Stallions win first playoff game

Try to name a high school team in South Carolina with two more impressive wins than the last two South Pointe has recorded.

South Pointe knocked off top-ranked and unbeaten Fort Mill to end the regular season. The momentum gained in that game obviously had some carryover into last night's playoff tilt against Dorman.

The Stallions registered their first-ever playoff win, 74-62.

South Pointe (18-7) will travel to Wren on Saturday.

"There's no question the Fort Mill win gave us a lot of momentum going in," South Pointe coach Dwayne Hartsoe said. "But I told them everyone is zero and zero in the playoffs. This team has never been to the playoffs, so we needed to be focused."

South Pointe got defensive stops when it needed them. The Stallions were 5-for-6 from behind the arc. They committed just 10 turnovers. They made a ton of free throws.

The Stallions are playing their best basketball of the season at the right time of the year.

South Pointe has just two seniors on the roster. They were led Wednesday by junior Stephon Gilmore and sophomore Tre Erby, who scored 24 points apiece.

Dorman coach Thomas Ryan said he knew all about South Pointe's "two best players," Gilmore and Erby. He described Gilmore as an outstanding floor leader and he knew Erby was a slasher.

Still, the duo combined for 48 points. Gilmore added four steals and a handful of assists. Erby cleaned the glass for a game-best 14 rebounds.

"Give South Pointe a lot of credit. They are a very good basketball team," Ryan said. "We are a guard-oriented team and we like to shoot our threes. But they put us in a comeback mode and we were forced into those shots."

South Pointe turned a 24-19 halftime edge into a 20-point bulge with a big run to open the second half.

Gilmore forced Dorman into three straight turnovers. He was on the floor and picking off passes as South Pointe scored 10 unanswered points in the first 2:30 of the second half.

Dorman (17-7) came back behind the long-range shooting of Will Dawkins and Coleman Young. Dawkins scored a game-high 28 points, including six 3-pointers. Young finished with 13 points.

Dawkins' 3-pointer from about 22 feet cut the Stallions' lead to five points, 48-43, with 5:22 left to play.

"We knew Dorman could shoot the three," Hartsoe said. "It was good to get that cushion early on the second half. Then we made our free throws."

Gilmore hit a pair of free throws at the 2:32 mark to make it 59-50. But Dorman's Landon Alverson completed a three-point play to cut the lead to six moments later.

South Pointe made 15 consecutive free throws in the second half and 18-of-19 when it counted most.

South Pointe 74

Dorman 62