Saints, Braves net wins in landmark coaching debuts

cambhoops-goreA pair of local boys basketball coaches tipped off the 2016-17 season in opposite fashion Monday night at the Gatorade Turkey Shootout in Florence, but both came away with big wins.

Christian Academy of Myrtle Beach Darren Gore entered his final season as head coach of the Saints, who have won five SCISA state championships under his direction. He was joined by longtime assistant and newly named “co-coach” Coliun Stevens, a former standout at Coastal Carolina.

In the same tournament, first-year Socastee High head coach Derrick Hilton led the Braves to victory in his first game with his alma mater. The former CCU and Socastee assistant took over for Deandre Scott, who retired after last season.

Socastee defeated Trinity-Byrnes 74-69 behind a 32-point performance by 7-footer Jason Cudd, who committed to play at South Carolina next season. Andrew Gardner added 14 points as the Braves moved into the winner’s bracket. Socastee meets Hannah Pamplico on Tuesday.

The Saints saw a more balanced effort in their 55-33 victory over Lamar as Michael Green and Sam Woods scored 12 and 11 points, respectively. The Saints’ pressure defense turned the tide of the game early as they jumped out to 15 point half time lead. They will face tourney host West Florence on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.

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