Spring Valley splits 2nd round games

February 23, 2014 

Good fortune provided Spring Valley with two unexpected second-round home games in the Class 4A state basketball playoffs on Saturday.

The Vikings girls took advantage; the boys did not.

Anne Long’s fourth-ranked girls prevailed 42-27 against Wade Hampton of Greenville, avenging a second-round loss to the Generals a year ago. The Vikings (22-3) move on to a demanding third round road test on Tuesday against No. 1 Dorman.

Spring Valley’s boys season came to a close with a 63-54 loss to Byrnes.

“We did a good job on defense and we stayed patient against a team that wanted to control the tempo,” said Long. “We may not have been as sharp as we would have liked, but in the playoffs it’s about winning and moving on and we did.”

Wade Hampton set the pace in the first quarter by holding the ball and playing aggressive defense with the focus on SV star Cierra Carter. The Generals managed one 3-pointer and limited Carter to two shots and one field goal in the opening eight minutes. The Vikings and Carter broke things open with a 16-1 run in the second quarter for an 18-4 halftime lead. Carter led the mood-altering charge with 12 points, including two 3-pointers.

Wade Hampton never closed the deficit to fewer than 12 points the rest of the way.

Carter, who came into the game averaging 20.6 points a game, finished with 22 points. The senior star received double-digit backing from Akia Dunlap, who matched her season scoring average with 11 points.

“I think we’re playing pretty well at this point, but we have a big challenge ahead us against Dorman,” said Long.

In the nightcap, Byrnes postseason magic continued. The Rebels, who finished fourth in Region 2, are off to the third round of the playoffs for the first time since 1993.

“We were sloppy at times and missed a lot of free throws, but we persevered and executed when the game was on the line,” said Byrnes coach Layne Fowler.

The Rebels (15-9) put the Vikings in a hole with a 15-2 run - from the 4:37 mark of the second quarter to 6:48 of the third - that netted a 29-16 lead.

Spring Valley chipped away behind Chris Adams, who tallied 17 of his team high 20 points in the second half. The Vikings pulled within 50-48 with 3:32 to go on an Adams fast-break score.

But Byrnes and senior leader Syverio Jones stepped up to confront the SV challenge. Jones, who scored a game high 25 points, produced a seven-point burst in a 34-second span igniting an 11-0 run that upped the Rebel advantage to 61-48 with one minute to go. Jones’ contributions included two fast break tallies and a 3-pointer from the left wing.

DeAngelo Ward had 11 points for the Vikings, who finished with a respectable 14-13 record - not bad, considering blue-chip junior Perry Dozier Jr. missed the season after undergoing knee surgery in the fall.

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