Wave and Fort gear up for playoffs with rivalry game
The Green Wave boys fought for a 72-66 win at Fort Dorchester last week, but open the playoffs Wednesday with an equally challenging opponent.
Region 8-AAAA champion Summerville will host South Florence, a No. 3 seed, Wednesday in the opening round of the Class AAAA state playoffs.
“South Florence is very athletic, ” Summerville coach Greg Elliott said. “They have a little more size than the Fort but they play a similar style. They are aggressive and rely on a lot of three-pointers. They rebound extremely well and pose some match up problems for us.”
The winner of the game will advance to face the winner of the Lexington/Ridge View first-round game in the second round Saturday.
Summerville wrapped up its regular season with the game at Fort Dorchester Thursday. The first half was tight. With the game knotted at 8 a piece, Summerville moved ahead with a fast-break bucket from Tyler Palmer. Then Brandon Wilkerson made a steal and drove inside to give the Wave a 12-8 lead entering the second period.
Fort Dorchester’s Eric Heyward hit a three-pointer with 3:18 remaining in the second period to cut the Wave’s lead to a point. The teams matched each other’s effort until Chris McKinnon hit a 3 with two seconds remaining on the clock for a 30-26 Wave lead at the half.
Summerville then began to pull away and McKinnon hit another 3 in the closing seconds of the third for a 50-39 Wave lead.
The Fort charged back and Heyward hit three consecutive shots, including one from beyond the arc, to pull the Patriots within 8 halfway through the final period. However, the Fort’s two starting inside men both fouled out in the period.
Ronald Johnson hit some big shots late to keep things interesting. He hit a 3 to take the score to 71-64 but in the closing 25 seconds Summerville had free throws from McKinnon and Wilkerson to ice the game.
“It was atypical rivalry game and we were glad to get the win at the Fort,” Elliott said. “We played really well in the third period to go up by 11 and got up by 19 at one point before they made an 8-0 run. Luckily we made a plus-one play and enough free throws coming down the stretch to pull it out. We had four starters in double digists and another who scored nine so it was a balanced performance for us.”
Wave senior Brandon WIlkerson scored 16 points and made 17 rebounds. Junior John Jenkins scored 24 points. Coming down the stretch, he went 7 of 7 at the free-throw line. Christian Kalacanic added 12 points for Summerville while Timmy Singleton added 10 and McKinnon nine.
Heyward led the Fort with 23 points.
Summerville improved to 19-5 with a 9-1 mark in Region 8-AAAA with the win while Fort Dorchester dropped to 13-10, 5-5.
However, the Patriots did make the playoffs as the region’s No. 3 seed. They travel to West Ashley Wednesday for their opening-round game. The winner of that contest will face either North Augusta or Richland Northeast Saturday in the second round.
Summerville 73, Fort Dorchester 66
Summerville (73): John Jenkins 23, Brandon Wilkerson 16, Christian Kalacanic 12, Timmy Singleton 10, McKinnon 9, Palmer 2
Fort Dorchester (66): Eric Heyward 23, Ronald Johnson 7, Demitri Carter 6, Thad Middleton 6, Staggers 5, Munoz 4, Moorer 4, Stevens 3, Bennett 2