After leading at halftime for the second straight game, the Andrews boys varsity basketball team fell to Kingstree 51-46 at Andrews High School Dec. 14.

The Yellow Jackets fall to 1-5 with the loss, extending their losing streak to five games, and start region play 0-2. Kingstree starts region play 1-1 and are now 4-3 overall. While this isn’t how Andrews head coach Rodney Giles wanted to start region play, he knows this team was in a similar spot a season ago.

“We are in the bottom,” Giles said. “It was that was last year and after Christmas break we made a big run. Hopefully we can get it together and make a run like we did last year.”

Giles said his team played one of their better games of the season defensively, but it wasn’t quite enough to beat the Jaguars.

“It was a better defensive efforts. It’s little things that win games like blocking out and getting rebounds,” Giles said. “We are going to get better.”

Andrews forward TyQuan Chandler scored 12 points for the Yellow Jackets. Point guard Rodney Giles Jr. scored 10 points while Center Ray Kinloch scored six points.

After a scoreless first quarter, Kingstree guard Direlle McGee scored 14 points and made six free throws in the final quarter. Guard N’Chez Alston also scored 14 points and Cam’Ron Washington and John James scored six points apiece.

After a slow shooting start, Andrews took a 13-6 lead at the end of the first quarter. Kingstree made a run midway through the second quarter to cut the Andrews lead to 18-15, but the Yellow Jackets ended the half on a 9-2 run.

Kingstree made a breakaway layup at the buzzer and trailed 27-19 at halftime. Kinloch committed three first half fouls, which kept him out of the game most of the third quarter.

“That’s when they came back. He’s one of our important rebounders and he was truly missed,” Giles said.

Kingstree started the second half with a three and a bucket and pulled within three in the first few minutes of the quarter. Andrews made just one basket in the third quarter, which made it 29-26.

After a stop on the defensive end with four minutes remaining in the quarter, Giles Jr. held the ball near midcourt until eight seconds remained on the clock. The possession ended with a turnover, however, and Andrews took a 29-26 lead into the final frame.

“I wanted them to come out and play us man,” Giles said. “It seemed like we got a lot of easy looks when they played us man. I was hoping they would come out and play us man. I was surprised when they stayed in the zone.”

Kingstree continued to chip away at the lead and eventually took the lead with 5:02 left in the game. Andrews fouled McGee twice on three-point shot attempts down the stretch, allowing the Jaguars to extend the lead to 44-39. Kinloch hit a layup to make it 44-41 and followed a missed free throw with another basket to make it 44-43.

After a Kingstree bucket, Tevin Tisdale hit a three to tie the game at 46 with a minute and a half left in the game. The Jaguars would have the last laugh, ending the game on a 5-0 run. Andrews committed a backcourt violation with 17 seconds left to seal their fate.

The Yellow Jackets will look to rebound Dec. 18 with a home game against Latta before the start of Christmas break. Kingstree will take a break from region play to face-off against Hemingway Dec. 17 at Hemingway High School.

Friday Dec. 14 Boys Varsity scores

Waccamaw 52 St. James 51 (2OT)

Carvers Bay 72 Johnsonville 42

Friday Dec. 14 Girls Varsity scores

St. James 51 Waccamaw 16

Andrews 36 Kingstree 33