The Colleton County Cougar Basketball team was eliminated from the AAAA Lower-State Playoffs after a heartbreaking 73-60 loss in round two against Myrtle Beach Saturday Feb. 22. Earlier in the week, the Cougars earned a round one win over Airport High School (69-51). Colleton County finished the season as the Region VII Champions with a 14-11 overall record and 5-1 in conference play.
Alex Sherrill was named to the AAAA All-State Basketball team.
Against Airport High School, Sherrill scored 26 points and Stephan Gadson chipped in 19 points. Other scoring included Jahlil Ellison 14, Antwan Griffin 4, Jermaine Parker 2, Alston Sherrill 2, and Temaj Butler 2.
Ford Belton led Airport High School with 17 points and Lawrence had 13 points.
“We went into halftime of the Airport game down by five points, but I felt like we were a couple of rebounds away from taking control of the game,” said Coach Matthew Mullins. “They were getting a lot of second chance points and we were settling for too many three’s in the first half. Jahlil Ellison really kept us in the game in the first half with a bunch of put-back finishes. In the second half, we started taking the ball to the basket more aggressively and we were able to force a lot of turnovers. Alex and Stephan got loose for some scores, Jahlil had a hot fourth quarter and Jermaine Parker was able to turnover their point guard, which we knew would be key. He was a North-South football player, very good athlete but Parker was able to do his job on the defensive side and that was key.”
The Cougars fell behind early against Myrtle Beach High School, then battled back to play neck-and-neck the remainder of the game. Sherrill led Colleton County with 21 points and Gadson scored 19 points. Other scoring included Ellison 9, Parker 6, Holmes 2 and Griffin 2.
Myrtle Beach was led by Hickman with 20 points and Know added 14 points.
“Against Myrtle Beach, you could tell early their game plan was to take away Alex and Stephan’s scoring,” said Mullins. “That’s normally everyone’s game plan against us this year, but they did the best job we have seen. We found ourselves down 13 at half but we knew we weren’t done.
“I am extremely proud of this team’s no quit attitude,” said Mullins. “We made some adjustments on both sides of the ball and we cut the lead to three points midway through the fourth quarter. Unfortunately, we couldn’t finish the job after Stephan fouled out and we picked up a technical. I didn’t think we deserved the technical, but, no coach ever does.
“Losing doesn’t change how I feel about this group,” said Mullins. “This team will always be special to me. The Class of 2020 finished their basketball careers winning two region titles, having four All-Region selections, a region player of the year and one All-State selection. These boys should hold their heads high because of what they have done for the Colleton County Basketball Program. For me, coaching this group has been a blessing and I am very proud to be able to say I coached them.”