North Augusta traveled to region rival Midland Valley Tuesday and earned a 63-34 win that capped a 25-0 regular season run for the No. 1 ranked Yellow Jackets. Ten-year head coach Tony Harrell took a moment to reflect on the accomplishment in a post game interview.
“Going undefeated in any sport is very difficult,” Harrell said while the fans from the capacity crowd filed out of the gym. “These kids have bought in to playing team basketball.”
North Augusta was led by sophomore DaRon Dunbar (17 points), senior Elijah Hall (11) and freshman Jordan Rouse (10) in the region championship clinching victory.
Harrell confirmed afterwards that the same dynamic we have reported on numerous times held through the final regular season game: no single player averages more than 20 minutes per game, and eleven players see 10 minutes or more on average.
The team’s depth and its defensive pressure can overwhelm an opponent, even one as talented as Midland Valley, which will enter the playoffs as the region’s No. 2 seed after amassing an overall record of 17-6, and a 6-2 region mark.
“We played tremendous defense,” Harrell said about Tuesday’s performance in a highly anticipated matchup. “And tonight it was just a beautiful third quarter.”
The Yellow Jackets broke open what had been a four-point halftime advantage by outscoring the Mustangs 25-6 in the third quarter to take a 49-26 lead into the fourth. North Augusta won all eight of its region games by double digits, and only four times all season has an opponent kept the margin under 10 against the Yellow Jackets.
MORE: Augusta to visit Lander for a key conference game
“Going into the playoffs, we gotta keep the same intensity and understand that we’ll have obstacles that we have to overcome,” Harrell answered when asked what his team will need to do to continue the team’s considerable momentum when the playoffs start next week.
“We overcame some foul trouble tonight. And we just gotta keep fighting together.”
The post season is coming
The regular season is over for most area teams, and Friday will be the last game day for teams that haven’t yet finished. The regular season region results for Georgia’s teams will be used to seed them for next week’s region tournaments. The top four teams from each region tournament will qualify for the state playoffs. The teams will be seeded one through four based on the results of the region tournaments.
South Carolina’s teams will go straight from regular season region play into next week’s first round of the state playoffs. Like Georgia, four teams from each region will qualify for the playoffs, but there are no region tournaments in South Carolina.
We’ll cover the postseason in depth. And in addition to featuring specific games, we’ll provide schedule information so fans can choose which postseason action to watch in person. Expect that information in these pages starting Friday morning.
Follow Chad Cook’s coverage of local sports on Facebook and Instagram at @AugustaPressSports, and on Twitter at @AugPressSports.