Gray Collegiate opens new gymnasium with region sweep of Fairfield Central

Posted 1/13/23

Friday the 13th saw Gray Collegiate Academy celebrate its good fortune at home for a change.

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Gray Collegiate opens new gymnasium with region sweep of Fairfield Central


Friday the 13th saw Gray Collegiate Academy celebrate its good fortune at home for a change.

Years of commuting to Allen University on the other side of downtown Columbia to host region and playoff games officially came to an end with the grand opening of “The War Zone." The new, 1,500-seat gymnasium will house both highly-ranked basketball teams.

Gray Collegiate Academy christened their new home with resounding Region 2-4A victories over Fairfield Central. The Lady War Eagles (11-4, 2-0) opened the doubleheader with a 66-37 win over the Lady Griffins.

Kadence Walker-Lee scored 17 points and Maliyah Mason added 13 points before leaving the game with a possible head injury. She was reportedly struck around the temple area while attempting a layup with 29 seconds left in the game.

Team medical personnel treated Mason under the basket for over 10 minutes. They assisted her off the court, and Mason was seen after the game talking with teammates.

Her status for the 2 p.m. game on Jan. 14 against Wren at the MLK Classic at Eau Claire High School and a home-and-home series against top-ranked W.J. Keenan next week is uncertain.

The boys’ game saw the defending Class 2A champions break open their game against Fairfield Central for a 81-41 victory.

The War Eagles led 17-10 before a 8-1 run by the Griffins tied the game. As time expired in the first quarter, Ellis Graham slammed in a two-handed dunk to regain the lead for Gray Collegiate Academy.

They outscored the Griffins 26-7 in the second quarter and saw their lead go no lower than 20 points the rest of the way. The same night Montraivis White was recognized for scoring 1,000 career points, he finished with a game-high 21 points.

Treyvon Maddox saw eight of his 20 points in the third quarter, which included a pair of crowd-pleasing slam dunks.

For both head coaches, the gym's "grand opening" was long overdue.

“It was nice,” Gray Collegiate girls basketball coach Brandon Wallace said. “We had 14 games on the road to start out. It’s the first official home game, so I’m excited about it. I’m glad to come out with a win.

“We’ve done a lot without [a home gymnasium]. To finally have one, it means a lot. To the kids, it’s a place where they can come in and support. So, I think it’s going to be huge. With all the facilities being added – football, baseball, softball field – I think it’s going to be big.”

“I’m going to miss Allen,” boys basketball coach Dion Bethea said. “But, it does feel good to play right here at the school. You saw everybody that came out. The students, the faculty, and the staff. It was great and this place is going to be really special for us.

“In practice, I always tell, 'We're always on the road.’ To actually have a home, Todd Helms and the board, they did a great job of promising it to me and it finally came to happen. So, I’m super, super excited. I’m just happy for the kids."

Like the girls, the boys have two games next week with W.J. Keenan and face defending Class 4A champion Wilson Jan. 16 at 6 p.m. in the finale of the MLK Classic.

Girls Basketball

Dutch Fork 81, White Knoll 34

Hillary Offing scored 20 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, and Kristen Spratley had 19 points and Christyonna Jackson had nine points and 15 rebounds to lead the Lady Silver Foxes.

Dutch Fork (8-7, 1-0) plays host to Chapin Jan. 17.  

Lexington 63, River Bluff 33

A.C. Flora 67, Irmo 32

Dreher 43, Gilbert 12

Orangeburg-Wilkinson 39, Swansea 20

Silver Bluff 59, Batesburg-Leesville 27

Thursday’s Game

Lower Richland 76, Gilbert 33

Taylor Spencer scored 10 points in the loss for the Lady Indians.

Boys Basketball

Irmo 62, A.C. Flora 44

The third-ranked Yellow Jackets remained perfect in Region 4-4A while extending their winning streak to seven games.

Madden Collins led Irmo (15-3, 3-0) with 21 points and four assists, Te’Andre Summons had 16 points and five steals and Jonathan White finished with 12 points.

Irmo will face Sumter at 1:30 p.m. on Jan. 16 at the MLK Classic at Eau Claire High School.

Dutch Fork 79, White Knoll 49

Bryson Taylor scored 15 points, Jaden Toney had 11 and Elijah Thompson finished with 10 to lead the Silver Foxes in their Region 4-5A opener.

Lexington 71, River Bluff 52

Fox Creek 70, Pelion 69

Connor Cannon’s desperation bank shot as time expired lifted the Predators to a road victory over the Panthers.

Pelion had a 69-67 lead with .5 seconds left after a free throw when Cannon took the inbound pass and hoisted the shot from behind halfcourt to win the game and stun the home team.

Fox Creek next faces Batesburg-Leesville on Jan. 17.

Silver Bluff 55, Batesburg-Leesville 52

Dreher 57, Brookland-Cayce 43

Thursday’s Game

Lower Richland 59, Gilbert 38

Gray Collegiate Academy, Dion Bethea, Brandon Wallace, basketball


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