Anyone who thought high school girls don’t play basketball at a high level of intensity should have witnessed the area’s top two teams — Goose Creek and Summerville — compete for a spot in the Class AAAA Lower State finals on Monday night.
The game was played hard and physical at times by both sides, and in the end, Goose Creek came away with a 68-55 win.
The Gators (21-6) advance to the Lower State finals on Friday night at the Florence Civic Center against Irmo riding a 13-game winning streak. Irmo beat Goose Creek, 43-38, in December as part of the Carolina Invitational tournament.
Goose Creek used a 15-2 run in the second quarter to open up a 32-20 halftime advantage and never trailed again. Summerville was able to whittle down a double-digit lead to 50-45 with 4:45 left in the game, but Goose Creek closed the contest with an 18-10 run.
Sophomore point guard Mariah Linney paced Goose Creek with 16 points, while junior forward Shakayia Wilson scored a career-high 14 points. Wilson came into the game having scored 55 points all season, averaging 2.5 points per game.
Sophomore center Erica Broughton added 10 points for Goose Creek while also controlling the paint with five blocked shots. Eighth-grader Shayla Nelson scored eight of her nine points in the fourth quarter.
“We had some kids step up and play major games tonight,” said Goose Creek coach Tim Baldwin. “To win, to get to where you wanna go, you have to have some step up that normally might not produce big numbers. She (Wilson) was huge tonight on the inside and really gave us a spark.”
Senior point guard Ashley Green paced Summerville with 17 points, while senior guard Rodnesha Capers scored 14.
“Both teams, everyone was really getting after it tonight,” said Baldwin. “Both sides got a little physical. I feel like the officials let us play enough and allowed the players to determine the outcome of the game.”
Summerville sees its season end at 21-6. The Green Wave won 16 straight games before Monday night’s loss.
“It just wasn’t our night,” said Summerville coach Matt Legare, who led the Green Wave to the Lower State finals a year ago. “We played really hard. No way can I complain about our effort. Both teams really played hard. It was a good game, but unfortunately we didn’t play well enough to win. Goose Creek, they played great. They will represent the Lowcountry very well on Friday night.”
Summerville (55): Ashley Green 17, Rodnesha Capers 14, Aldridge 8, Spruiell 5, Harley 5, Mazyck 4, Goodwine 2.
Goose Creek (68): Mariah Linney 16, Shakayia Wilson 14, Erica Broughton 10, Nelson 9, Shivers 7, Bishop 6, Simpson 4, Davis 2.
Records: Summerville 21-6, Goose Creek 21-6. Next: Goose Creek in Lower State championship in Florence on Friday.