High School Basketball

Hammond girls end state title drought

Roshan Myers couldn’t contain his excitement, and for good reason.

The Hammond girls coach was skipping his way along the bench as the final seconds ticked off the clock Saturday in the SCISA 3A girls’ championship game. The Skyhawks ended more than two decades of frustration with a 42-31 win against Cardinal Newman at the Sumter Civic Center.

It is Hammond’s 11th title in school history but first since 1993, the last of four consecutive championships.

“They just believed. We started off 0-4, but they stuck with it and just went one possession at a time,” Myers said. “Even when we were 0-4, they came to practice like they were 4-0. And when you’ve got good players and good student-athletes that believe in your program, you can do it.”

Hammond battled through a myriad of injuries last season to a disappointing finish. Then, this year, the Skyhawks started off 0-4 but held things together, culminating with a state title.

“We just had faith,” said Ahlea Myers, the daughter of the Hammond coach. “We had injuries all last year, but we knew that we could make it. And as seniors, we wanted to go out with a bang.”

Myers, a Charleston Southern signee, led the Skyhawks with 14 points, and Presbyterian signee Trinity Johnson added 10. The two combined to go 11-of-12 from the free-throw line in the fourth quarter as Hammond put away any comeback attempt by Cardinal Newman.

Cardinal Newman, which trailed by nine in the fourth, got as close as 33-29 with 3:20 left, but managed only one field goal the rest of the way.

Eighth-grader Ashlyn Watkins led the Cardinals with 11 points.

H: A. Myers 14, Turner 4, Felder 3, T. Johnson 10, T. Myers 6, Walker 5. CN: Watkins 11, Parter 8, Beadle 4, Meyers 6, Hogan 2