It’s a known fact that area girls basketball power Goose Creek will face minimum resistance in Region 7-AAAAA this season. So any competitive games the Gators can have before the state playoffs in February are beneficial, win or lose.
Goose Creek, ranked second in Class AAAAA, lost its first game of this season in the Carolina Invitational last weekend. Another challenge took place on Friday with third-ranked AAAAA Fort Dorchester paying a visit.
Junior guard Aniyah Oliver scored 16 points and Goose Creek managed to hold off a late game charge to win a highly competitive matchup, 50-47, to improve to 8-1 on the season.
Goose Creek has not lost to an area team since January 2015.
“They’re a good basketball team, one of the better teams in the area,” said Goose Creek coach Tim Baldwin, who notched his 392nd career win. “We had to fight for it. That’s what we want. We want to have games like this. The good thing is that we won it. Hats off to Fort Dorchester. We were in a dogfight tonight and it was good for us.”
Goose Creek held a 14-12 lead after one quarter before Oliver took control in the second period, scoring 14 points, with a pair of 3-pointers, to give the Gators a 34-25 edge at the half.
Goose Creek opened a 39-27 advantage with four minutes left in the third and entered the fourth quarter with a 43-33 edge.
Three-point baskets by Reanna Young and Janyya Burton cut the lead to 45-42 with four minutes left in the contest. Goose Creek got a pair of free throws from Oliver and a layup from Cierra Shivers to take a 49-42 lead with 1:40 left but Aujea Bowman drained a trey with 1:10 remaining to make it 49-45.
Fort Dorchester cut the lead to two with 56 seconds left and was able to stay in the game due to Goose Creek missing five of six free throws in the final minute. Shivers’ free throw with 15 seconds left gave Goose Creek the three-point lead, and Fort Dorchester missed a pair of potential game-tying 3’s at the end of the game.
“We didn’t execute very well at the end of the game,” Baldwin said. “Too many mental mistakes. We struggled a little bit and never really got into a rhythm.”
Shivers finished with nine points while Davis, Daphney Saylor and Shayla Nelson each scored seven points.