By David Shelton
Special to The Post and Courier
It took a while to get warmed up but once the machine that is Charleston Collegiate boys basketball got rolling, there was no stopping them.
The Sun Devils overcame an early deficit and ended up winning easily, defeating Academic Magnet, 75-47, in a first-round game of the Porter Gaud Holiday Classic on Friday afternoon.
Senior forward Je'Quan Perry scored a game-high 25 points and senior guard Ty Solomon added 13 as the Sun Devils improved to 6-1 on the season.
Sparked by senior guard Tyre Moore, who scored 19 points in the game, Academic Magnet jumped out to a quick 10-point lead in the first quarter. By the start of the second period, Charleston Collegiate had found its bearings and led, 30-25, by halftime.
"Honestly, I was worried about our focus and intensity even before the game started," said Charleston Collegiate coach Jay Godbolt. "I could tell from the body language, we just weren't ready to play. It took us about a quarter to realize that we needed to pick it up. I credit our bench. We had some guys come in and hit a few shots and kind of got us going."
The game was decided in the third quarter, and it was decided quickly. Perry opened the quarter with two quick baskets in the opening minute, followed by two more buckets two minutes later to spark the Sun Devils to a 38-27 lead. Solomon added two baskets and Arturo Mata hit three 3-pointers and the rout was on. Perry finished the third quarter with 17 points.
"We try to always stress the first three minutes of the third quarter, and we seemed to really take it to heart today, "said Godbolt. "I think Je'Quan took it personally because he missed some easy layups in the first half. He came out wanting to prove he was a better player than he showed in the first half.
"Our game is to get out and run, create turnovers and run. We were able to get some turnovers, and we hit some shots. Once we got into the flow, we played pretty well."
Charleston Collegiate advances to the semifinal round against Northwood Academy, the only team to beat the Sun Devils thus far this season.
Northwood Academy posted an impressive 60-54 win over Columbia High School, holding off a late challenge after building a 15-point lead midway through the fourth quarter.
Daquan Ancrum scored 19 points and Tayvaughn Major added 17 for the 5-2 Chargers.
"It should be a great matchup, and we're excited to have another shot at those guys," said Godbolt.
Friday's results from the Porter-Gaud Holiday Classic:
Orangeburg Prep 76, Porter-Gaud JV 43
Academic Magnet 39, First Baptist 33
Porter-Gaud 58, Christ the King 44
Ashley Hall 47, Charlotte Country Day 30
Charleston Collegiate 75, Academic Magnet 47
Northwood 60, Columbia 54
Westchester 68, First Baptist 50
Porter-Gaud 80, Orangeburg Prep 35