Carvers Bay basketball coach Jeff Mezzatesta, left, presents Da’Shaun Aiken with the ball he used to break the school’s scoring record of 1,086 points, which was set last year. As of Feb. 7, Aiken had 1,156 points.
Carvers Bay’s Da’Shaun Aiken drives to the basket against C.E. Murray on Tuesday night. The Bears beat the War Eagles to clinch the Region VII-A title and home court advantage in the playoffs.
Carvers Bay’s Walter Linnen drives to the basket against C.E. Murray on Tuesday night.
By Chris Sokoloski
Carvers Bay boys basketball team used an 18-2 run in the waning minutes of the game to beat C.E. Murray 62-53 on Tuesday night.
The win gives the Bears the Region VII-A title and home court advantage for the first three rounds of the Lower State playoffs.
“I think there was a lot of pressure on the boys, it just seemed like all season long we’d get a win and [C.E. Murray] would get a win,” said Carvers Bay coach Jeff Mezzatesta. “They wouldn’t go away. They’re just a great team.”
“It’s a pretty good advantage because we can be with our home crowd,” said Da’Shaun Aiken.
“Last year we went off on the road and we lost,” said Walter Linnen. “We’re not a very good team on the road. As long as the crowd has our back … we’ve got a chance.”
Carvers Bay capitalized on C.E. Murray turnovers to jump out to 7-1 lead.
Pressure defense led to sloppy ball handling by the Bears, and the War Eagles climbed back into the game, eventually cutting the lead to 9-7.
Carvers Bay was able to extend the lead as the quarter came to an end, and Stefan Hannah’s basket and free throw gave the Bears an 18-12 lead.
The War Eagles outscored the Bears 10-4 in the first half of the second quarter to tie the game at 22-22.
After a Nigel Gamble three-pointer gave Carvers Bay a 25-22 lead, C.E. Murray scored five straight points to go ahead 27-25.
Coming out of a Carvers Bay timeout, Shayton Durand sank two free throws and a dunk to put the Bears ahead 29-28 with 1:15 left in the half.
C.E. Murray got the only points in the last minute to take a 30-29 lead at halftime.
Both teams traded baskets for the first five minutes of the second half, before the War Eagles went on a small run to lead 41-36.
An Aiken basket, a Linnen free throw and a Gamble three-pointer put Carvers Bay ahead 42-41, but C.E. Murray got the last basket of the quarter to lead 43-42.
The War Eagles went on a 8-2 run at the beginning of the fourth quarter before Aiken hit a three-pointer to cut the lead to 51-47.
After Durand hit a free throw and a basket, Linnen dribbled the length of the floor for a lay-in, putting the Bears ahead 52-51. Darius Williams’ basket 20 seconds later sent the Carvers Bay crowd into a frenzy.
In the final minute, Linnen had two steals and four points and Aiken hit four free throws to seal the victory.
“My teammates were telling my ‘don’t give, just keep fighting’ … so I just kept fighting,” Linnen said.
Carvers Bay outscored C.E. Murray 18-2 down then stretch.
Durand had 19 points and three rebounds to lead Carvers Bay.
Linnen had 17 points and three rebounds; Aiken had 11 points, four rebounds and four steals; Gamble had eight points and three rebounds; and Chris Carter had three rebounds and four steals.
“We’ve got to get better,” Mezzatesta said. “We’ve got to play a lot better. We’re playing really sloppy right now.”
The Yellow Jacket lost 93-75 to Lake Marion on Wednesday night.
Jowan Grant had 22 points to lead Andrews.
Travis Collins had 16 points, Monte McCrea had 13 points, Johnel Grant had 12 points, Jackie Wilson had four points, and Zayshawn Knowlin had four points.
Andrews was coming off a 69-63 win in overtime over Timberland on Monday night.
The Yellow Jackets outscored the Wolves 11-5 in the extra period to secure the victory.
Johnel Grant had 16 points to lead Andrews.
Collins had 14 points, Jowan Grant had 13 points, McCrea had 11 points, and Jonathan Grant had six points.
The Bulldogs beat Myrtle Beach 52-45 on Tuesday.
Georgetown led 14-4 at the end of the first quarter and 23-10 at halftime, and held off the Seahawks in the second half despite being outscored 35-29.
Dae’Quan Gibson had 15 points and four assists to lead the Bulldogs.
Charlie McGirt had eight points and 15 rebounds; Stephon Cuttino had eight points and four rebounds; Anthony Blair had eight points and 13 rebounds; Eddie Anderson had seven points, three rebounds and three steals; and A.J. Walker had four points and four rebounds.
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