No glass slipper for the Hartsville Basketball squad
By Don Gearhart
Hartsville’s Cinderella run in the 4A Lower State Play-offs came to a resounding end as the clock struck midnight against Irmo at the Florence Center. The Red Foxes felt the sting of the Yellowjackets in a variety of ways; all leading to a convincing win for Irmo.
After falling behind 2-0 to start the game, Hartsville got a layup from Deandre Huggins and a three-point shot from Xavion Robinson to go up 5-2 minutes into the first period. A 5-4 Hartsville lead was wiped out when Jonathan White connected from beyond the arc to give the Yellowjackets a 7-5 lead; one they would not relinquish the remainder of the contest.
Irmo built an 11-7 lead after one period and stretched that to 28-18 at the break. Plagued by turnovers and the inability to make shots close to the basket, Hartsville struggled to compete with a taller, aggressive, and more talented team. Brandon Crawford, a 6’9” center, distracted any shots inside the key often blocking any attempts. Some of those blocks could have easily been called for goal tending but the refereeing crew were not as convinced. Nonetheless, Irmo started four players all above 6’2” and that size, along with athleticism were too much for Hartsville to handle on this night.
The ten-point halftime lead was increased to 14 points at the end of the third period and by 16 at the end of the game. Needing to make up ground, Hartsville elected to make threes that would not find the bottom of the net. Irmo, with a sizeable lead, patiently worked the ball around looking for the best shot. Their patience proved successful. It was a clean, hard-fought battle as there were only 11 foul shots in the entire game.
Huggins led the Red Foxes with 15 points while Robinson supported the cause with 14 points. Irmo had three players in double figures led by Madden Collins with 13. Crawford countered with 12 including a number of dunks, and Te’Andre Summons chipped in with 11 points.
Hartsville ended their season at 15-15. Irmo, now 25-5, head to USC Aiken to face Lancaster for the State Championship.