Summerville claimed an 81-77 victory over a feisty West Florence squad in the opening round of the Class AAAA boys basketball playoffs.
The Green Wave (21-4) placed second in its region to secure home-court advantage over the Knights, which placed third in their region.
“Winning a good playoff game kind of gives us validation,” Summerville coach Greg Elliott said. “West Florence is probably the best team in their region and I believe they think we are the best team in ours so it was a good win in an instant-classic type game.”
Summerville travels to Irmo for the second round Saturday evening.
“We have a big chore,” Elliott said. “Irmo is the No. 1 team in the state. They are the North Carolina of South Carolina high school basketball. They have won 42 straight region games and seven straight region titles, but we will go up there and see what happens.”
“Summerville took a one-point lead into the third quarter and built it into a double-digit lead, but the Knights rallied.
“Just when I thought they were done, they cut a 12-point lead to 6 and then erased the deficit completely,” Elliott said. “They are super athletic and very skilled. I think they have the kind of team that could have made a run at a state championship because they shoot the ball so well.”
With the game tied at 72 each possession became highly contested.
Summerville’s Tru’Shaun Moorer grabbed a rebound and was fouled on the opposite end of the court. He hit a pair of free throws to put the Wave up 2.
Terrelle Bowens then converted a steal into a fast break, passing to Jonathan Bennett, who dished to Shaquan Davis. He powered his way to the goal for a basket and a 78-74 Summerville lead.
West Florence’s Cartier Diarra sank a 3-point shot with 35 seconds remaining to cut the lead to a single point. Bennett hit a free throw to push the lead to 2.
Then Moorer made one of the biggest plays of the night. A pass was deflected off a player and heading out of bounds so Moorer leaped after the ball, grabbed it, turned around in midair and slung it toward the Summerville goal. Dewand Smith secured the ball and drove toward the goal, but pulled out instead of shooting to kill some time off the clock.
Bownes then iced the win with a pair of free throws.
Moorer and Bowens both scored 20 points to lead the Wave. Bennett finished with 16 points and Davis with 13. Both Dewand Smith and Devin Smith had 6 points.
Jalen Cameron led West Florence with 24 points. Sharone Wright Jr. added 23 points for the Knights and Diarra added 22.