ESTILL — The Timberland High School boys basketball team stunned No. 1 Ridgeland-Hardeeville High School in a physical and frantic game Wednesday night.
Timberland forced 22 turnovers in notching a 62-54 upset in the Class AA Lower State playoffs at at Estill High School.
The Wolves (21-6) earned a trip to the Lower State final Saturday in Florence, where they will face either Dillon or Lee Central.
“We got outhustled tonight. We got outplayed,” Jaguars coach Jeremiah Faber conceded. “We were stagnant in our offense, we didn’t move the ball. A lot of turnovers.”
The Jaguars had trouble with their perimeter passing all game, letting the Wolves consistently jump in for steals on sloppy passes. Despite all the miscues, the Jaguars were in control for the entire first half.
They jumped out to a 9-1 lead to start the game, and led 18-12 after the first quarter. Ridgeland-Hardeeville still led going into the break, 30-25.
But the third quarter signaled a change of momentum. The turnovers slowed, but the Jaguars’ shooting went cold. They missed their first 10 shots of the second half, and Timberland eventually took its first lead of the game 2½ minutes into the third quarter.
From there, it was a back-and-forth contest until the final minutes. Dalyn McKinney knocked down a 3-pointer for the Wolves with 4:15 to play, giving them a 48-43 lead that the Jaguars were never able to whittle down.
“Tonight, they wanted it just a little more than we did,” Faber said. “We were sloppy with the basketball tonight. We weren’t strong with the ball at all. We just didn’t have our best game tonight.
“Are they a better team than us? I don’t know, but they won the ballgame,” Faber said. “So that says a lot about them.”
McKinney finished with 17 points and had a key steal in the last 10 seconds to seal the win. Brison Harris added 12 points for Timberland, and Whanye Cox had seven points and nine rebounds.
Traivon Anderson hit four 3-pointers and had a game-high 20 points for Ridgeland-Hardeeville.
Kam Waddy added 12 points and 10 rebounds, Gaylus Bailey had 10 points and eight boards, and Trenard Ferrell had eight points and nine rebounds.