This North Augusta girls run isn’t about to end

March 10, 2019

North Augusta Mayor Bob Pettit admits he is a huge fan of baseball great Yogi Berra and his famous quotes.

“When you come to a fork in the road, take it.”

This is the dilemma Pettit and the city faces, and it has nothing to do with the Lock and Dam, the new site for the police station, or anything revolving around Riverside Village.

No, it’s what to do about that sign – change it or don’t change it?

The sign isn’t annoying to anyone, but as it stands right now, it’s wrong.

And those North Augusta High School girls keep making it wrong.

“It’s like deja vu all over again.”

We’ve been here before; the Yellow Jackets girls basketball team rolls out on the court and tears up the opposition. Last Saturday, they ventured over to Columbia and defeated South Pointe, 50-39.

The victory gave them their third-straight state championship.

Again, that’s three straight state championships.

Three straight.

It had to be stated three times.

As a writer, it’s hard to repeat the same sentence three times. It’s a hundred times – or more – harder for a high school athletic team to achieve the top.

“We have deep depth.”

North Augusta did it, and for three years they have done it with relative ease. This year, South Pointe, as it should in the final, came the closest to knocking them off, but in the three games to reach the final, the margin of victory was 18, 21 and an outstanding 33.

During the regular season, they had back-to-back games where the margin was 54 and, gulp, 60. That’s not normal – unless it’s the Jackets.

This season, they finished with a record of 27-2, last year they were 26-1 and the year before 28-0. That’s 81-3 in three seasons.

Here’s the thing: Going into this year, North Augusta had plenty of stars coming back, especially seniors Mya Burns and Aaliyah Bell. But they lost quite a bit from the two previous seasons, including their coach, Crystal Cummings, who led them to the first two titles.

It was getting around the state: North Augusta was done. Someone else was going to win the AAAA title.

Clearly just talk and hearsay.

“The future ain’t what it used to be.”

Now surely the Jackets are at the end of the run, and what a run it’s been, three straight titles. Congrat– ...

Hold on, juniors Tyliah Burns and J’Mani Ingram were two of the team’s three leading scorers averaging 15.3 points per game and 14.2 respectively. Sophomore Kiana Lee averaged 7.3, scoring in double digits in three of the final four games she played.

And look at this – P’eris Smith is a towering 6-foot-2. Oh, and she’s just in eighth grade.

North Augusta could just be better next year and in the future.

Which brings us back to what Mayor Pettit and the city face.

The sign as one enters the state of South Carolina on Georgia Avenue honors the North Augusta girls basketball team and … should it be changed right now?

“It ain’t over till it’s over.”