Not even the ChopHouse -- Wando's infamous student cheering section -- could help the Warriors on Tuesday night against Aiken.
Shawn Moore scored 26 points, 18 coming in the second half, to lead Aiken past Wando, 50-40, in the Class AAAA Lower State boys basketball semifinals.
Aiken (19-8) will play Lexington, a 56-43 winner over White Knoll, on Friday night in Florence in the Lower State final. The top-seeded Warriors finished their season at 24-3.
The Warriors suffered through a dismal shooting performance, especially from the perimeter, where
they managed to connect on just 2 of 18 3-point attempts. The Warriors, who did not make a single 3-pointer after the first quarter, missed their final 15 attempts from long range.
"Sometimes the shots are just not going to fall for you," said Wando coach David Eaton. "We just never got going, and you can't fault the players -- they're trying to make the shots. Unfortunately the other things that should have equaled out for us, going to the basket and finishing and getting to the free throw line, we didn't do."
The Warriors led by as many as 12 points early, grabbing a 15-3 lead at the end of the first quarter.
"We came out with a lot of energy in the first quarter, but then I think we kind of relaxed," Eaton said. "We were more concerned about holding onto our lead than building on it."
Trailing 23-15 at halftime, the Hornets stormed back into the game, outscoring the Warriors 16-4 during the third quarter to take a 31-27 lead going into the final quarter.
"We got down big in the first half and I just told the guys to relax," said Aiken coach Tony Harrell. "Wando's size was giving us problems, but we went to the zone and that kind of slowed them down."
Then Moore caught fire, scoring nine points in the third quarter.
"Shawn carried us tonight," Harrell said. "He stepped up huge for us, really took control of the game in the second half."
Josh Walker's layup and free throw closed the gap to 35-32 with 6:24 left, but that was as close as Wando would get down the stretch.
"Give Aiken credit. They came out with a ton of energy in the second half and we didn't match it," Eaton said.
Terrance Jenkins, who had a thunderous dunk in the fourth quarter, led the Warriors with 11 points.
Aiken (50): Shawn Moore 26, Dramel Coleman 11, Smith 7, Butler 4, Gaiters 2.
Wando (40): Terrance Jenkins 11, Walker 7, Vanderhorst 5, Kinloch 5, Alston 4, Legree 4, Harvin 2, Smalls 2.
Records: Wando 24-3, Aiken 19-8.