Wando ousts Beaufort in playoff opener

  • Friday, February 21, 2014

Wando’s Matt Pegram shoots over Beaufort’s Otis McClain Thursday in the Warrior’s first-round playoff win. FRANKIE MANSFIELD

Wando powered through the first round of the SCHSL Class 4A playoffs Thursday with a 76-55 win over Beaufort at home.

After 20 wins in the regular season, Wando (21-4) set out to prove its worth against new competition in the playoffs’ opening round. Beaufort (18-6) gave its best shot early but eventually succumbed to the Warriors’ pressure and high tempo.

“We talked about protecting everything that we earned during the regular season,” Wando head coach David Eaton said. “That’s what we wanted to do tonight. They’re just like the teams that we play in our region, so that helped us a lot later in the game.”

Beaufort made four threes to stay knotted even with Wando through the first quarter. But the Warriors defense tightened in the second quarter to hold Beaufort scoreless through the first four minutes and only allow two made field goals.

Wando closed the third quarter on a 10-2 run to take a 19-point lead into the fourth. Beaufort came as close as 13 points with four minutes to play before Wando finished the game in contender form with an 8-0 run through the last two and half minutes.

“We thought we had an advantage on offense,” Eaton said. “We wanted to just keep attacking. We ran our offense really well tonight. When we’re playing like that we’re going to score a lot of points and put pressure on the other team.”

Jamez Rogers led all scorers with 25 points, Amp Moore added 15 and Matthew Pegram 14 for Wando. Adonis Grant led Beaufort with 19 points, Otis McClain added 11.

Wando advances to host No. 3 seed Lexington Saturday in the second round. Lexington defeated No. 2 seed South Florence, 61-54, in the opening round Thursday.

“We’ve talked about our long-term goals all year, but right now we’re playing one game at a time,” Eaton said. “Get through each game and your reward is to play in that next game.”

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