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Orangeburg-Wilkinson girls overcome Cane Bay in offensive struggle, 30-21

SUMMERVILLE—After an extremely slow start, the Orangeburg-Wilkinson girls’ basketball team overcame a double-digit halftime deficit to defeat Cane Bay, 30-21, and capture the Atlantic Division championship of the Carolina Invitational Tournament Saturday afternoon.

“This is a huge accomplishment,” said Orangeburg-Wilkinson head coach Cedrick Simpson.  “Winning something like this is always good for you.  We’ve got two more games before we start the region, so this is like a stepping stone to bigger and better things.”

The Bruinettes dug themselves a deep hole to climb out of during the opening 16 minutes of play.  They trailed 5-2 after the first quarter and were outscored 8-0 in the second.  Cane Bay’s Junazia Criddell had six of her team’s 13 first half points.

“We’re so young, so the championship atmosphere is a little new to them.  We were nervous and couldn’t throw the ball in the ocean,” Simpson said.

The second half belonged to Orangeburg-Wilkinson.  Biance Francis made one-of-two free throws to being the frame before knocking down a three-pointer a minute later.  Antuana Kinloch answered with a layup and Amari Johnson converted a foul shot to push the Cobras’ lead to 16-6.

The Bruinettes then made a consistent effort to get the ball into the paint.  Center Brandi Rivers, who was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player, made three consecutive baskets to give her team all the momentum. 

“Brandi is one of the most dominant big girls in the state.  We had to get the ball to her.  If we’re going to lose, we’re going to lose with the ball in her hands,” Simpson said.

Another Francis triple with four seconds remaining in the period tied the score and capped a 10-0 run.

Orangeburg-Wilkinson took its first lead of the game on a basket by D’Mya Tucker, but Kinoch was true on a pair of free throws and Criddell found the bottom of the net on a jumper to put Cane Bay back in front by two.  However, the Cobras would only score one point over the final 6:33 of regulation.

“That’s Bruinette pride.  That’s an O-W standard.  We’re known for playing great defense for the last 40 years, and that’s not going to stop now.  We stress that every day in practice.  Defense wins championships,” Simpson said.

Orangeburg-Wilkinson closed the game on a 12-1 spurt.  They took the lead for good when Alajah Scott intercepted a pass on the perimeter and took it all the way for a layup on the other end.  While it was her only score of the game, Scott was named to the All-Tournament team along with Tucker.

Criddell and Kinloch, who combined for 15 points, were the Cobras represented on the All-Tournament Team.



Orange-Wilk.        2              0              14           14—30

Cane Bay              5              8              3              5—21

Orangeburg-Wilkinson (30): D’Mya Tucker 10, Biance Francis 10, Rivers 7, Scott 2, Williams 1.

Cane Bay (21): Criddell 9, Kinloch 6, Johnson 2, Freeman 2, McClennon 2.

© 2017 High School Sports Report

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