Late run dooms Easley boys against Powdersville

By Bru Nimmons
Staff Reporter

EASLEY — The Easley Green Wave boys’ basketball team seemed on track to right the ship last Wednesday night against the Powdersville Patriots.

The Green Wave, who etered the game just 2-10, led for almost the entire game against a tough Powdersville team and entered the fourth ahead 43-39.

However, a 12-0 run by the Patriots to start the fourth put them ahead for good, leading to a 56-51 loss for Easley.

“The best thing I can say about my bunch is they are giving me everything they’ve got,” Easley head coach Michael Jones said. “They’re playing hard, we just missed some easy shots, had some bad turnovers and most of all, we got beat up on the boards.”

As has been an issue all season, the Green Wave continued to be bitten by the injury bug, as senior guard Princeton Rhodes missed the game.

With such a close finish, Jones said he believed Rhodes’ playmaking may have been able to make a difference in the final result.

While Rhodes missed the game with injury, the Green Wave were thankful to have all-state senior guard Kain James back in the lineup after he missed time earlier in the season.

James, coming off a 29-point performance against Woodmont, paced the Green Wave again in the contest.

In the first, things stayed close as Powdersville’s Kidd Brizek flashed his scoring prowess to the tune of nine early points. The Green Wave countered his early buckets with three three-point field goals, including two by A.J. Brown and a last-second make by Todd Williams, to keep the game tied at 11-11 at the end of the first quarter.

James came alive for the Green Wave in the second quarter, putting up 12 of his 18 points in a scoring clinic to build the lead. His most impressive shot came at the end of the period with the Green Wave up just 28-26. Holding the ball as time wound down in the quarter, James drilled a three-pointer with less than 0.5 seconds left to give Easley a 31-26 halftime advantage.

The Patriots tried to close the gap in the third, but a strong quarter by Easley big Jordan Fortenberry kept the Green Wave lead at 43-39 heading into the fourth.

Trouble came for Easley from the start of the final stanza. An early basket cut the lead to 43-41, then Williams went out with an injury. Already without Rhodes, the loss of another lead ballhandler proved costly as Powdersville took control.

With the offense stalling, Easley’s best hope was to get defensive stops, but even when they did, Powdersville’s 6-foot-7 big man Hayden Assemian was there to clean up with an offensive rebound and a putback.

By the time Fortenberry scored on a putback of his own with 4:01 left in the game, a four-point Easley lead had turned into a six-point Patriot lead.

Another bucket by Fortenberry and a basket by a returning Williams cut the lead to four with two minutes remaining, but Assemian continued to keep the Green Wave at bay with his strong interior rebounding.

Down 55-51 with 24 seconds left, the Green Wave’s struggles on the board ended any chance they had at a victory as they allowed offensive rebounds off of two sets of missed free throws and fell 56-51.

“It was huge,” Jones said of Powdersville’s late rebounding advantage. “(Assemian) was just so overpowering, and that really changed the game for us. He’s a good player, and they use him well.”

With the loss, the Green Wave dropped to 2-11 on the season, but Jones hopes the team can still change its destiny heading into region play.

The Green Wave returned to action on Tuesday against Westside, with results unavailble at press time.


Powdersville 56, Easley 51

PHS 11 15 13 17 — 56

EHS 11 20 12 8 — 51


Easley (51) — James 18, Fortenberry 12, A.J. Brown 8, Williams 5, Bowens 3, Young 3, Leavell 2.

Powdersville (56) — Brizek 19, Assemian 14, Williams 10, Sweet 8, Richardson 3, Kreger 2.