Christian Academy of Myrtle Beach kept its playoff hopes alive in Sumter at Wilson Hall.
Senior Kendall Henry poured in a game-high 30 points and gathered 16 rebounds, freshman Bernard Jones added 12 points, and the Saints outlasted Wardlaw Academy 80-58 on Tuesday to advance to the SCISA Class A State semifinals.
“I thought we played good,” Christian Academy coach Darren Gore said. “Wardlaw is really scrappy. The two guards who scored most of their points were penetrators. I thought we played really hard in the second half. Overall, it was a good game and good effort.”
The Saints’ defensive performance is what stood out to Gore the most.
“I think our defense,” Gore said. “That’s what got us to where we are. I told the guys, ‘you never know how you’re going to shoot in a new gym or new atmosphere.’ But we pride ourselves on how we play man-to-man defense. We got a lot of early transition baskets because of our defense.”
Henry recorded his 20th double-double of the season, according to Gore. The senior was 11-for-14 from the field, and 8-for-10 from the charity stripe.
“He’s played great all year,” Gore said of Henry. “He has a very high shooting percentage from the field. His defense has been really good for us and he’s just a force down in the post. He’s very hard to match up with for a lot of guards.”
Earnest Woodward had a team-high 23 points for Wardlaw, and Malik Lee scored 14.
“I was impressed with how they played,” Gore said of Wardlaw. “They played hard and never quit. Woodward and Lee played very well, too. They know how to get to the glass and know how to score. I was impressed with their overall team play, but those two guys were very good for them.”
Junior Austin Guyton had 10 points and six rebounds, junior Cole Gore scored eight points, grabbed five boards and forced two steals, and Josh Lang added eight points for Christian Academy.
“I thought the overall team effort was very good,” Gore said. “Henry did the bulk of our scoring, but we had some kids step up. We had to have a good team performance because of some guys getting into foul trouble. It was a well-played second half.”
Christian Academy will take on St. John’s Christian Academy on Thursday at 8 p.m.. The Saints defeated St. John’s 55-35 at home earlier this season.
“They’re an impressive looking team,” Gore said. “They have some very athletic guys; four of their five starters average in double-figures. We played a lot of man-to-man and that confused them last time because they go up against a lot of zones. We watched them play tonight and we thought the same thing, we’re going to play a lot of man-to-man against them.”• CHRISTIAN ACADEMY (80) – Josh Lang 8, Austin Guyton 10, Max Smith 2, Bernard Jones 12, Cody Williams 2, Cole Gore 8, Matt Doria 4, Garrett Richards 2, Kendall Henry 30, Spencer Underwood 2.
• WARDLAW ACADEMY (58) – Richard Coates 4, Earnest Woodward 23, Malik Lee 14, Adam Lee 4, Justin Richburg 5, Dylan Seaman 8.
• Records: CAMB 22-5, Wardlaw 16-7.