It likely would have been more had it not been for the defensive effort of 6-foot-5 sophomore Antoine Lorick, who stuck with Smith like a shadow and was there all game to deny the ball, get in his way -- and just be a pest.
“We had a conversation earlier in the week, and the goal was for him to guard Jabari the whole game,” Kelly said. “That young man has a lot of potential. He’s only a sophomore, and the sky is the limit.”
The biggest stretch came in the final five minutes after Cross Creek tied the score 47-47 on Corey Trotter’s 3-pointer. Lorick made one of two free throws and his layup gave the Razorbacks a three-point lead. The flurry was capped by Lorick’s monstrous slam with 33 seconds remaining.
“The biggest thing was understanding adversity,” Kelly said. “Those guys came out and gave us a little punch, and we took that punch, and we responded. That’s big. We’ve been dealing with adversity all year. I’m just so proud of those guys.”
Lorick scored 12 points and had nine rebounds for Cross Creek (29-4). The Razorbacks also got 14 points from Devin Pope, 11 points from Richard Visitacion and 10 points and 10 rebounds from Trotter.
Sandy Creek (24-5) also got 10 points from Vic Newsom.
“A lot of people go on about the Savannah area, the Atlanta area having great ball players,” Kelly said. “Well, in Augusta, we have very good ballplayers as well.”
Sandy Creek – 10-16-12-11—49
Cross Creek – 15-13-16-13 – 57
Sandy Creek: Vic Newsom 10, Myles Rice 8, Jabari Smith 19, Micah Smith 6, Deshon Proctor 6.
Cross Creek: Devin Pope 14, Joshua Dorsey 8, Richard Visitacion 11, Corey Trotter 10, Antoine Lorick 12, Jaquez Ellison 2.