Coach Brett Childers issued a warning to his South Pointe varsity girls basketball team last Tuesday.
The Lady Stallions had just beaten Clover 54-26 to wrap up the Region 3-AAAA title in only their second season of varsity basketball, and Childers didn't want them to sit back and rest on their accomplishments.
"I told them we had to finish, had three games left and we had to go and play like we have all season," Childers said. "I told them we couldn't have a letdown now that we know we're in the playoffs.
"We talked about staying focused that we don't let anything get in our way. They took it well. Our girls have matured a lot this season."
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And the Lady Stallions have become one of the top teams in Class AAAA this season, as they showed in an easy 64-27 win over the Rock Hill Lady Bearcats. The win pushed South Pointe, ranked No. 3, to 22-1 overall and 12-0 in the region.
Every time the Lady Stallions win, they set a school record. What they have done this season, the first for Childers, could stay on the school's record book for years.
This one was over by halftime. With guard Chelsea Douglas leading the way, South Pointe raced to an 18-8 lead at the end on the first quarter. It ended with Douglas driving to the hoop and making a shot that beat the buzzer.
The difference came down to three factors. South Pointe is faster, taller and has a stronger bench. Nine Lady Stallions scored, with three reaching double figures. Douglas had 15, De'Brea Barber 12 and Ashwana Bost 11, nine coming on 3-pointers.
"Rock Hill came out pushing at us, so we got after them harder," Barber said. "Coach Childers told us every game counts, that we have to finish strong and head into the playoffs with momentum.
The loss all but wiped out any chance Rock Hill had of heading to the postseason. The Lady Bearcats fell to 8-12 overall and 4-8 in the region.
Rock Hill's Crockett played well, twisting and jumping her way to a 15-point night. But she didn't get the support she needed, with only three of her teammates scoring their team's other 12 points. The eight points the Lady Bearcats scored in the opening quarter was their high for the night.
The knockout punch came in the second quarter, with South Pointe outscoring Rock Hill 16-6 and jumping to a 34-14 lead at the half.
And if there were any doubt, after building its lead to 47-20 after three quarters, South Pointe had a big run in the fourth.
Rock Hill found some life, opening the final eight minutes with Crockett canning three of four free throws. They cut the lead to 47-24 and maybe a ray of sunshine was in the works.
But not this night. A storm kicked up and the stampede was on. South Pointe scored 11 straight points and charged out front 60-23 with just under three minutes remaining.
The win was the 10th straight for South Pointe, which closes out the regular season next week at Lancaster on Tuesday and home against Fort Mill on Friday.
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