NORTH AUGUSTA - Sydnei Moss didn't just take over the South Carolina Class AAAA quarterfinals Tuesday at North Augusta.
She hijacked them. Moss scored 39 points in a 67-62 North Augusta victory over Aiken to send her team to the state semifinals Friday.
North Augusta charged back from a 62-58 deficit with 2:11 to play to produce the win.
"We're going to go all the way to win the state," Moss shouted amidst a group hug. "It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to be lucky to win state. But the way we feel right now I have to think that this team can do it."
Moss had 21 points at halftime on brilliant shooting. She had 30 points on 13 of 15 shooting through the first three quarters.
She also made eight of her first nine foul shots. She missed just six of her 21 attempts from the low block for the game. She finished nine of 11 from the line. She finished with 58 percent of her team's points on the night.
And Moss said she's still not all the way back from a broken tibula she suffered during the summer.
"Maybe about 90 percent," Moss said. "This was the best game of my life, but the crack is still there. I can feel it as I move around."
North Augusta coach Faye Norris couldn't believe her player's performance.
"Well if we want to get picky I'd say she should have had 40 points," Norris said. "She missed a free throw late that we really needed. But other than that, what can you say about all those points?"
Aiken made a valiant effort. The Hornets (13-13) took the lead five different times in the second half, with four of those instances coming in the fourth quarter.
Aiken coach Aubrey Pompey was asked what his hustling team needed on the night.
"Maybe giving Sydnei about five fouls," he said. "That would have sure helped."
Moss' one blemish was a missed free throw that would have put her team up by three with 22.4 seconds to go. She'd carried her team on her shoulders on the offensive end for most of the night.
That's when her team carried it the rest of the way. Junior Sarah Meyer added a big steal after attempting to draw a charge after that miss.
The foul wasn't called but a loose ball ensued, which Meyer pounced on. North Augusta junior Jacqueline Moyer grabbed a big rebound.
She was fouled and scored her third and fourth points of the night at the foul line with 7.2 seconds to play.
"You can't say you're not nervous with that game on the line and in your hands like that," Moyer said. "But you just walk up to the line and act like you always do with a free throw no matter the pressure."
Meyer also had 15 points for the Yellow Jackets. Shalisa Blocker led Aiken with 19 points.
The Yellow Jackets advance to face Dorman, which defeated Westside, 51-42, on Tuesday.
Reach Jeff Sentell at (706) 823-3425 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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