Hill turned and screamed at his teammates on the bench. Georgia Regents coach Dip Metress yelled at Hill to get down the court, before turning to laugh. And the Jaguars spent the rest of the half breathing easy.
For the first time all season, Georgia Regents didn’t have to sweat out a tight ending, fending off Francis Marion, 60-47, at Christenberry Fieldhouse.
The Jaguars, who play host to UNC Pembroke at 4 p.m. Sunday, extended their winning streak to seven, improving to 10-2 overall (3-0 Peach Belt Conference). Georgia Regents, which won its previous two contests by a combined nine points, led by as many as 21 in the second half.
“We’re just remaining focused,” said shooting guard Ryan Weems, who posted a team-high 16 points. “Coach (Metress) talked to us yesterday in practice about the past and the future. In the past, we lost to Benedict and Anderson. Those games are stuck in our heads. We don’t want a repeat.”
One player looking to continue his recent play is junior college transfer Henry McCarthy, who is starting to emerge after scoring just three points total the first nine games of the season.
Against Francis Marion, the junior forward swished 4 of his 5 attempts, scoring all eight of his points in 12 minutes in the first half. McCarthy, who’s spent extra time lifting weights and shooting after practice, said he’s starting to get his confidence back.
“At the beginning of the year, it was hard for me to get it going,” he said. “It’s a big difference between here and JUCO. It’s a lot more intense.”
Metress added: “He actually worked harder when he wasn’t playing well. That’s a great characteristic to have.”
McCarthy is getting extended playing time with senior forward Harold Doby out due to a foot injury he suffered in late November.
Doby, who sat on the bench in street clothes and basketball shoes, missed his sixth game and continues to wear a protective boot outside of the arena. He’s expected to return for the team’s Jan. 15 game at Flagler, according to Metress.
With Doby out, the Jaguars have picked up their defense. Francis Marion shot just 42 percent from the field, scoring its fewest points of the season.
Weems scored just three baskets, but he went 9 of 10 from the foul line. Boyce added 11 points off three 3-pointers.