Felton, Latta punch ticket for finals

Felton's 44 points powers Latta back to Class A finals.

Florence, SC - There are few unused superlatives available concerning Raymond Felton. And yet, Raymond Felton, in an "off" game, scored 44 points, willed his team to a win, and propelled Latta High School to the championship game in South Carolina Class A. The Vikings had to overcome a 14 point lead by Hemingway (SC) to win the SCHSL semi-final game, 92 - 83 at Francis Marion University.

Felton scored 44 points in 30 minutes of play on 18-31 (58%) shooting. He shot 15-20 from two-point range (75%) on continual drives and slashes into the paint past pressure defense. Felton added seven rebounds (four offensive), eight assists, two blocks and four steals.

For the postseason, the All-American Felton is averaging 36.3 points through four games, a 20% increase over his season average of 30.3 points. True to his reputation, he steps up his play during big games.

In IC's conversation with him this morning, Felton said, "The key to the game was our defense, a lot of heart, working hard. We had to get out on defense, get a lot of steals and make them turn the ball over."

About the hard-fought game, Coach Stephen Smith said, "We got down early. The situation was that they were double-teaming and triple-teaming Raymond. We got down by 14 points and Raymond bailed us out. He had four points in the 1st quarter, 22 in the second and we were down five at the half."

"We missed a lot of free throws in the first half. We felt like the first three minutes of the 3rd period were crucial. We had four chances to tie or take the lead and never did. We got back down by ten points and then we went to a man-to-man defense instead of our zone press. We made some personnel changes to better run our defense. Ray kept beating the press in the fourth. I think he had three four-point plays where he shot the three and got fouled."

"At one point, we ran what we call an "overload" play where Ray shot the three and his man didn't get to him, fouled him and he made the three as he was falling flat on his back. Murrell Sutton also came through with 19 points, 12 of them in the second half."

Latta defeated Hemingway last year also, 97-79, on their way to their first state title.

Felton and the Vikings, the defending 1A Champions, will now meet Hunter Kinard-Tyler (SC) in this year's title game, March 9th at 1:30 p.m. at the Frank McGuire Center in Columbia, South Carolina. Inside Carolina will have a reporter at the game.

3/5/02 (Lower State championship game) Latta 92, Hemingway 83

Felton game stats
Pts. 44
FG 18 - 31
3pt 3 - 11
FT 5 - 13
Reb 7 (4 off.)
Ast 8
TO 3
Blocks 2
Steals 4

Felton playoff stats/game (through 4 games)
Pts. 36.3
FG 52 - 89 (58%)
3pt 15 - 33 (45%)
FT 26 - 40 (65%)
Reb 6.5 (2.5 off.)
Ast 7.3
TO 3.0
Blocks 1.3
Steals 4.3

Felton Season-to-date, 29 games
Latta Record: 27-3

Pts. 30.3
FG 313 - 593 (53%)
3pt. 114 - 266 (43%)
FT 139 - 197 (71%)
Reb 8.5 (2.7 off.)
Assists 7.6
TO 3.0
Ast/TO 2.5
Blocks 1.8
Steals 3.9

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