Carolina Forest claims rare first-round playoff victory

cfhoops-mossOnly 15 days ago, the Carolina Forest boys basketball team was in doubt of making the playoffs, much less winning a first-round game. What a difference a fortnight can make.

On Feb. 2, the Panthers (17-7) were coming off back-to-back blowout losses to region foes and mired in the middle of the pack before winning their final three league contests (by a combined seven points) to earn Region 6-4A’s No. 2 seed.

The Panthers showed that same level of intensity Wednesday night, earning their fourth straight by defeating visiting Bluffton 69-60 in the opening round of the Class 4A state tournament and ending a long first-round drought.

The game was back and forth early as all-state selection Jermaine Patterson led the Bobcats with 31 points. But the Panthers used a balanced scoring effort and defensive intensity to pull away to the victory.

Richmond Collier led the Panthers with 15 points, Ismael Garcia added 11, Tariq Timmons and Damon McDowell had 10 apiece, and Duane Moss and Matt Weatherwax tallied nine each.

Carolina Forest will travel to James Island on Saturday for the second-round matchup.

Photo by Prep Stars Media

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