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Lancaster pulled a double hoops dandy in the Bruins Den on Friday, Dec. 13.
The Bruins, hosting county rival Andrew Jackson High School, notched a home sweep of the Volunteers.
The Lady Bruins, rallying from a sluggish start, took a 45-32 comeback win and the LHS boys notched a 58-37 victory.
The nightcap saw the Bruins, 4-4, take control in the second period and gain a 31-18 lead at the half.
LHS led 11-7 after one period, and used a 20-11 spurt in the second quarter to build the 13-point edge at the break.
Deuce Dunlap and Cameron Meadows each hit two treys in the second period to key the Bruins.
LHS senior captain Calvin Crawford, who led a balanced LHS attack with 10 points, added four in the pivotal second quarter.
“A big key for us was the way our bench responded when we needed them,” said LHS basketball coach Ricardo Priester. “That was important because this game was like a region game with its intensity and we have to have that type play when we begin region play.
“It is going to take all of our guys contributing in some way and we had that tonight,” he said. “No matter who we had in there, we kept battling against a tough foe. You have to have that because AJ is going to play hard no matter what the score is.”
Lancaster extended its lead to 45-27 after three periods before taking the 21-point win over the Vols.
Crawford’s 10 led the Bruins. Lewis Johnson, who grabbed 10 rebounds, finished with nine points. Keifon Cogdell netted nine and Meadows scored eight.
Dunlap scored seven and Jay Hood had six. Quay McCarter and Taron Heath each tallied three points. Kavonte Strain scored two and Keont’e Mack added one.
Dunlap also grabbed six rebounds.
“This is the kind of effort we have to have each time we go out to play,” Priester said. “It takes all of our guys pulling together as one.”
Cameron McIsaac led AJ with 10 and Tray King hit nine. Dustin Eddins and Austin McIsaac scored six points each. Austin Truesdale tallied three. Corley Walters hit two and D.J. Hagins added one point.
“Free throws and turnovers hurt us again,” said AJHS basketball coach Danny Wright. “Give Lancaster credit because they shot well from the perimeter.
“I hate the result of a loss, but I’m still proud of our effort and hustle,” Wright said.
Second half defense sparks Lady Bruins
In the opener, the AJ girls, much like they did in their first meeting with the Lady Bruins, bolted to a big lead. The Lady Vols, in the Dec. 6 clash, took an 11-2 early on the way to their 53-46 win.
AJ again led early, taking a 13-1 spread on Lancaster, but the Lady Bruins responded.
The Lady Vols were sparked early by Brantley Ussery, who drilled three first-period treys, to power AJ to a 14-8 lead after the opening quarter.
“AJ came out blazing and we were sluggish,” said LHS girls basketball coach Ronnie Robinson. “The key for us was we kept our focus and we didn’t panic.”
LHS, 3-4, closed the gap to six, 23-17, at the break.
Lancaster, in the second half, picked up its defense and allowed only nine second-half points.
“We changed up on our defense, going to a man-to-man and we wanted to pressure them more to wear them down,” Robinson said. “On offense, our ball movement was better and we took better shots.
“I also thought we did a better job attacking,” Robinson said. “We did a better job of taking away their three-point shooters.”
LHS senior guard Kyia Hough led the Lady Bruins with 18 points, 13 in the second half and nine in the third period.
Lady Bruins senior Phoebe Johnson added four points in the third period when LHS forged a 34-29 advantage on the way to the win.
Kenyatta Robertson and Keyotta Garris each hit seven points. Kaela Robinson added three. Aliyah Davis and Alexis Williams tallied two points apiece. Hayden Thorne and Mia Flowers each supplied a point.
Johnson had eight rebounds and Robertson grabbed six. Thorne hauled down five boards.
Ussery led AJ, 3-1, with 14 and Dareisha Sowell scored 12. Elizabeth Scott tallied three points for the Lady Vols.
Mary Kelsie Broughton added two and McKenzie Horton had one point.
“Defensively, we played well enough to win, but we didn’t have enough firepower in the second half. That cost us.” said AJHS girls basketball coach Dennis Farmer. “You’re not going to win many games when you playing like.
“We just have to be consistent throughout the game,” Farmer said.
AJ is home Tuesday, Dec. 17 when it faces Class AA foe Lee Central. The Vols visit North Central on Friday, Dec. 20.
Lancaster opens region play, visiting Northwestern High School on Tuesday, Dec. 17.
The Bruins are on the road Thursday, Dec. 19, when they venture to Rock Hill High School to take on the Bearcats in region play.