High school playoffs: C.A. Johnson earns trip to state title

Staff ReportsFebruary 28, 2014 

Ten Midlands teams take to the court this weekend with a spot in the state title game on the line.

On Friday night, three of them — the Cardinal Newman boys, and the girls teams from Heathwood Hall and Dutch Fork — punched their tickets to state title games. The Irmo boys, meanwhile, lost in the state semifinals.

On Saturday, six more Midlands teams have a chance to advance to title games.

We will update the scores on this page throughout the weekend, so bookmark this page and return often:

SATURDAY

A Boys: C.A. Johnson 57, St. Joseph's 54 (final)

Coach Daryl Jarvis and the C.A. Johnson boys basketball squad made school history on Saturday, defeating St. Joseph’s 57-54 in the Class A Upper State final at Bon Secours Wellness Arena.

Despite the excitement of reaching the program’s first state championship game, the Hornets remained settled, even as a traveling call gave St. Joseph’s possession, and a chance at tying the game, with 1.5 seconds to go.

“I felt like, God didn’t bring us this far for us to lose here,” said senior Mike Knox, who posted nine points and 10 rebounds.

The Hornets broke out in celebration as Alexander Powell’s three-point attempt arced high and off center.

C.A. Johnson — led by Peter Goodman’s 24 points — put pressure on St. Joseph’s early, and led through much of the game.

AA Girls: Andrew Jackson 62, Newberry 48 (FINAL)

GREENVILLE – In a game defined by runs, Andrew Jackson had the one that mattered most here Saturday afternoon.

Andrew Jackson rebounded from a late third-quarter deficit and ended Newberry’s season with strong defense and the broad shoulders of Dareisha Sowell. The senior point guard scored 40 points and keyed the Lady Volunteers’ finishing kick in a 62-48 win in the Class 2A Girls’ Upper State final at Bon Secours Wellness Arena.

Andrew Jackson (23-3) advanced to next week’s 2A state championship, while Newberry’s season ended at 18-10. Newberry led the back-and-forth game 33-28 with three minutes left in the third quarter, but went nearly eight minutes without a made field goal. By that time, the Lady Vols had built a seven-point lead, and all momentum was at the other end. The Lady Vols finished the game on a 29-15 run.

Newberry finished the first half on a 10-0 run and took control late in the third quarter, but when the Bulldogs’ offense went cold, they never really recovered. -- By Greg Wallace

AA Boys: Newberry78, Indian Land 66 (FINAL) GREENVILLE – Both teams in Saturday’s Class 2A Boys’ Upper State Final preferred fast-paced, up-tempo basketball.

In the end, only one proved truly efficient. Newberry pulled away from Indian Land with a 34-21 game- closing run, wearing down the Warriors and claiming a 78-66 win at Bon Secours Wellness Arena. The Bulldogs improved to 25-4 and will play in next week’s state title game. Indian Land saw its 10-game win streak end, finishing the season at 20-5.

Indian Land used a 7-1 run to claim a 45-44 lead midway through the third quarter, but the Bulldogs responded with an impressive run of their own, closing out the quarter on a 12-2 run.

Notorious Booker’s 3-pointer from the right wing as time expired gave Newberry a 56-47 lead into the final quarter. The Bulldogs poured it on from there, leading by as many as 18 points with three minutes remaining. -- By Greg Wallace AAA Girls: Dreher 56, . Lower Richland 50. ( FINAL)

AAA Boys: A.C. Flora 42, Greenville 40 (FINAL)

GREENVILLE—With its third consecutive road win, A.C. Flora earned an exciting trip back to Columbia. The Falcons (19-9)defeated Greenville 42-40 in the Class 3A Upper State final at Bon Secours Wellness Center to earn a berth in the March 8th championship game in Columbia.

“My job here is to restore this program to the level it was when Carl Williams was here,” coach Leon Brunson said. “I don’t know if I’m doing a good job, but I know we have a shot at a state championship, and hopefully, Carl Williams is sitting back smiling.”

Rion Davis led the Falcons with 13 points, including six in a first half that Flora dominated.

SCISA Girls: Heathwood Hall vs. Northwood, 6:30 p.m. (at Sumter): Will A'ja Wilson finish her outstanding career with a title?

SCISA Boys: Cardinal Newman vs. Augusta Christian, 8 p.m. (at Sumter): Cardinals go for second straight title.

FRIDAY

SCISA Boys: Cardinal Newman 67, Laurence Manning 52 (final)

Charles Smith scored a career-high 40 points Friday in a 67-52 win over Laurence Manning Academy that propelled Cardinal Newman back to the SCISA Class 3A state championship game.

Eyeing back-to-back championships for the first time in school history, the Cardinals (19-9) take on Northwood Academy or Augusta Christian on Saturday in the 8 p.m. tournament finale at the Sumter County Civic Center.

“Charles drove me crazy a little bit, but I guess when he’s shooting the ball like he did tonight, I have to learn to just sit down and watch,” Cardinal Newman coach David Ross said.

Smith is getting his first title shot at his new school after two seasons as a starter at Keenan.

“This is an unbelievable moment for me,” the 6-foot-3 senior wing guard said. “I’m just thankful for this opportunity. We’ve gone from level one to level two this week. We have level three to go.”

SCISA Girls: Heathwood Hall 76, Hilton Head Christian 33 (final)

A’ja Wilson and Amber Campbell are two of the most storied players in South Carolina prep girls basketball history, but one all-time great is destined to retire without experiencing the joy of winning a state championship.

That is the storyline Saturday at the Sumter County Civic Center where Wilson and Heathwood Hall (22-4) square off against Campbell or Northwood Academy (28-5) and in the Class 3A SCISA championship game at 6:30 p.m.

Wilson scored 32 points in Heathwood Hall’s 76-33 semifinal win Friday over Hilton Head Christian.

“There’s not a lot that has to be said,” Highlanders coach John O’Cain said. “If we play well, we can win. If we don’t … It’s really as simple as that.”

AAAA Girls: Dutch Fork 54, Summerville 36 (final):

The Dutch Fork girls are headed back to their third straight Class 4A title appearance.

Zhane Green scored 13 points Morgan Williams added 12 points and 15 rebounds as the Silver Foxes lead Summerville 54-36 on Friday at the Florence Civic Center.

Dutch Fork will play Greenwood on next Friday at 7 p.m. at The Colonial Life Arena.

Dutch Fork held Summerville scoreless in the first quarter and jumped out to a 16-2 lead.

The Green Wave missed their first 22 shots didn’t hit their first field goal until the 4:02 mark in the second quarter.

AAAA Boys: Hillcrest 54, Irmo 52 (final)

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