AIKEN -- Farrell Zissette can find many other accomplishments that impress him more than winning 500 career basketball games.
Blackville-Hilda's coach for the past 20 years reached this milestone Tuesday when his Lady Hawks snuck by Williston-Elko 36-33 in Region 4-A action. Zissette has coached basketball for more than 26 years, but wasn't fazed by the rare accomplishment.
"It was nice, but all that tells me is that I'm getting old," he said. "The 500th win was no more important than my first or my 501st."
Zissette points to the three-year span in which his team won 96 consecutive games through the 1986-88 seasons. Blackville-Hilda also brought home three state titles in that period.
"I'm more proud of that than I am of the 500 victories," Zissette said. "We lost the 97th and then won 26 in a row after that."
Zissette's ball club is in the midst of defending its Class A state title from a year ago. The Lady Hawks are 18-4 overall and 8-2 in region action, and starting point guard Tormesha Haynes, who was out three weeks with an ankle injury, has returned to the lineup.
Despite losing last year's top two scorers and rebounders in Tameka Cave and Pam Calhoun, Blackville-Hilda has fared well. The team currently is second in the region behind Estill, who swept the Lady Hawks this season.
"Tormesha is only about 80 percent right now," Zissette said. "Other girls stepped up when she was out. We lost two games with her and two games without her. But getting her back means we can move Keisha Jones back to the two-guard spot. We're a better team with her healthy."
The Silver Bluff boys basketball team wants to win a Region 6-AA title desperately and proved it Tuesday when it knocked off the region's top team Wade Hampton 84-83 in overtime.
The Bulldogs are now 7-2 heading into tonight's game with Bamberg-Ehrhardt, and put a dent in the Red Devils' glory by handing them their first defeat in region play, pitting them at 8-1 with one game left to play in the regular season.
Senior guard Brandon Key, who pumped in 19 points in Tuesday's upset, needs just 26 points to eclipse the 1000-point mark for his three-year career as a Bulldog. Key is averaging 18.8 points a game heading into tonight's action.
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