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Cheraw High School

Cheraw makes a late season run all the way to the Lower State Championship game

By Neill Kirkpatrick

Special to the HSSR

Goose Creek – Last Saturday night the Cheraw Braves season came to an end as they fell to the Wade Hampton Red Devils in the AAA lower state final 68-44. They finished the year at 16-12/ 7-3.

The Braves had a tremendous second half run as they went 8-1 down the stretch to get the Lower State championship game. They were the only region VI AAA team to beat region champion Marion 71-65. As the third seed in the AAA play offs, they went on the road to beat Georgetown and Edisto and then knocked off Manning to earn the date with Wade Hampton.

“To come from where we were to make this game just shows how hard these guys worked,” said head coach Rob Mammes. “I told the them in the locker room after the game how much I appreciated what they did this season. To have the success we had down the stretch is a tribute to how hard they worked all year and how they didn’t give up on the season when things were not going so well.”

One of the keys to the late season run was the Braves ability to jump on teams early as they did to Georgetown and Edisto on the road but against Wade Hampton, it was the Red Devils who started each of the first three quarters with big runs outscoring Cheraw 24-2.

Coach Mammes said, “Tonight was different, we fell behind early. We got some good looks early but just couldn’t knock them down and we started to press some.”

The Braves will lose six seniors’, but they do have their top three scores returning in juniors Marshall Meyers and Jonathan Gordon and sophomore Devin Gillespie.

Meyers led the team in scoring at 20.6 points per game, 4.2 assist and steals with 2.5 a contest. He shot 76% from the free throw line. The one area where he will need to improve is from behind the arc. He hit a team high 48 threes, but he shot only 23%.

The 5-11 guard should be one of the top returning players in AAA next season. He will join the 1000-point club early next season and if he has another year like his junior year, he could surpass 1500 career points.

Gordon has excellent quickness down low and knows how to get to the line as he was 8-10 in the third and fourth quarters against Wade Hampton. On the season, he led the team in rebounding with 8.1 a night and was third in scoring at 9.1.

In the fourth quarter against Wade Hampton Gillespie scored all 11 of his points in the fourth helping the Braves cut a 21-point deficit 12 in less than a minute and half. He averaged 9.3 points per game which was second on the team.

“We have a good group coming back so we are excited for the future. We will need to work on our shooting and get stronger before next season but this was a great season for Cheraw basketball,” said coach Mammes.

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