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Mullins High School

Lady Auctioneers home earlier than usually as the fall in the first round of the AA play-offs

By Neill Kirkpatrick

Staff Writer

Goose Creek – For the first time on three-years the Mullins Lady Auctioneers will not be making the trip to Columbia to play for the class AA State Championship as they were bounced in the first round by Whale Branch 51-47. This was also the first time in five years that were not playing the Lower State Championship game.

The loss to Whale Branch dropped the Lady Aucs to 13-11 overall. They went 9-5 in region VII play.

“At the start of season, it is important to find continuity and to attempt regain the balanced attack we had last season and the two seasons before that, but we never did find our rhythm,” said head coach Myron Gerald. “We had great fall workouts and a good nucleus returning from last year which should have been an advantage.”

“We will go back to work and will have the same goals next season and that will be to get back to Columbia,” coach Gerald said.

The Lady Aucs will two of their top three scorers returning in Jen'Lea Nichols and Nylai Morelos. Nichols was again named to the VII AA all-region team. She led the team in scoring for the second year in a row scoring 15.8 points per game. She has 683 career points and is a good bet to join the 1000-point club at Mullins next year. The junior forward also led the team in rebounding at 5.6 per game and in steals with 5.1. She is getting looks from several schools and will be one of the top seniors in the state next season.

Morelos was in her first year on the Mullins varsity squad as she played at Creek Bridge last season and was third in scoring at 10.1 points per contest and she was second in rebounding at 3.4 a game.

Freshmen Janiya Swinton had a solid first year as well averaging 6.4 points and two steals a night while junior guard Kelly Friday chipped in with 5.4 points per game.

Junior J’Nyla Phillips and sophomores Marketta Williamson and Nykera Lewis played well off the bench.

 “We need to have a good offseason and need to get our confidence back,” says coach Gerald.

The Mullins Auctioneers had solid season in coach Eric Troy’s first season as head coach as his team finished 13-11/ 8-6 after losing to eventual Lower State Champion Whale Branch 69-47.

“The season was a rollercoaster all year. Every time we seemed to gain momentum, we lost it just as quickly,” said coach Troy.

The Auc’s will lose several seniors off this and with them will go 33 of the 55 points they averaged on the year, but they do have juniors Alim Legette (6-3) and Kheauris Cross (6-4). Legette averaged 6.3 points per game and led the team in rebounding with 5.5 boards a game while Cross chipped in with 7.6 points per and five rebounds a game.

“We have to replace a good senior class but we have some good young players that will be hungry next year,” Troy said.

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