SUMTER, S.C. — As Sonny Butler prepared to inbound the basketball for Sumter with 28 seconds remaining in overtime against North Augusta, he knew the ball was coming back his way.
“All I was thinking was ‘I’ve got to hit this shot,’ ” Butler said.
Butler inbounded the ball, took the kickback and buried a 3-point basket to put the Gamecocks up for good in a 70-67 victory Tuesday in the Class AAAA state playoffs.
“We knew Sumter had good shooters,” North Augusta coach Al Young said. “They ran a good play, and our defender just couldn’t get to the shooter, and he hit the shot.”
Sumter advances to the lower state final Friday against Goose Creek.
Gamecocks post player Auntrell Holloway had a double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds.
Chandler Harrison led North Augusta with 18 points, while Malik Dunbar and T.J. Sheppard had 15 apiece.
CLASS AAAAA GIRLS
HOWARD 54, HEPHZIBAH 42
In Macon, Ga., Howard was clicking on all cylinders as it dismantled Hephzibah in the first round of the Class AAAA playoffs.
The Lady Huskies got 10 points each from Taylor Thorpe, Jamila Mayfield and Chasma Hart to claim their first win in a playoff game in the program’s fifth year.
“I don’t think words can really explain how good this feels,” Howard coach Latavia Coleman said. “ … This is really special for the girls that have been here since the start, and it just feels great to get the first one out of the way.”
CLASS AAA GIRLS
SOUTHWEST (MACON) 66, THOMSON 33
In Macon, Ga., Southwest (Macon) easily took care of Thomson, cruising to a win in the first round of the Class AAA playoffs.
Southwest was led by SheKenya Peters, who finished with 18 points.
“For us this year our main goal was to make state playoffs,” Thomson head coach Michael Williams said. “It’s been 11 years since Thomson’s made it.”
WASHINGTON COUNTY 67, CARVER-COLUMBUS 26
In Sandersville, Ga., Shon Kitchens scored 23 points, Tierra Murray added 13 and top-seeded Washington County rolled to a win over Carver-Columbus.
The Lady Hawks play host to the winner of Callaway vs. Tattnall County on Friday.
CLASS AA GIRLS
WESTSIDE 44, JEFF DAVIS 32
In Hazelhurst, Ga., Azia Gibson scored 17 points as Westside advanced with a win over Jeff Davis.
Tyesha Ravenell had nine points for the Lady Patriots, who travel to face Thomasville in the second round on Friday.