Coach Doherty expressed to Latta coach Stephen Smith, what a tremendous honor it was for a kid from a small town to rise to such heights. Of his conversation with Coach Doherty, Coach Smith said, "I'm sure he's looking forward to having him at North Carolina. [Doherty] also went on to say that he's not going to put pressure on Raymond to be the ‘savior' because that's the word. He's just happy to have him come in there with him."
Andrew Grissett of Latta, an all-region selection, was the high scorer for the game, with a career-high of 27 points while Daniel Dukes scored 23 points for Elloree. Latta had soared to a 60-point lead against the overmatched Elloree squad when Coach Smith took Felton out of the game.
The rest from these type of games will benefit Raymond, though he is showing no ill effects of an ankle sprain against Lake View (SC) last week. Should Latta advance after Tuesday night against their next opponent, the games move to neutral venues before ending up in Columbia, SC for the state championship.
For the town of Latta, Raymond's record-breaking career is big news. Smith noted, "It means a tremendous amount. People – last night we played at 7:00 p.m. – and people were lining up at 4:00 p.m. [laughing]. So that's an indicator of what it means. It's a big deal here. It's a special thing."
And for Coach Smith personally, "It means a lot. It's one of those situations where I realize I'll probably never have a player come through my program of Raymond's caliber again. And to say that I coached the all-time leading scorer in the history of South Carolina -- of all the guys that played high school basketball, I coached the guy who scored the most points, it just makes me feel like the things you do, all the hours you spend coaching, are worth it. I'm just really overwhelmed, really.
"You have mixed emotions at this time. Every time you step on the court you know it could be the last time that you could be out there with Raymond on your squad. But at the same time, you just look at the positives and realize you've been blessed to have a kid come through your program like that."
Latta next faces the winner of Johnsonville/Baptist Hill (Charleston) on Tuesday night at 7:00 p.m. Plan to arrive in the early afternoon for the evening game if you want to get a seat.
2/22/02 Elloree (first round playoff game) Score 107-41 Felton game stats Pts. 21 FG 8 - 14 3pt 2 - 4 FT 3 - 4 Reb 4 (1 off.) Ast 8 TO 2 Blocks 1 Steals 4 Felton Season-to-date, 26 games Latta Record: 24-3 Pts. 29.0 FG 269 - 518 (52%) 3pt. 101 - 237 (43%) FT 116 - 161 (72%) Reb 8.7 (2.7 off.) Assists 7.7 TO 3.0 Ast/TO 2.6 Blocks 1.8 Steals 3.8