What separated Screven County from his Effingham County boys basketball team Tuesday night was pretty simple to Rebels coach Travis Dickey.
“They can shoot it from the outside. They can finish around the rim,” he said following the Rebels’ 72-55 season-opening loss. “That was the difference. They made shots, and we didn’t make many. I felt we did the things we needed to do to win, except make shots.”
In the first half alone, the Rebels missed 11 shots from within three feet of the basket.
“We couldn’t get anything to fall,” Dickey said. “Some of it was jitters. Our guys know they can make layups.”
While the Rebels were starting the season Tuesday night, the Gamecocks (4-0) already had played three games.
“We were playing a hot team,” Dickey said. “They came in confident and had that advantage.”
But Dickey needed the extra time with his team, especially with the football players on his squad not able to practice until recently.
“We were trying to put in a lot of new stuff,” he said, “so it was good for us to play late.”
Nolan Spake led the Rebels with a career-high 20 points and Stephen Tarpley added 13. Darryl Wright had eight points, Jon Duff and Perry Herbert each had six and Marquel Manior added two points.
Tarpley’s steal and layup with 5:32 to go cut the gap to 54-44. But Dajuwan Carter had six of his team-high 20 points in a 12-4 run that put the game away.
Bennie Washington had 13 points and Jamey Colbert added 12 points for the Gamecocks.
The Rebels did the little things Dickey believes they need to do to win games, but they didn’t do them all game long.
“We did that for about three quarters,” he said. “When we started scoring, we stopped playing defense. We’ve got some things to build on. The shots are going to fall for us eventually.”