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Indian Land’s two-night trip to Chesterfield County proved hoops fruitful on Friday, Feb. 1 and Saturday, Feb. 2.
The fifth-rated Warriors, in wins over Cheraw and Central of Pageland, took a major step toward their goal of a Region IV-AA basketball championship.
“That’s one of our goals this season,” IL coach Nate Smith said. “I think it’s been some 30 years since an Indian Land boys team won a region title, so that’s a major goal for us this season.”
Indian Land, 19-2, 8-0, defeated second-place Cheraw, 82-72 on Saturday night in a game which was originally set for Jan. 25, but moved to Feb. 2 with inclement weather.
Cheraw, looking to hand IL its first region loss this season, led 49-45 after three periods, but IL rallied with a torrid point fourth-quarter explosion to post the comeback win.
The Warriors, sparked by freshman guard Rakym Felder’s 16 fourth-quarter points, ignited for 37 points to take the 10-point win.
“We played Indian Land basketball tonight,” Smith said. “Our kids played great. A big key to our win was our defense. Our guards forced a lot of turnovers and steals and our transition gave us easy baskets.
“We picked up our intensity and that made a big difference,” Smith said.
Felder netted 39 points, 23 in the second half, with 16 in the final period.
Darnell Rodgers hit 18 points, 10 in the second half. Connor Butler finished with 10 and Lee McCall added nine.
IL senior guard Haydan Sawyer scored six points.
Cheraw, 13-6, 6-2, used a balanced attack to battle the Warriors.
Deon Sanders and Rashad Merriman each hit 14 points. Justin Chapman netted 13. Zac Sellers supplied 11. Dalvin Taylor and Derry McIver each tallied 10 points.
Indian Land improved to 7-0 in region play, taking a 79-63 win over Central of Pageland at the CHS gym on Friday, Feb. 1.
The Warriors held a 40-30 lead at the half, but the Eagles rallied to make it 52-47 after three periods.
Indian Land finished strong with a 27-16 surge in the final period to notch the 16-point win.
Chris Barnes aided IL in the final period, hitting all of his nine points.
Connor Butler, who hit nine, scored seven in the final period.
“We executed our offense in the final period, but we needed to because Central outplayed us for three periods” Smith said.
Rakym Felder hit 25 points, 17 in the first half, to pace the Warriors.
Lee McCall scored 13, eight in the opening half. Darnell Rodgers finished with 10.
Haydan Sawyer, Chris Barnes and Butler each had nine points.
Brandon Barnes and Darrell Rivers each hit two points.
Deaven Johnson led Central with 25. Deonte Chambers added 12 for the Eagles.
The Indian Land girls dropped a 70-60 loss to the Central girls in the varsity opener.
CHS led 35-32 at the break and used a 17-9 third-period spree to gain a 52-41 lead with a period to play and held on for the 10-point win.
Malia Rivers scored 30 to pace the Lady Eagles’ win. Prianca Little netted 23 and Kimani Myers added 12.
IL Shalyn Dougherty led a balanced attack with 15 points. Kate Komorous hit 12 and Kendra Nesmith tallied 11 points.
Jessica Reynolds and Asha McIlwain each had 10 points and eight rebounds for the Lady Warriors.
On Saturday, the Lady Warriors dropped a 76-31 loss to the Cheraw Lady Braves.
CHS built a 45-13 halftime lead on the way to the win over the Lady Warriors.
Alicia McIver hit 21 to lead the Lady Braves. Alexis Pitts scored 17.
Danesha McCray netted 13 and Crystal Owens added 11 for Cheraw.
Asha McIlwain led the Lady Warriors with 12. Shalyn Dougherty, Ashley Shelton and Jessica Reynolds each hit four points. Kate Komorous had three points.
Kendra Nesmith and Bailey Penegar tallied two points each.