After spending much of the first half on the bench in foul trouble, Chico Carter Jr. made up for it in the final two quarters.
The Cardinal Newman junior scored 17 of his 22 points in the second half as the Cardinals defeated Heathwood Hall 61-51 on Tuesday night.
“He is so reliable with the ball in his hands and one we rely on every night and he doesn’t disappoint,” Cardinal Newman coach Phillip Deter said of Carter. “When you tell him to get to the rim, he takes it to heart. He gets some free throws, gets fouled and then hits from the outside. He can stretch it from all levels of the game.”
Carter picked up his second foul less than two minutes into the second quarter and was relegated to the bench. He stayed engaged during the game by encouraging his teammates and acting as coach on the bench.
Heathwood used Carter’s absence and strong shooting to stay close and trailed 27-24 at halftime.
The Highlanders tied it at 28 with 5:27 left in the third, but the Cardinals took control from there. Cardinal Newman (14-2) went on a 13-2 run to close the quarter. Carter hit a pair of 3-pointers during that stretch.
In the fourth quarter, Carter did a good job getting to the line, where he went 9-of-10 as Cardinal Newman extended the lead to as many as 18 points.
“My team kept telling me that they can’t hold you and just to get to the line because I know I’m a good foul shooter. So I just used my strength to attack and get to the line for easy shots,” Carter said.
The Highlanders got within 57-49 late in the game, but that was it.
Justice Hill led Heathwood (9-3) with 12 points and Isaiah Caldwell had 11.
Brandon Pirie added 12 points, and Joshua Beadle scored 11 for Cardinal Newman, which improves to 14-2 and 2-0 in SCISA 1-3A play. The Cardinals played a tough nonconference schedule and had wins against public schools Nation Ford, Sumter and West Ashley.
Cardinal Newman will take on Hartsville, one of the top teams in Class 4A, on Monday at the MLK Bash at Eau Claire High School.
“We love to play anyone, anytime, anywhere. That’s kind of our motto,” Deter said. “We want to make sure we are tested and see different scenarios because region play is just different. And the teams we beat, Hammond and Heathwood are two good basketball programs.”
HH: Caldwell 10, Lee 6, Carraway 6, Arrington 5, Bell 6, Kemper 6, Justice Hill 12. CN: Carter Jr. 22, Pirie 12, O’Conner 3, Dunlap 4, Beadle 11, Reedy 9.
Cardinal Newman 60, Heathwood Hall 12
CN: Ashlyn Watkins 20, Mya Parter 16, Tyra Beadle 12, Meyers 6, A. Etter 4, Hogan 1, Bolchoz 1. HH: Morgan Goodwin 10, Hanna 2, Moore 1