Friday, December 20, 2013
Goose Creek High School’s sweep the county tour continued on Thursday night.
The Lady Gators knocked off Timberland High School 84-21, followed by the Gators’ 63-34 victory in the boys game.
Goose Creek has already recorded sweeps of Hanahan and Berkeley high schools on the court this winter.
“I think most teams in the Lowcountry give us their best shot,” Goose Creek boys coach Blake Hall said. “We’ve got a target on our back from last year.
“For good or for bad, the kids have to be ready.”
On Thursday, the boys team sped out to an 8-0 lead in the opening minutes and continued to build, holding a 35-16 advantage at halftime and never looking back in the second half.
Dantez Bennamon poured in a game-high 24 points for the Gators (4-1) after missing the Fort Dorchester loss on Monday, while Jordan Whittaker chipped in 14 points in his first game back from an injury. Jordan McElveen added nine and threw down a dunk on a breakaway in the first half.
“It was the first time all year we’ve had a full roster,” Hall said. “Having Dantez back was a positive influence on the other kids. He settles the rest of the group down.”
Bennamon missed Monday’s game after being hit with a pair of technical fouls against Hanahan a week earlier.
Shamel Williams had nine points and Waun’Ye Cox added six points for Timberland, which fell to 4-2. The young, inconsistent Wolves are still a work in progress this season for Coach Jerome Stewart but he believes they will be able to come together.
“Out of my top 10, three sophomores and two freshmen are getting high minutes,” he said. “We have nights like this. Out of 14 kids, only two are seniors.”
On defense, Stewart felt his team played hard and he’s pleased with that effort. He said the test against the defending Class AAAA Lower State champions let his team know where it’s at overall.
“The potential for this team is unlimited,” Stewart said. “We have to figure out how to put more points on the board. That’s been our Achilles heel at times. We’ve got to find more scorers. Can’t just be one guy.”
In the girls game, the Lady Gators simply had too much skill for Timberland. Goose Creek (5-0) led 17-5 after a quarter and then outscored the Lady Wolves 26-8 in the second period.
Ryan Bishop led four players in double figures with 15 points. Alishya Neal-Turner and Semoine Frasier added 14 points each. Mariah Linney scored 12 points. Shakeia Joy had eight points.
“We’re trying to get a little more depth,” Lady Gators coach Tim Baldwin said. “We want to go about nine or 10 deep so if somebody’s off or somebody’s not feeling well somebody else can step up.”
The 14 points was a career high for Neal-Turner, a senior.
“The lights might be flickering on for her,” Baldwin said. “Her defensive intensity has really taken off.”
Baldwin’s team was set to defend its title in the Shootout by the Sea in North Myrtle Beach before Christmas before participating in Bishop England’s Carolina Invitational. Over 60 teams are set to compete in the third annual event, which will also host sites at Hanahan High School, St. John’s High School and James Island Charter High School.
“It really has grown,” Baldwin said. “It’s got a lot of talented teams from up and down the east coast and even a team from Australia. It’s a real nice tournament.”