NORTH AUGUSTA — North Augusta boys basketball coach Al Young watched the 3s falling, one after another, but didn’t expect that to last. Or at least he hoped so.
Sure enough, White Knoll’s 3-point barrage ended at the perfect time, as the Yellow Jackets’ defense rotated well and the tired Timberwolves legs started showing up as North Augusta won, 66-55, Friday night.
With the win, the Yellow Jackets improved to 11-4 overall and 1-1 in Region 5-AAAA.
“That would have been bad,” Young said about a possible 0-2 start in the region. “We just can’t fall short.”
White Knoll did make seven 3s in the game, but the Timberwolves scored only six points in the fourth quarter and missed a handful of 3s in a comeback effort.
The poor offensive quarter allowed the Yellow Jackets, who were ahead for most of the game, to pull away late.
With the defense making stops, T.J. Sheppard made shots, getting three huge buckets to stretch the lead to 59-51.
White Knoll’s Emarius Logan did cut it down to four – he had all six of his team’s points in the fourth – but Kenny Finley’s thunderous slam with a little more than a minute to play punctuated the win.
In the girls game, North Augusta scored 18 of the last 19 points to win 60-44.
Once up as much as 10 behind strong defense and great transition play, the Lady Jackets (7-3 overall, 1-1 region) fell behind 43-42.
They went through a stretch of trying to run too much. But instead of getting points, they encountered problems.
After White Knoll grabbed a one-point lead in the fourth quarter, North Augusta’s defense took over and ignited the offense by forcing turnovers.
Ja’Lyn Sanders helped North Augusta’s cause with five quick points and then the forced turnovers did the rest.
“We were going too fast,” Lady Jackets coach Crystal Cummings said. “We had to refocus.”