St. James rallies past O-W into Lower State semifinals

sjhoops-blueThe St. James High boys basketball team is in unfamiliar territory – the Class 3A Lower State semifinals – but the Sharks like the water just fine.

Second-seeded St. James rallied from a 15-point halftime deficit on the road to upset top-seeded Orangeburg-Wilkinson 52-51 on Friday night in the second round of the playoffs to advance to the Lower State semifinals for the first time in school history.

The cold-shooting Sharks were doubled up by O-W at halftime, 30-15, before St. James finally heated up in the second half. The Sharks (18-5) chipped away at the lead behind the hot hand of Zach Werba, whose fourth 3-pointer of the game proved to be the game-winner.

Werba finished with 14 points, Jordan Fields had 11, and Jackson Hurston tallied 10 to lead a balanced scoring effort for St. James. Haywood Brandon and Garrett Mullis finished with nine and eight points, respectively, and led the Sharks on the boards.

The win sends St. James to top-seeded Darlington on Tuesday night with the winner advancing to the Lower State Final.

Photo by Rancier Photography

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