NEWBERRY — Saturday afternoon at Newberry College, the letter “R” stood for Redemption, Revenge, and Respect, as three Newberry Academy teams won SCISA Region 2 Championships.
The day started with both middle school programs defeating their respective regular season champions, and ended with the varsity boys’ team handing Laurens Academy its first region loss of the year.
The Lady Eagles middle school team defeated Laurens Academy 22–1 to start the day.
They used a balanced attack on offense and a smothering defense to rout their opponent.
Amber Suber finished with a game high seven points. Alysia Skipper and Natashia Ruff each had four points, while Meagan Bedenbaugh added three points. The scoring was rounded out by Darby Dail and Leigha Harbert adding two points each.
The middle school boys’ team won a thriller in overtime, 37–32, against an Anderson Christian team that had beaten them twice this year.
The team trailed most of the game before mounting a late game comeback.
They trailed by eight with 1:24 remaining, but key baskets by Landen York and Camron Hawkins brought the team back. Newberry continued to own the floor in overtime, and the stunned Anderson Christian visitors were left wondering what had happened.
York finished with 22 points, including 10 in the fourth period. Hawkins had seven points, Michael Shaw had four points, and Patrick Mills and Matthew Cole each added two points.
The varsity boys’ team opened the region tournament with a 68–27 win over Covenant Christian Thursday, and a hard-fought win over Wardlaw on Friday night, 59–46.
On Saturday they faced a Laurens team that had gone nearly unchallenged in region play all year. The Eagles did not look like spoilers in the first quarter, as the regular season champions ran out to a quick 9-0 lead. Newberry answered in a big way in the second period, outscoring the Crusaders 18–5.
The Eagles took a 21–14 lead into the half.
In the second half, Newberry answered every challenge that Laurens offered.
Newberry was led by Jacob Epting with 13 points, followed by Justin Suber with 11 points. Ryan Smith continued his late season surge with eight points, and CJ Connelly dropped in six. Luke Carraway took time off from playing suffocating defense to score two points, while Dylan Skipper and Sean Blanton each added a point.
The Lady Eagles varsity team picked up a quality win on Wednesday versus Wardlaw in the opening round of the region tournament, 35–32. Their journey ended Friday with a 31–22 loss against King Academy.
Some individual honors for varsity players were also awarded on Saturday.
On the girls’ side, Carman Franklin was named to the All-Tournament team, and Andie Getz and Emily Senn both were named All-Region.
For the boys, Luke Carraway was named the Tournament MVP and Dylan Skipper was named to the All-Tournament team. Skipper and Justin Suber were named to the All-Region team.
Both Newberry Academy varsity teams now wait for the state tournament seedings to be announced.
The SCISA state tournament begins on Thursday.