Goose Creek 53, Wando 50
MOUNT PLEASANT -- Circle the calendar for Feb. 11. You might also want to circle the wagons too.
That's the day Wando and Goose Creek meet in the regular season finale, a game that could decide the Region 7-AAAA boys basketball champion.
Goose Creek showed it isn't ready to concede the title just yet, ending Wando's bid for a perfect season with a 53-50 victory over the Warriors on Tuesday night. The Gators upped their record to 16-5, including 3-1 in the region. Wando fell to 18-1, 3-1.
"It's been an up-and-down season for us," Goose Creek coach Brad Dobbels said. "We beat Summerville on a last-second shot, and then James Island comes in and beats us at our place. Tonight was a must-win situation."
The Gators have had to overcome injuries and the absence of football standout Brandon Shell, who has missed time because of postseason all-star games and recruiting trips. Shell scored only six points against the Warriors, but all six were critical.
Shell hit an old-fashioned three-point play with 1:33 left in the third quarter to cut Wando's lead to 37-36 with 1:33 left in the third quarter.
But the Warriors continued to hold the lead midway through the final quarter thanks to some big plays by junior Josh Walker. He hit a 3-pointer with 4:41 left in the game and followed it up with a steal and field goal 11 seconds later to give the Warriors a 47-43 lead.
But freshman guard Dantez Bennamon's 3-pointer with 3:04 left in the game cut the lead to 47-46, and Shell scored inside with 1:29 to go to give the Gators the lead for good.
"Brandon showed up tonight," Dobbels said. "He's missed some time because of football, but tonight he hit that basket to give us a one-point lead. He hasn't been consistent, but tonight he came up big."
Raemond Robinson and James Robinson both scored 15 for the Gators, while Bennamon added 11.
Elijah Legree led Wando with 11 points and Naji Pasha added 10.
Goose Creek (53): Raemond Robinson 15, James Robinson 15, Dantez Bennamon 11, Shell 6, Marsh 4, Tucker 2.
Wando (50): Elijah Legree 11, Naji Pasha 10, Swinton 9, Walker 6, Alston 6, Small 4, Kinloch 2, Jenkins 2.
Records: GC 16-5, 3-1; W 18-1, 3-1. Next: GC at Stratford Friday. Wando at West Ashley Friday.