Whale Branch senior AJ Singleton looks to create space to operate against Hemingway’s Darrell Jones during the Warriors’ first-round playoff win over the visiting Tigers on Thursday. Photo by Justin Jarrett/LowcoSports.com.

Warriors’ late-game luck runs out in 2nd round


Whale Branch boys basketball kept finding ways to win, and the Warriors did it again in the first round of the SCHSL Class 1A playoffs. But their late-game luck ran out Saturday in a 49-46 loss at Hannah-Pamplico on Saturday.

AJ Singleton delivered a standout performance for the Warriors in a 54-49 home win over Hemingway in Thursday’s first round, as the senior racked up 19 points to lead all scorers. Queashawn Fields scored a big 10 points, and Keith Chisholm added eight to send the Warriors into the second round.

After an evenly-played first half tied at 24, Jim Raymond’s team found a way despite seeing Jashaun Gillison foul out late in the third quarter. The Warriors dug in on defense, allowing just eight Tiger points in the period to go up 36-32, but the Tigers opened the fourth quarter with a 9-2 run capped by a Darrell Jones 3-pointer to open a three-point lead.

Whale Branch answered with six quick points of its own, though, and didn’t trail again. Quintillion Fields sparked the rally with a blocked shot and save to Singleton, who went coast to coast to put the Warriors on top for good, then Chisholm found Quintillion Fields on an inbounds play for a bucket inside, and Singleton put back an offensive rebound to keep it a three-point margin.

Hemingway clawed within a point one more time, but Queashawn Fields dived on a loose ball and Raymond was awarded a timeout to retain possession before his brother Quintillion buried a baseline jumper and the Warriors overcame some late difficulty with the Tigers’ full-court press to close it out at the foul line.

The Warriors put up another strong fight on the road Saturday, but they couldn’t keep their season alive at Hannah-Pamplico.

The Raiders got out to a strong start in the first quarter, outscoring Whale Branch 15-8 as the Warriors struggled to find their rhythm. Raymond’s squad dug deep on defense in the second, holding Hannah-Pamplico to just two points in the period to trim the lead to 17-14.

Singleton scored 11 of his game-high 18 points in the third quarter including a trio of three-pointers as the Warriors pulled even going to the fourth tied at 38, but the Raiders edged away down the stretch to end Whale Branch’s season.

Singleton gave it his all in the second half, leading his team with 18 points including 11 in the third period. Chisholm scored 10 points for Whale Branch, and Quintillian Fields added seven.

Whale Branch concludes its season with a record of 17-8.

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