First-half run spurs O'Connell to 73-63 win

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C.--Marcus Ginyard and Bishop O'Connell managed a fairly comfortable 73-63 win over Warren Central (KY) in the first round of the Beach Ball Classic, despite an ankle injury midway through the second half that forced Ginyard to the bench for the remainder of the contest.

The game started slowly with the Knights falling behind 8-2 as Ginyard started 2-8 from the floor. After a brief stint on the bench, the UNC-bound combo guard responded by going 3-4 from the field including his first 3-point basket in several games to close the half. His outburst mirrored his team's 32-9 burst in the closing six minutes of the first half and led to a 45-26 halftime lead.

Ginyard ended the half 5-13 from the field (1-2 3FG, 2-3 FT) for 13 points with 2 rebounds, 2 steals, and an assist. The highlight of the half was a one handed slam on the break that elicited the first response from the surprisingly sparse evening crowd.

The second half began slowly for Ginyard and the Knights, with Warren Central closing the 19 point halftime gap to only 4 with 8:35 remaining in the game. Central's coach Jim Gosz pointed to this juncture as his team's opportunity to take control of the game.

"When we managed to get it down to four, our inability to capitalize was a real turning point. They are a great team, however, and Ginyard…he's really really good. We he got into foul trouble it hurt them a bit. We zoned to try to keep him out on the floor, keep him from slashing. We hardly ever play zone and we did a lot of that today because of him. That fact gave them some open looks, and they hit some big shots," Gosz noted after the game.

On the ensuing O'Connell possession, Ginyard picked up his fourth foul and had to head to the bench. His team responded well in his absence, rebuilding their lead to 66-50 with 3:32 left to play. He didn't play again, which everyone in attendance thought was due to the double digit lead but was in actuality the result of a twisted ankle.

"He just kind of twisted his ankle, he's fine," O'Connell coach Joe Wooten said when asked about Ginyard's injury. "I think he's always going to be one of our three top scorers with Freddie [Stanbach] and Eric [Smith] who are seniors, but I don't know if he was today because he got hurt at the end. I think he's going to be one of our top scoreres. He's going to be out best defender, and he's obviously great on the back boards. That's the three main things I want him to do," Wooten continued.

Ginyard himself was less confident in the ankle, but hopes to play in tomorrow's game. "I hope to, I don't want to sit out…I'll go back to the hotel, ice it, give it a little electric shock and do whatever we can," he said.

When asked about his priorities for the upcoming tournament and the remainder of the season, Ginyard readily responded.

"Just being aggressive out there. Not ever just going out there and not really getting after it, just to really get after it is my role. [I'm working] on my offense a lot, even though today it didn't go how I wanted it to. Just getting to the basket…I started really badly, but it came to me as I got more comfortable," Ginyard said.

Ginyard, who took only one shot in the second half, finished the game 5-14 (1-2 3FG, 2-3 FT) with 13 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals and 3 turnovers. The Knights play again tomorrow at 9:15 pm against Rufus King barring a late upset. Inside Carolina will at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center throughout the day to provide full coverage.

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