MOUNT PLEASANT — The Goose Creek boys basketball team clinched at least a share of the Region 7-AAAA basketball championship Friday night with a 62-54 victory over Wando.
The Gators, who can wrap up the title with a victory over Cane Bay on Tuesday, improved to 17-4, including 6-1 in region play under coach Blake Hall. Hall is in his second year as a head coach after leading North Charleston to the Class AA state championship last year. Wando fell to 14-9, 4-2.
West Ashley is still in the hunt for the title. The Wildcats are 5-2 in league play after a victory over Stratford on Friday night.
Goose Creek beat Wando, 57-41, on Jan. 15, but the Warriors seemed to be in control Friday night with a 34-23 halftime lead. But the Gators outscored the Warriors 21-9 in the third quarter to take a 44-43 lead en route to their fifth straight victory.
“I didn’t say anything special at halftime,” Hall said. “I just pointed out there was a whole other half to play. I told our kids this is the type of game you want to play in. The kids believed in themselves and it showed tonight.”
Chris Singleton led the Gators with 16 points. A pair of football players added 14: DeShawn Evans and Dantez Bennamon. Bennamon was the catalyst for the comeback with 11 points in the second half.
Richie Alston led Wando with 13 points.
“Give Wando credit, they played a good game,” Hall said. “This is a great environment. We gave them too many second and third chances in the first half. We worked on that this week but they still managed to do it. But you have to give Goose Creek credit too. We were resilient. They wanted to be successful and it showed tonight.”
The Gators picked up two big wins this week over West Ashley and Wando. Are the Gators hitting their stride at the right time as the playoffs near?
“The important thing is to try and get better,” Hall said. “Whether we win or lose, the main thing is to get better every game. If we work hard and improve, everything will take care of itself.”