2006-01-27 / Sports

Indians in fight to make playoffs

By LARRY HILLIARD Ledger Sports Editor larry@gaffneyledger.com

Photo by LARRY HILLIARD Gaffney’s Daniel Mitchell and his teammates will tipoff the second half of the region schedule against visiting York today. Photo by LARRY HILLIARD Gaffney’s Daniel Mitchell and his teammates will tipoff the second half of the region schedule against visiting York today. The Gaffney Indians are used to ending their season in early March.

If things don’t change, they won’t be playing that long this season.

The Indians are 2-3 after the midway part of the region schedule. Rock Hill and Fort Mill are tied for first with 4-1 region marks. Northwestern is 3-2. York and Lancaster are tied for the bottom spot at 1-4.

The top four teams make the playoffs.

“We just have to try to win every game from here on out,” Huff said. “Mathematically, we can still win the region. But we have to win the rest of them.”

Turnovers have been an all too familiar theme for the Gaffney Indians this season. The Indians committed 21 of them in a 62-57 home loss to Rock Hill on Tuesday.

“We lose by five points and we have 21 turnovers,” Huff said. “That’s 21 shots you don’t get.”

The Indians also committed an intentional foul, which helped the Bearcats escape with the win.

“We had five turnovers in the first two minutes of the game,” the Gaffney coach said. “We just can’t take care of the ball. We have the right guy on the free throw line and he misses it but they get the rebound and we’re called for an intentional foul. It’s just mental mistakes again.”

The Indians are having problems finding the goal.

Last season, the Indians shot 47 percent from the floor. This year, Gaffney is hitting just 41 percent of its shots.

“We have missed several gimme baskets that we should have made,” he said.

Julius Wilkerson’s scoring has also been down recently as teams focus more attention on him.

“They know he’s our scorer,” Huff said.

The Indians will try to even their region mark against the visiting York Cougars tonight. In the teams’ first matchup, the Indians played one of their most complete games of the season in downing the Cougars, 99-59. Wilkerson had 23 points and Malcolm Long added 22. Gaffney committed just four turnovers in the first half.

But Huff said the Indians can’t take York lightly.

“We handled Byrnes the first time, then they beat us,” he said. “We have to come out and play hard. York has real quick guards. They beat Lancaster, so they are dangerous.”

Return to top

Special Sections

Poll

Who do you support for Cherokee County Sheriff?