AIKEN --- A sloppy girls basketball contest between South Aiken and Silver Bluff saw 42 turnovers and 84 missed shots in a 62-30 victory for Silver Bluff.
The lopsided road win also produced a rare sight for the fans who stuck around.
With the game already out of reach for South Aiken at the one-minute mark of the first half, Lady Thoroughbreds freshman Kyasia Youmans put up a shot well underneath her own basket. The ball went through the bottom of the net and nearly came out on top before falling back through.
Several girls on the court paused, confused by the reverse basket, but play never officially stopped and no points were awarded. South Aiken forward Amber Felder alertly grabbed the offensive rebound and converted the lay-up to bring the score to 37-11 at halftime.
Referee Mike Hallingquest said it was a play he'd never seen in his 23 years of officiating basketball games.
"If it would have gone all the way through, it would have been a violation," he said. "It almost did, but it didn't go all the way through."
The head-shaking play epitomized a mistake-filled game for a South Aiken team with a 1-4 record and a Silver Bluff squad playing its second game in two nights. The Lady Bulldogs (4-1) opened the game with a 7-0 run, gave up a basket to South Aiken leading scorer MaKenzie Smith, then went on a 12-0 run to put the game out of reach early.
Silver Bluff coach Robert McKenzie praised the fourth-quarter defense from his bench players in assessing the win. Noting a 44-point victory Tuesday against Batesburg-Leesville, McKenzie said he's been impressed with his team's focus.
"We've had two pretty convincing wins in a row," he said. "Sometimes in games like that when you get an early lead it's hard to maintain focus."
South Aiken had twice as many turnovers (25) as baskets made (12).
Reach Billy Byler at (706) 823-3216 or firstname.lastname@example.org.