in the quarter. From there, Davis took over, getting 14 points in the win.
“He’s always full-speed and intense,” Yellow Jackets coach Al Young said. “The way he plays defense is always a plus for us.”
Earlier, North Augusta took the girls game, which also had a pair of teams tied for second in the region at 5-3. North Augusta won 40-38 after a slow start by relying on its defense to force turnovers.
Mallory Stone was the finisher in important spots, putting up all 11 of her points in the second half.
Aiken’s Erin Gilmore, who had 18 points, tried to get her team back in the game. But the Lady Hornets missed shots and then ran out of time.