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Berkeley High School
Moncks Corner

Berkeley girls finish strong with two playoff wins

 

By David Shelton

Senior Writer

Moncks Corner – A year ago, Berkeley High’s boys basketball team was the talk of the town. The Stags breezed to a region title, won the AAAAA Lower State title, and played powerhouse Dorman in the Class AAAAA state title game.

This season, it was Berkeley’s girls team that made a little noise late in the year. After securing a spot in the AAAAA Lower State playoffs due to a third-place finish in region 7-AAAAA, Berkeley put their best foot forward. The Stags went on the road and picked up a first-round win at West Florence, 36-34.

Next was an unexpected home game in round two, set up by James Island’s upset win over Lexington. Had Lexington won that game, Berkeley would have hit the road again.

With a home playoff game, Berkeley managed a 44-38 win over their region 7-AAAAA rivals, advancing to the third round for the first time in more than a decade.

Another familiar region foe, Wando, was Berkeley’s third-round opponent. The successful run ended at Wando as Berkeley took a tough 31-27 loss.

Berkeley’s final record for the 2019-20 season was 15-10.

There is plenty of reason to be optimistic about Berkeley being even better next season. Several of the key performers were underclassmen, including the two top scorers – freshmen Peighton Jambor and Jyahni Smith.

Jambor averaged 10.4 points per game while also leading the team in rebounding at 8.8 caroms per game. Smith averaged 10.1 points and 4.4 boards per contest.

“Jy is like the silent leader, even at her age,” coach Crystal Peace told Rob Gantt of the Goose Creek Gazette. “She leads by example in regards to her tough play and she’s a difference maker when she’s on the court. Peighton’s tough on the blocks.”

Another key underclassman was junior Skylar Scott, who averaged nearly six points per game.

Seniors Jordan Faison and Realyte Douglas will be missed. Faison averaged 5.6 points and 4.2 rebounds per game while Douglas added 5.3 points and 6.7 boards per contest.

On the boys side, as good as last year’s run was for the program, this season ended in bitter disappointment. The Stags failed to make the state playoffs, losing their last seven games to finish 9-13 overall and 2-8 in region play.

The turning point in the season came on January 24 in a region game against Stratford. The Stags were off to a 2-1 start in region play with wins over Goose Creek and James Island.

Late in the game against Stratford, a fight broke out on the court and several players from both teams left the bench area, resulting in suspensions. Berkeley was hit hard by the suspensions and was forced to finish the game with less than five players.

In their next game, Berkeley was forced to play short-handed again and lost. They never won again.

Junior Framon Frazier earned all-region honors after averaging 12.5 points per game. He will be a key returner next season.

 Junior Mark Crawford averaged 10.7 points and 3.5 rebounds and junior Solomon Butler added nearly four points per game. Sophomore Marion Mitchell added nearly five points per game.

In the 16 games played prior to suspensions, senior forward Hakeem Meggett was Berkeley’s leading scorer, averaging 16.3 points per game. He also averaged 5.1 rebounds but did not play in the last six games.

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