Cougars runner-up in Sweet Sixteen Tourney | Sports | The Press and Standard
by The Press and Standard | January 3, 2018 5:00 pm
Last Updated: January 3, 2018 at 9:42 am
By CINDY CROSBY
The Colleton County boys’ varsity basketball team went 3-1, capturing the runner-up trophy, in the Orangeburg County Sweet Sixteen Tournament held Dec. 26-29 at Orangeburg Wilkinson High School. The Cougars (10-4) went undefeated through bracket play against Swansea (57-51), Bethune-Bowman (61-58) and Kingstree (68-54) before falling to Orangeburg Wilkinson (57-52) in the championship game.
In game one of the tournament against Swansea, the Cougars trailed 24-21 at the half, but a strong third quarter propelled them ahead of the Tigers by 10 points. De’Iajae Ferguson led Colleton County scoring 15 points, collecting six rebounds, six assists and three steals. Nyeem Green recorded a double-double with 13 points and 13 rebounds and was awarded Player of the Game.
Against Bethune-Bowman, the Cougars trailed by two points at the half but pulled out the win in the final period scoring 24 points. Green had his second double-double of the tournament, scoring 23 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. Tristian Nieves had 18 points, four rebounds, four assists and three steals. Jovan Williams had 10 points, three rebounds, three assists and six steals.
In the semi-final game against Kingstree High School, Colleton County came out strong, outscoring the Jaguars 43-16 in the first half. Ferguson was named Player of the Game scoring 23 points, collecting three rebounds, five assists and one steal. Tristian Nieves added 15 points and Nyeem Green recorded his third double-double of the tournament with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
In the championship, Colleton County faced off against the home team Orangeburg Wilkinson Friday evening. The Cougars trailed by two at the half, but returned to pressure the Bruins in the final two periods for an exciting finish. Colleton County recorded 16 personal fouls in the Orangeburg-officiated game. Nieves led with 18 points, five rebounds, two assists and three steals. Jovan Williams added 10 points, four rebounds and three steals in the game.
Tito Holmes was named Player of the Game. “Tito is a good kid that always supports his teammates and never complains,” said Coach Jacob Smith.
“At the beginning of the season, we set a few goals,” said Smith. “Our first goal was to have a better record than last year, to win a Christmas tournament, compete for a region championship, and to make a deep run in the playoffs. We fell a little short of winning the Woodland Tournament and the Orangeburg Sweet Sixteen. I will give our team a few days off to rest and recover from injuries.
“Our focus shifts to the next 10 region games,” said Smith. “I would like to thank the parents, players, the community, my coaching staff, administration and local media for their support this season.”
Colleton County will begin Region 8-AAAA competition against Cane Bay Tuesday Jan. 9 at home.