Originally created 02/24/01

Jackets rebound to beat Lexington



When North Augusta High's basketball team is on its game, the Jackets can beat anybody.

Coming off a 14-point blowout loss to the Aiken Hornets, the Yellow Jackets rebounded to hand the Region 3-AAAA champion Lexington Wildcats a 62-55 loss Friday to close out the regular season.

Both of the Wildcats' (20-7, 10-2) region losses have come at the hands of Keith Arrington's Yellow Jackets squad.

"We dug too big of a hole against a good team," Lexington coach Bailey Harris said. "They outplayed us from the get-go."

North Augusta's Orlando Washington backed Thursday's Class AAAA All-State selection with a game-high 20 points. Freshman Andre Young poured in 18 points - 12 in the second half - to go along with a handful of blocks.

"(Orlando) started out slow but got it going toward the end," Arrington said. "Both Andre and Henri (Perry) are both coming along great. They are the X-factor for our team and they are not `freshmen' anymore."

The Yellow Jackets (13-7, 8-4) also shot 19 for 20 from the free-throw line, matching their last game against Lexington when North Augusta was 12-of-14 on Jan. 30.

North Augusta managed to contain junior Alex Spotts in the first half. Spotts had four points at halftime and finished 15 points.

Sophomore Demetris Summers, who was kicked off the Wildcats team earlier in the season and then allowed to return a week later, scored a team-high 19 points including three 3-pointers.

The Yellow Jackets had established a 13-point by halftime but Lexington was able to crawl their way back into the game, cutting the lead to 48-46 with just over four minutes left in the game.

But Lexington was never able to get over the hump, as Young and Washington combined to score 12 of the final 14 points to ice the game.

Lexington has a first-round bye in the state playoffs which begin Tuesday, while North Augusta awaits its first round opponent.

Ten players scored for the Lady Wildcats en route to their 58-39 win over the Lady Yellow Jackets.

The game marked the end of three careers at North Augusta - Casey Williams, Constance Glover and Class AAAA All-State member Jessica Parker.

North Augusta trailed from the start, but outscored Lexington (20-5, 10-2) 12-6 in the third quarter to cut the lead to 36-27. But a string of miscues and turnovers by North Augusta led to 10-0 to kick the lead back to 44-27.

Tashay Jones-Black - also selected to the All-State team - led Lexington with 17 points. Parker finished with 11 points.

Reach Miguelangelo Hernandez at (706) 823-3304 or mhernandez25@yahoo.com