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Fourth-ranked Lancaster High School has had its share of nights where the Bruins’ offense has been on, but on Friday night the smothering LHS defense was the difference.
The Bruins, with a stifling defensive effort, rolled to a 55-42 Region III-AAAA basketball road win over Clover.
LHS, 17-1, 3-1, jumped to a 17-7 first-period lead on the way to a 31-22 halftime edge on the Blue Eagles.
“Our defensive pressure was the difference,” LHS coach Ricardo Priester said. “Our defense forced turnovers and ignited our transition game.”
Lancaster held a 43-30 lead after three periods before breaking open the game.
Top scorer Sindarius Thornwell hit 13, but also added 13 assists, seven rebounds and four steals in a solid overall performance.
Junior forward C.D. Pelham paced the Bruins with 16 points, including five dunks, and 10 rebounds.
Pelham had 12 first-half points.
Senior guard Alan Robinson hit 15, including three treys. LHS defensive ace James Crawford netted five, while KeAnthony Foster had four with two dunks. Nate Bush added two points.
“We had a team effort,” Priester said. “We were unselfish and found the open man.”
“Our defense was outstanding as James Crawford had a lock-down effort on Cody Bauer who scored three points,” LHS assistant Jerron Cauthen said. “Our guard play was outstanding, with Crawford and Alan Robinson making key contributions on defense.
“Our defense also sparked our transition game and kept us in control,” Cauthen said.
Clover hit 15 of 22 free throws, while LHS was 3-5 at the line.
The Blue Eagles, 9-9, 1-3, were led by Ashleyn Thomason with 17.
Bryce Allen added nine points for Clover.
Lancaster returns home to open a key three-game home stretch, with LHS hosting Rock Hill on Tuesday.
The Bearcats, 15-3, 2-2, dropped a 52-51 loss to Rock Hill rival Northwestern on Friday night.
In the girls game, Clover ignited in the second half to take a 49-32 win over the LHS girls.
The Lady Bruins, 6-8, 1-3, trailed 17-6 after one period, but rallied to make it 25-21 at the half.
The Lady Blue Eagles used a 16-7 third-period spurt to forge a 41-28 lead and rolled to the 17-point win.
Clover, 13-4, 4-0, was paced by Bria Huffman’s 15 points. Lauren Richardson and Telliya Patton added 10 each.
Lancaster was led by sophomore guard Kyia Hough’s 14 points. Chanda Nivens hit five. Tarah Tipton and Phoebe Johnson added four points each.
Sha’Ron Brunson had three and Shareese Ross netted two.
Buford dropped a twin bill in Region IV-AA, falling twice to Cheraw on Friday night at home.
The Lady Jackets fell to the Lady Braves, 49-35 and the Buford boys dropped a 55-42 loss to Cheraw.
The Buford girls, 10-4, 1-3, held a 28-26 halftime lead, but Cheraw, with a tough defense, rallied to gain a 31-30 lead.
The Lady Braves, with an 18-5 third-period run, notched the 49-35 win.
Buford was held to seven second-half points.
“We played hard the entire game, but down the stretch we went cold and couldn’t connect on our shots,” BHS coach T.J. Armbrust said.
Alexie Pitts paced Cheraw with 21, 14 in the first half. She scored all seven of her points in the fourth quarter. Alicia McIver had nine as did Sha Crosland, who had 11 rebounds.
Daphne Honeycutt hit eight to lead BHS. Erica Blackmon and Brittany Faulkner each had seven. Hannah Knight scored six. Carley Bailey added five and Megan Deese scored two.
In the boys game, Buford battled the Braves before dropping a 55-42 loss.
Cheraw, up 16-9 after one period, rallied to gain a 29-17 lead at the break.
The Braves, with a 13-8 surge in the third period, held a 42-25 lead before the Jackets rallied only to fall short in the 13-point loss.
“This was our best team effort of the season,” BHS coach Neil Couch said. “We continue to improve and I thought we had a good fourth quarter effort.
“We’re playing hard and making progress with each game,” Couch said.
Justin Chapman led the Braves with 12 and D.J. Quick added 10. Marvin Lauderdale tallied seven.
Marcus Brown’s 18 paced the Jackets’ attack. Evan Joplin hit nine and Kolby Pate hit seven. Corey Bracey and O.T. Coleman had four points each.
The Jackets fell to 2-18, 0-4 in region play.
Lee Central won a battle of Region IV-AA unbeatens, posting an 84-74 win over Indian Land on Friday night in Bishopville.
The Stallions, 16-5, 4-0, broke to a 20-11 lead after one period and extended the edge to 45-33 at the break.
LC held a 68-51 lead after three periods before taking the 10-point win.
Tyrell Hicks hit 21 to pace the Stallions. Walter Hill scored 18 and George Howard added 10 for the winners.
Hayden Sawyer’s 23 points led the Warriors, who fell to 6-11, 3-1.
Lee McCall tallied 12 and Quran McMillan netted 11. Conner Butler and Rashid McGriff netted eight each. Drew Richardson scored five and Tyler Watson added three. Chris Barnes had two.
Lee Central also won the girls game, but no results were available at press time.