- Special Sections
- Public Notices
DILLON - The first period had a lasting impact on Dillon High School's 68-51 win over Andrew Jackson in the opening round of the Class AA Lower State basketball playoffs Wednesday night.
The Wildcats, boosted by a 15-1 start, built a 22-6 first-quarter lead on the way to the 17-point win over the Volunteers.
The loss eliminated Andrew Jackson from the Class AA Lower State basketball playoffs. Dillon, 17-5, advances to a second round game against Burke High School of Charleston on Saturday night. Burke moved on with a 71-40 opening-round home win over Silver Bluff on Wednesday.
The Wildcats came out smoking in gaining the upper hand on the way to the win.
"We were able to get our fast-break going and our speed helped us," Dillon High School coach Harold Wilson said. "We were able to get off to a good start and held on from there."
The Wildcats sparked their early surge, hitting four treys in building the 14-point lead.
Dillon's Lashay Page, who led the winners with 21 points, scored nine points in the pivotal opening period. He netted five points in Dillon's 15-1 early run. Page also hit 12 points in the third quarter.
The Vols, who finished 8-16, didn't help their cause, hitting one of seven free throws in the opening eight minutes.
"We started off tight," Andrew Jackson High coach Dale Reeves said. "We missed some free throws and easy shots and got down early. After we settled down, we played pretty well, but getting down early put us in a tough spot."
Following the first period, the game was played on near-even terms as Dillon held a 46-45 edge over the final three quarters.
Dillon owned a 34-18 spread at the break and took a 55-34 lead into the final period where the Wildcats notched the 17-point win.
The Vols were led by senior center Jonathan Belk, who hit 20 points 11 in the second half. Junior Justin Sellers scored 11 and Elijah White, a sophomore, also hit 11 points - nine at the foul line.
Omar Truesdale tallied four and Cedric Wright hit three points. Ryan Miller chipped in two points.
Page paced Dillon with 21. Quin McCollom netted 15 points and Wildcats' point guard Alyn McRae followed with 11. Lorenzo Allen added eight for the Wildcats.
"This wasn't one of our better games, but I think we picked up our play as the season moved on," Reeves said. "We had good senior leadership from our seniors - Jonathan Belk, Rashawn Miller and Cedric Wright.
"This team made progress and played together," Reeves said. "We have a good group coming back and I'm looking forward to next season. We have to keep working in order to continue to improve."
AJ, which went 4-4 in Conference VIII-AA, tied for second in regular-season play with Lee Central and Cheraw.
Lee Central, which gained second with the most overall wins among the three teams, moved to second-round play Saturday with a 56-34 win over Kingstree High School.
Cheraw, the fourth seed out of Conference VIII-AA, dropped a 58-57 road loss to Conference VII-AA champion Mullins High School on Wednesday.
Central, the Conference VIII-AA champion, mauled Marion 95-71 in its first-round game. The Eagles host Ridgeland on Saturday night.