Patriot rally not enough against Wildcats
West Ashley let a 12-point lead slip away in the third quarter against Fort Dorchester on Wednesday night, but the Wildcats survived with a 53-42 victory in the first round of the boys Class AAAA state basketball playoffs.
The Patriots put up a good effort with a rally and finally tied the score at 34 with 7:34 left when Charles Johnson hit a free throw. But the Wildcats went on an 11-4 run that was highlighted by two big baskets by Avery Zorn. He hit a shot with 2:53 left to give his team a 42-38 lead and followed it up with a basket from 3-point land to push the lead to seven.
West Ashley, which outscored the Patriots 17-8 in the final 6:01, upped its record to 20-5 and advanced to Saturday’s second round at North Augusta.
“This team is hard to figure out,” West Ashley coach Ronnie DuPre said after his team upped its record to 20-5. “We have some weaknesses overall and consequently our games are grind it out, which aren’t real pretty to watch. We do play in spurts offensively and Avery Zorn bailed us out with two big baskets late in the game that gave us a comfortable margin.”
Fort Dorchester, playing without two starters due to sickness and discipline, didn’t quit. But in the end, the Wildcats proved too much.
“We had a couple of seniors out there who gave it their all,” Fort Dorchester coach Leon Wheaton said. “Baptiste (Staggers) had his final run and Eric (Hayward) gave us a good effort. Give us credit. We didn’t quit, neither did they.”
Kevin Sobiesuo led the Wildcats with 18. Damarez Moorer led Fort Dorchester with 16 and Staggers added 13.
The victory gave DuPre another 20-win season.
“Before the season, I didn’t think we would win 20,” he said. “But this team won every close game we had. That says something about this team. That should stand for something.”
Fort Dorchester (42): Moorer 16, Staggers 13, Hayward 4, Johnson 4, Munoz 5.
West Ashley (52): Glenn 5, Sobiesuo 18, Zorn 7, Brown 6, June 8, Palmer 2, Fields 7.