By Donald Heath
Special for the Effingham Herald
SPRINGFIELD – A couple of hot-shooting juniors saved the night for the Effingham County boys’ basketball team Friday against Glynn Academy, setting the stage for all-important Senior Night this Friday.
Keion Wallace and Rashad Scott poured in 26 and 21 points, respectively, in a 62-50 win over the Red Terrors, keeping the Rebels in the hunt for a Region 2-AAAAAA regular-season title and the chance to host the upcoming region tournament on Feb. 17.
ECHS (14-7, 8-2 Region 2-AAAAAA) has won 11 of its last 12 games with three games left on its regular-season schedule. The final regular-season game in the Palace will be against Bradwell Institute on Friday with a lot on the line.
Beating Bradwell would avenge a loss to the Tigers and ensure a first-round bye in the region tournament and a spot in the state tournament – nice farewell presents for seniors Caleb Williams, Khiry Wallace, Camdon Seckinger and Taylor Douberly.
ECHS could play at home, possibly multiple times, in the postseason. Timely victories will be the key.
“I might just cry, it will feel unreal if it’s my last home game,” Williams said. “But I have confidence in my teammates. We’ll have more home games this season.”
Coach Jake Darling said the seniors have built a strong foundation for the program. Four years ago, the Rebels won just six games, but climbed a winning ladder to 17 victories during the 2019-20 season, 18 a year ago, and have a chance to better those marks this season.
“Camdon and Taylor are role players for us and provide some very good minutes and at different times of the season have played really well,” Darling said. “Khiry and Caleb have meant a bunch to us. They’ve been two of the best players in the region and all their work over the years has paid off.”
Khiry Wallace and Williams were all-region performers last season. Wallace is just 22 points short of scoring 1,000 points in his high school career. Williams, a point guard, was the region’s Defensive Player of the Year last season and leads the region in assists this season.
But the seniors had to give their underclassmen kudos against Glynn last Friday. Keion Wallace and Scott combined for 11 3-pointers. Scott had seven, including a couple from about 35 feet out.
“We had to have it to win,” Darling said.
Wallace nailed a three for ECHS’ first points, significant because the 6-foot-3 forward topped the 1,000-point mark for his career.
The Rebels built a 13-point lead, 25-12, less than three minutes into the second quarter. Glynn closed within four, 28-24, but Wallace sank a three with two seconds remaining to boost ECHS into a 31-24 halftime advantage.
Glynn again trimmed the Rebels lead back to four, 35-31, early in the third quarter, but threes from Wallace and Scott shot the score to 41-31.
ECHS led 46-35 to start the fourth quarter and maintained a double cushion the rest of the way. A four-game sweep of the Brunswick schools – Brunswick and Glynn Academy – was in the books.
And the Rebels could turn their attention to Bradwell.
“There’s a lot surrounding this game,” Darling said. “We want to finish strong and we’re on a good streak. We want our (seniors) to go out on top.”
After Bradwell, ECHS will finish the regular season on the road with a game recently added to the schedule at Portal (Feb. 5) before playing at Richmond Hill (Feb. 8).