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KERSHAW – The Andrew Jackson Lady Volunteers cruised to a second straight lopsided home win to cap non-region play Friday, January 10.
The Lady Vols, No. 7 in the latest Class AA girls state poll, routed McBee, 66-30 after burying North Central, 64-4 on Tuesday night.
The AJ girls’ 36-point win gave the Vols a split after the Andrew Jackson boys dropped a 60-52 loss to the Panthers in the nightcap.
In the opener, the Lady Vols, 9-3, used a fast start to fuel their win.
“The first and third periods, we played outstanding defense and had good pressure,” AJ girls coach Dennis Farmer said. “We’re executing well on defense. I’m proud of our defensive play. We’re fine-tuning for region play and we will need that type effort.”
AJ senior Dareisha Sowell, who along with Brantley Ussery had 11 points each to pace AJ, scored nine first-half points.
The Lady Vols held a 34-17 spread at the break and then used a 17-2 third-period surge to take an insurmountable 51-19 lead after three periods of play.
“We’re doing a good job on offense and we had a lot of players contributing again tonight,” Farmer said. “It’s good to have a balanced attack. We can build on that.”
Senior Anslee McDow, Marketta McIlwain and Summer Vick each netted nine points for the Lady Vols.
“We were close to having five players in double figures,” Farmer said. “We know we have a group who can shoot.”
Elizabeth Scott scored seven and McKenzie Horton tallied six. Jerrisha Crawford added four points.
McBee was led by Alisha Harmon’s 16 points, including three treys. Star Holloman hit 10 points.
In the nightcap, McBee used a key 14-2 run to open the final period to take control of the game.
McBee, up 27-24 at the break, held a narrow 36-35 edge going into the final eight minutes.
The Panthers ignited on a 14-2 surge to open the final period to gain a 50-37 lead on the Vols.
The Vols, behind senior Dustin Eddins, rallied to close the gap to six, 58-52, with 30 seconds to play, but couldn’t get closer.
Eddins netted 19 points, 13 in the second half, with 11 coming in the closing quarter.
The Vols had three field goals in the final period, but stayed close with a 12 of 16 effort at the foul line. AJ, for the game, hit 20 of 27 free throws.
“We were outplayed tonight,” AJ coach Danny Wright said. “McBee wanted it more and we didn’t play team ball. We will use our practice time to be ready for our region opener with Buford.”
Corey Walters hit eight, while Gervais Canty, Cameron McIsaac and Tray King had six points each. Dontarius James scored five and Jacob Ware added two points.
Quadarius Holloman led the Panthers with 19. Chandler Linton finished with 18.
Andrew Jackson opens region play Tuesday, January 14 when the Vols will host Buford.
The girls’ game tips off at 6 p.m., with the boys game at 7:30.
Buford dropped a pair of non-region road losses to Ben Lippen of Columbia on Friday, Jan. 10.
The Lady Jackets fell to the Lady Falcons, 40-29 and the BHS boys lost, 51-50 in the closing moments of play.