The Central Chargers found the best way to put coming up short of a region tournament title behind them Saturday afternoon.
The Chargers led early and got even more dialed in following halftime, routing Appling County 107-69 in the first round of the GHSA Class 3A playoffs.
Central’s latest trip to the second round will come Wednesday or Thursday.
The Chargers (20-7) showed off all of their offensive strength against Appling County (9-17) with five players scoring in double figures, led by Antarius McCoy’s 24 points.
Four who mattered
McCoy: Whether it was on offense of defense, Appling County had no answer for McCoy. To go along with his 24 points, he also fought off the Pirates to pull down 14 rebounds and block four shots. And then there was the third quarter, when he scored 13 points. Coincidentally, the Chargers pulled away to extend their lead in that same quarter of play.
Tyrice Paul: He was a basketball version of taking it and dishing it out. His down-court vision and scoring presence resulted in 11 points and nine assists.
Justus Williams: Taking the ball inside paid off for Williams, with half of his six points coming from the free-throw line.
Devon Moore: He led the Pirates on Saturday, scoring 19 points.
Taking it up a notch: Central’s lead was comfortable from the start, with the Chargers holding a seven-point lead through a quarter and 41-28 at halftime. But that was before the Chargers stuck closer to their game plan. The latter happened after halftime, beginning with a 20-5 run in a span of five minutes. An overmatched Appling County team wasn’t able to answer, and it would be all Central from there.
Handling business: On paper, Central had a better team. And the Chargers asserted themselves early to ensure that they didn’t give the lower-seeded Pirates (9-17) a chance to pulling off a road upset. That’s focus that Central will want to carry with it into the next round.
Tech issues: They were dwarfed by a large margin of victory, but a pair of technical fouls called against the Chargers on the court did take some degree of enjoyment out of the win for the Central coaching staff. Being able to keep composure will be more critical deeper in the playoffs, especially if the games are closer.
They said it
Central head coach Andre Taylor on moving past losing to Westside in the region tournament championship: “We made a lot of mistakes in that game and worked on them all week, but it’s one of things that we just have to let go and move on from. We had to move on and get ready for the playoffs.”
Taylor on building on starting the game well: “We weren’t satisfied with the first half, because we kind of went away from the game plan a little bit. Coming back in the second half, they really stuck to the game plan that we had, and it showed. We stuck with the up-tempo and stuck with it the whole game.”
Taylor on two technical fouls being called against Central in one game: “You can’t question calls and open your mouth about things. You just have to go out there and play ball.”
Central advances to the second round Wednesday or Thursday.