In a game full of big plays, West Ashley freshman Haliyah Sumter made some of the biggest.
West Ashley earned a 59-50 overtime victory at Ashley Ridge in the opening round of the Class AAAA girls’ basketball playoffs. The Wildcats improved to 14-7 and advance to play the winner of Tuesday’s Sumter/River Bluff game in the second round Friday. The Lady Swamp Foxes end the season with a 15-5 record.
“We’ve always took pride in playing good solid defense so we felt tonight that would take us into the next round,” West Ashley coach Maria Williams said. “In the first half we weren’t aggressive enough, but late in the game we did a good job of containing, so defense really helped us get back into this game.”
West Ashley carried a 21-18 lead into the half, but Ashley Ridge picked up the intensity in the third quarter. The Lady Swamp Foxes found holes in the West Ashley press to pull ahead by eight points in the period before West Ashley cut the lead to four entering the fourth.
Ashley Ridge took a two-point lead off a pair of free throws by freshman Taighlor Solomon with 1:27 remaining. The Lady Wildcats answered with a layup and then Sumter stole the Ashley Ridge inbound pass and hit a quick shot to give West Ashley the lead with just more than a minute remaining.
Ashley Ridge freshman Shamaria Myers made a steal with less than 20 seconds remaining and scored in transition to force overtime.
Before Ashley Ridge could get anything going in overtime, Sumter made an old-fashioned 3-point play and hit a shot from beyond the arc for a 52-46 West Ashley lead. She went on to add a pair of free throws while Jordan Starr hit three free throws and Essence Kinloch added a bucket to put the game out of reach for Ashley Ridge.
“Haliyah has come a long way,” Williams said. “She is a passionate player and sometimes that can take over, but she loves the game and she plays with a lot of heart. As a freshman, she has stepped up and accepted the challenge.”
West Ashley had three players in double digits. Sumter and Starr both finished with 15 points and Kinloch added 10 for the Lady Wildcats.
Myers finished with a game-high 20-points while Solomon added 11 for Ashley Ridge.
West Ashley 59, Ashley Ridge 50
West Ashley (59): Haliyah Sumter 15, Jordan Starr 15, Essence Kinloch 10, Bookard 7, Simmons 6, Robinson 3, Fyall 2, Waddy 1.
Ashley Ridge (50): Shamaria Myers 20, Taighlor Solomon 11, King 2, Drayton 2, Glover 5, Tierney 6, Cousins 4.