Goose Creek Wando boys basketball

Goose Creek coach Blake Hall implores his team to play hard defensively against Wando on Friday night in the Roundball Classic at North Charleston High School.  Photo by David Shelton

A pair of Region 7-AAAAA rivals battled for a spot in the finals of the International bracket on Day 2 of the Rotary Roundball Classic at North Charleston High School.

Goose Creek and Wando competed to be the lone Lowcountry team in either of the two championship games, which will be played Saturday night. Goose Creek led throughout the game and came away with a 40-35 win in a game that featured 37 turnovers.

The Gators (8-5) will face Georgetown Prep of Washington, D.C., in the championship game at 7 p.m.

The championship game of the Foundation bracket will include St. John’s College High of Washington, D.C. against Cape Fear Academy of Wilmington at 8:30 p.m.

In claiming a second straight victory, Goose Creek coach Blake Hall was not sure that his team improved in victory on Friday night.

“The roller-coaster ride continues and until this team believes in me, we will continue this ride,” Hall said. “Right now, they don’t believe in me. They don’t believe in what I am teaching. We have to find guys who will be leaders on the floor and who will help us close out games.”

Goose Creek jumped out to a 17-4 lead in the first half before Wando cut the margin to four with a 9-0 run. The Gators responded with a 7-0 run in the final minute of the half to gain an 11-poing halftime advantage.

Goose Creek led throughout the second half, including a 31-17 lead with 11 minutes to play, only to allow sloppy ball-handling to give Wando hope. The Warriors were able to get as close as six at 38-32 with 25 seconds to play.

Goose Creek finished with 19 turnovers, 13 in the second half and six in the final three minutes. Jamel McGowan led the Gators in scoring with nine points.

Both teams missed seven free throws while Wando was just one of 11 from three-point range, that one make coming at the buzzer. Maliek Brown and Braxton Washington paced the Warriors with 14 points each.

Georgetown Prep 67, Roswell 52

Georgetown Prep shot 54 percent and placed five players in double figure in the win, advancing to the finals of the International bracket. Kamdyn Cuffman had 14 points to lead the way while DeJean Desire had 13 points and 12 rebounds. Prep held a 37-19 edge on the boards.

St. John’s 64, Bullis 50

St. John’s College High advanced to the finals of the Foundation bracket with the win. Casey Morsell and Darius Maddox each scored 13 points for the winners. Rodney Rice and Nendah Tarke led Bullis with 16 points each.

Milton (Ga.) 58,

Cape Fear 26

Milton out-scored Cape Fear, 36-11, in the second half to roll to an easy win and advance to the finals of the Foundation bracket. David Banks scored 16 points and Austin Weiner had 12 points and seven rebounds for the winners. Milton shot 56 percent from the field while Cape Fear shot 26 percent and committed 19 turnovers.

Pinewood Prep 66, Palmetto Christian 33

Cohen Gaskins scored 15 points and grabbed nine rebounds while Ben Diffley had 12 points and 12 boards for the victorious Panthers. Jay Pryor also reached double figure with 15 points. Pinewood Prep held a 39-15 lead at the half.

Kendall Chakeris scored 15 points and Cole Silvester added 13 for the Eagles.

Stall 59,

James Island 42

Guard Jalen Bailey scored 17 points and the Warriors shot 49 percent from the field in the win over James Island. The Trojans got 19 points from DQ Vinson and 13 from Lawton Davis but fell to 0-2 in the tournament.

First Baptist 62, Providence Day 56

Devin Dean paced the Hurricanes with 24 points while Mikey Dukes added 15. The Hurricanes forced 20 turnovers, the difference in the competitive game.

Porter-Gaud 68,

West Ashley 40

In a battle of two of the top teams in the Lowcountry, Porter-Gaud’s Josiah James scored 24 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and dished out five assists in the blowout win. The Cyclones shot 56 percent from the field, including a 65 percent rate in the second half.

Forward Devin Ramsey paced West Ashley with 14 points and eight rebounds.

Saturday’s Schedule

10 a.m. – Palmetto Christian vs. Providence Day

11:30 a.m. – James Island vs. West Ashley

1 p.m. – Pinewood Prep vs. First Baptist

2:30 p.m. – Stall vs. Porter-Gaud

4 p.m. – Roswell vs. Wando

5:30 p.m.- Bullis vs. Cape Fear

7 p.m. – Georgetown Prep vs. Goose Creek (International final)

8:30 p.m. – St. John’s vs. Milton (Foundation final)