A win during their final home game of the regular season should be enough to get the Lady Patriots into the playoffs.
The Fort Dorchester girls earned a 50-47 victory over Bluffton Tuesday. The Lady Bobcats had a fast start in the game to take a double-digit lead, but the Fort battled back to tie the game by the half. The second half was also a battle, but the Lady Patriots made the last few buckets to edge past Bluffton.
Jailah Melvin led the charge, scoring a team-high 13 points. Erika Cobb added 12 points for the Lady Patriots and JaQuanna King added 8.
Fort Dorchester is currently in fourth place for the region and coach Randall Slawson says that is where he expects his team to finish, which would mean a playoff berth.
“We are playing hard and I think we are starting to learn what it takes to win,” Slawson said. “It takes a while to build a program but if these girls stay together, look out. If they stay together, we will make some noise down the road.”
Prior to the Bluffton game, the Fort had consecutive games against Region 8-AAAA’s toughest teams. They didn’t win any, but all were tight games.
“I think Ashley Ridge got us by 6; Colleton got us by 4 and Summerville by 5,” Slawson said. “If it weren’t for missing free throws late in the game or mistakes here and there we could have won those games. We are playing well at the right time. We’ve been shooting around 70 percent from the free-throw line, but then sometimes in the fourth quarter all the sudden we don’t hit them.
The coach says his young team has come a long way this season.
“They are playing very good defense and starting to talk to each other. We haven’t shot the ball as well as we can the last couple of games, but that won’t last. If we can continue to get that effort on defense and we start shooting the ball we will be fine.”
The Patriots end the regular season with a rematch at Summerville. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. Feb. 17.