The South Pointe Stallions got double-figure scoring from three players to go along with a solid defensive performance to defeat the Travelers Rest Devildogs 64-38 in the opening round of the girls’ 3A playoffs in Rock Hill, on Thursday night.
Izzy Clark led the Stallions’ scoring parade with 19 points. She was joined in double figures by Kelly Foster with 16 and Treia Williams with 11.
However, the key to the Stallions’ one-sided win was an aggressive defense, which cut off passing lanes and created numerous turnovers.
A number of the turnovers were turned into easy transition baskets for the Stallions, who improved to 20-5 on the year with the win.
“I liked our focus tonight,” said South Pointe coach Stephanie Butler. “We played with a lot of intensity all night on both ends of the floor.”
South Pointe jumped to a quick 9-2 lead. Williams’ layup capped the early rally.
Travelers Rest, which started four freshmen and one sophomore, regrouped and battled back. When Miniya Reese scored on a layup, the South Pointe lead had been cut to 13-10 with 2:26 remaining in the first quarter.
That was when the South Pointe defense went to work. Its constant pressure held the Devildogs to only eight points for the remainder of the first half.
South Pointe closed the first period with a 4-1 advantage and at halftime the Stallions were in front 31-15.
Travelers Rest continued to scrap, outscoring South Pointe 15-14 during the third quarter.
The Stallions turned it up in the final period. They used defensive pressure to create turnovers which led to a 12-0 run to open the quarter. When Williams scored after a steal and driving layup South Pointe was in front 57-30 with 5:23 remaining in the game.
“We made some mistakes,” said Butler. “However, we did not get down because of those mistakes. We kept playing hard, and we played through them.”
Brittany Shipman led Travelers Rest (12-13) with 13 points. Despite the loss, Devildogs coach Chris Marsh was pleased with what his young team accomplished this year.
“We played hard and scrapped all night, but we had too many turnovers,” said Marsh. “You cannot turn the ball over that many times against a good team like South Pointe.”
The Stallions will get no rest before they play in the second round. South Pointe travels to Columbia Friday night to take on the Dreher Blue Devils.
“It will not get any easier for us,” said Butler. “Hopefully, we can get back in rhythm. We have got to be ready to play Friday night against a very good Dreher team.”
South Pointe 64, Travelers Rest 38
Travelers Rest - Ledford 3, Guthrie 4, Brittany Shipman 13, Webb 3, Waynick 2, Reese 5, Boone 8.
South Pointe - Kelly Foster 16, Tkaja Williams 6, Izzy Clark 19, Cherry 9, Treia Williams 11, Davis 3.
3-point goals: Travelers Rest 2 (Ledford 1, Boone 1), South Pointe 2 (Foster 1, Cherry 1).
Team Fouls - Travelers Rest 16, South Pointe 15. Fouled out - None.
Records: Travelers Rest 12-13, South Pointe 20-5.