With a 31-game winning streak and a national ranking, the Hammond boys basketball team is in uncharted waters. But that hasn’t slowed down the Skyhawks.
Senior Chevez Goodwin poured in a game-high 23 points and Hammond shook off a slow start to defeat Porter-Gaud 75-54 Tuesday to extend its winning streak to 32 games.
“For a little tiny school, we have moved into uncharted waters with the streak and rankings,” Hammond coach Mark McClam said. “But we are just focused on one game at a time. The past of what we did in December is come and gone. We just need to focus on what is ahead of us.”
Last month, Hammond won a pair of tournaments and moved into USA Today and MaxPreps national rankings. The Skyhawks are 12th in both polls this week.
Hammond played a tough non-conference schedule to move into the rankings with only one game against SCISA opponents. Since Christmas, the Skyhawks delved into its SCISA schedule and won all three games by an average of 24.7 points.
“I always consulted coaches much smarter than me on what is the best thing to do to prepare for a state championship,” McClam said. “All of them say go play a competitive schedule early, and so that is what we did the last three or four years. So when we get in big matchups like tonight, we are ready for them.”
Porter-Gaud, one of the top threats in SCISA 3A, was expected to provide a stern test. The Cyclones (11-3) built an early seven-point edge and led 14-12 after the first quarter.
Hammond started the second quarter on a 12-3 run and led 28-22 at halftime. In the second half, the 6-foot-8 Goodwin dominated in the post. The College of Charleston signee scored 18 of his points in the second half and was 9-for-13 shooting in the game. He also grabbed 12 rebounds, including six offensive.
“He got frustrated early in the first half and got one or two blocked,” McClam said. “He is not used to having a 6-foot-8 guy on top of him. But in the second half, he kept going to the glass and was just hard to keep off.”
North Carolina signee Seventh Woods added 13 points and dished out six assists in the game.
“Our key is just to play Hammond basketball, come out and play hard in every game we play,” Woods said. “And we did that tonight.”
Eric Jackson led Porter-Gaud with 16 points.
Hammond hosts Augusta Christian on Friday before its much-anticipated matchup Monday at Keenan in the Crescent Construction MLK Bash.
PG: Barry 9, Jackson 16, Nesmith 14, James 6, Lanford 3, Whatley, McCravy 3. H: Chevez Goodwin 23, Luksik 2, Prickett 5, Theodore 5, Jonathan Yuchmow 11, Turner 9, Neal 3, Brown 2, Seventh Woods 13.
Hammond 62, Porter-Gaud 43
Trinity Johnson and Ahlea Myers combined for 32 points as Hammond shook off a slow start for its ninth win of the year. The Skyhawks outscored the Cyclones 17-6 in the second quarter to take control of the game.
PG: Kemp 4, B. Allen 10, Walpole 1, Cochrane 10, Faith 7, Grant 9, A. Allen 2 H: Trinity Johnson 18, Hain 4, Thompkins 2, Giles 7, Felder 7, Ahlea Myers 14, Turner 4, Walker 6.