John Paul II’s boys rallied from a first-half deficit to defeat visiting Beaufort Academy 37-33 on Tuesday in a key SCISA Region 4-2A matchup.
Jeremiah Young led the Golden Warriors with 12 points and five rebounds, and Malone Kinard Huisinger added 11 points and seven boards. Sully Gay and Ben VanHise led the way for the Eagles with eight points apiece.
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Beaufort Academy jumped out to an early lead in the first quarter thanks to six points from Malacai Rodriguez. Rodriguez’s stellar inside play collapsed the defense, allowing the freshman sharpshooter Gay to find the open spot from behind the arc. The Eagles provided some suffocating defense early on, holding the Golden Warriors to only nine points in the opening period.
BA’s strong start continued into the second quarter, as Gay and VanHise were able to penetrate the opposing defense and score at the rim. The Eagles took a 21-16 lead into the half.
Jeremiah Young finally got things going for John Paul II with a 3-pointer, ending a four-minute scoring drought.
Beaufort Academy’s Ja’Sean Lawson would answer quickly with an acrobatic scoop layup, giving the Eagles a four-point lead. A few minutes later, another Young 3-pointer and a layup from Kinard-Huisinger tied the game at 25.
In the closing moments of the third quarter, a Braydon Dineen three from the corner gave the lead back to the Eagles, but John Paul II’s Austin McIntosh closed the quarter with a nice shot off the glass to cut the deficit to one heading into the final period.
The Golden Warriors started the fourth quarter firing on all cylinders as Jackson Ogden’s steal led to an easy layup, giving JPII its first lead of the game. The lead didn’t last very long, as Ben Frey answered with a mid-range jumper giving the Eagles a 30-29 advantage.
On the next JPII possession, McIntosh grabbed a clutch offensive rebound, sending him to the line where he hit one of two free throws, tying the game at 30. A Beaufort Academy turnover led to a breakaway layup by Kinard-Huisinger, giving the Golden Warriors a two-point lead.
Frey answered once again with a nice drive to the basket, tying the game at 32. Both teams hit one of two free throws in the next two possessions, which left it tied with one minute to play. Kinard-Huisinger’s clutch drive to the basket gave John Paul II a 35-33 lead and after a missed 3-pointer from the Eagles, Young knocked down two free throws to seal the game for the Golden Warriors.
John Paul II (10-5, 7-4) and BA (10-11, 5-7) await the state tournament seeding on Wednesday to determine their playoff fate.
By Trace Lowther / Photos by Justin Jarrett