Any coach will take a win of any kind in playoffs, advance and try to lead the team to a better game the next time out.
On Tuesday night, Orangeburg-Wilkinson head girls basketball coach Cedrick Simpson was glad just to pick up a win in the first round of South Carolina High School League Class 4A Lower State playoffs.
Playing with several girls just getting over the flu, the Bruinettes played a bit sluggish at times, but held off the visiting Darlington Lady Falcons for a 46-34 home win.
The Bruinettes received 15 points from sophomore D'Mya Tucker, 12 points from junior Brandi Rivers and 7 points from senior Biance Francis.
The Lady Falcons finished their season with a 14-10 record, despite getting 12 points from Hope Richardson and 10 points from Tyshae Harmon-Dubose on Tuesday.
"We knew this would be a sloppy game," Simpson said. "Last night, when we had our pregame meal, we were talking about it probably being sloppy, with everybody being sick the last week and feeling bad.
"I knew, with the girls being young, they would struggle being mentally tough when they haven't felt well. But, I was happy to get an ugly win. We'll take it."
Tucker scored 8 points (3 field goals and 2 free throws) in the opening quarter to pace her team and help the home squad to a 15-8 advantage entering the second quarter of play.
Rivers, who was named an all-state player this week, opened the second frame with a lay-in off an assist from Tucker. Francis made a 3-pointer midway through the quarter for a 20-9 lead, before Rivers scored on a low-post power move with 2:20 left for a 24-15 advantage.
O-W went to the locker room at the half with a 26-17 lead.
Throughout the second half, the home team struggled to find offensive firepower, gaining a 10-point cushion only to lose it soon after on several occasions.
"You saw flashes of how good we could be, and then you saw flashes of how young we are," Simpson said. "Brandi and D'Mya have carried us through all season, so we did find ways to go to our bread and butter to get it done tonight.
"At the end of the day, it's a win and we are moving on. Team defense held us in and that has actually held us all year. We normally have held teams under 40 points this season. We played more zone tonight, just because so many of our girls had been under the weather."
Rivers opened the scoring with a low-post basket to start the third quarter and followed that with a 3-point play for a 31-19 lead. Darlington struggled finding any offense in the third quarter, picking up four traveling calls to turn the ball over in the period. O-W led 36-21 entering the fourth quarter.
Rivers opened the scoring in the fourth quarter, by dishing to Tucker for a basket in the paint. Darlington managed 3 early steals that led to baskets, including one by Tyshae Harmon-Dubose that set up a 4-point play from Hope Richardson with 2:19 left to play. That made it 42-32. But it was too little, too late for the visitors, as O-W denied any major late rally.
The Bruinettes (18-3 record) will play at Myrtle Beach on Friday at 7 p.m. The Lady Seahawks are 19-3 after Tuesday's 56-19 first-round playoff win against Beaufort.
ORANGEBURG-WILKINSON (46) - Biance Francis 7, Jayda Brunson 2, Alajah Scott 4, D'Mya Tucker 15, Deondra Darby 4, Ke'Yanah Felder 2, Brandi Rivers 12
DARLINGTON (34) - Asani Davis 2, Shaniya Jackson 4, Cameron Hare 4, Tyshae Harmon-Dubose 10, Kadesia Evans 2, Hope Richardson 12