The Sabres went 1-2 in the Greenville County preseason tourney, falling to Traveler’s Rest 76-56 and Woodmont 65-50 but defeating Mauldin High 61-53.
It was SCS’s first victory against a Class AAAA basketball team.
“I thought we played well and had the previous two games in single digits into the fourth quarter before we were outmanned,” coach Bryan Bullock said. “It was good to see us finish down the stretch against Mauldin.”
Hunter Bullock led Southside Christian with 15 points and seven rebounds. John Walker had 15 points and five assists, and Conner Clark had 13 points and four assists.
Justin Best finished with nine points and three assists against Mauldin, and Jake Welsh and Silas Forrester had eight and six rebounds, respectively.
The Sabres opened the season with a win in the opening round of the Lady Sabre Tip Off Tournament. The Sabres defeated Spartanburg Day 33-28.
SCS was led by freshman Taylor Cruse with 16 points and five rebounds. Taylor Martin had eight rebounds.
In the championship game, SCS lost to Chesnee, a Class AA program. Martin again had eight rebounds.
“I think we surprised some people in our first game,” coach Mike Johnson said. “The ladies played very hard and did some really good things on the defensive end of the court for most of the game.
“It was good for them to get the first win on the young season. We are a very young team and we will struggle some because of our inexperience. That showed some in the championship game.”
The Knights opened their season in the Rip Tide Shoot-Out Tournament in Charleston. St. Joseph’s defeated the Governor’s School of Math and Science and lost a close game to Bishop England.
Led by Joey Wooten on the defensive end and Gene Langan on the offensive end, the Knights played solid defense in both games.
Seniors Wooten, Ben Quattrone and Jim Warren and juniors Langan, Landry Assinesi, Ryan Bergman, Ben Dunphy, Feras Namouz and Alexander Powell are the Knights’ returning players.
Newcomers include junior Alex Luzzatti and freshman Carter Powell.
“The boys have demonstrated great maturity from last year, and they have been doing well in pre-season scrimmages,”coach Paul Assinesi said. “I believe the leadership of seniors Quattrone, Warren and Wooten will be key for us this year. If we can play as a team early, then we should have a chance to win a region championship.”
Assinesi said the juniors could be the difference for St. Joseph’s.
“They are very good basketball players,” he said, “… they just need to learn to trust each other.”
The Knights’ first home game will be Dec. 4 against Fountain Inn Christian Academy.