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Lady Bruins lasso Stallions, playoff bid

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LHS girls face Ridge View

By Ernie Rowell

 

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The surging Lancaster High Lady Bruins punched their ticket to the Class AAAA Upper State basketball playoffs as a third seed after a 33-28 win over South Pointe on LHS senior night in the Bruins gym on Friday, Feb. 8.

The LHS girls, 11-10, 9-5, will open the playoffs at Ridge View High School on Tuesday, Feb. 12.

In the nightcap, the Bruins battled South Pointe to the wire before dropping a 68-55 loss to the Stallions, who captured the region championship with the win.

The LHS girls, in a tight game, gained the lead in the third period to take a 22-19 lead with a period to play.

The teams were locked in an 11-all draw at the break, but the Lady Bruins, who have lost only two games since returning from the holiday break, used an 11-8 run to take a 22-19 edge with a period to play.

“We didn’t have energy in the first half, but picked it up a little bit more in the second half,” LHS girls coach Ronnie Robinson said. “In the second half, we went to a man-to-man defense and we picked up the pace and played with a little more energy which gave us a spark in the second half.”

Shareese Ross hit seven of her eight points in the second half.

Senior Chanda Nivens paced the Lady Bruins with 12 points, six in each half. Nivens netted six in the final period, including a trey, when Lancaster took control of the game.

Lancaster High junior center Phoebe Johnson scored six points and Keyotta Garris hit four points. Hayden Thorne tallied two and Aliyah Davis added .

“We’re pleased to be in the playoffs, but we know we have to play a complete game,” Robinson said. “We have to play with a sense of urgency from start to finish.”

South Pointe was led by Ashley Jaggers, the lone SPHS player in double digits with 11 points.

In the nightcap, South Pointe wrapped up the region title with its 13-point win.

The Bruins, who finished 12-13, 4-10, trailed only 28-21 at the break, but the Stallions began to take control in the third period when they used a 23-16 charge to gain a 51-37 lead with a period to play.

South Pointe built the lead to as much as 16 points on two occasions, but the Bruins kept battling back.

The Stallions, in the final period, built a 57-37 spread with 6:27 to go, but Lancaster wouldn’t go away and sliced the gap to 63-53 with 2:36 to play in the game.

“We played a lot of young players and I liked the way they battled against a talented basketball team,” LHS coach Ricardo Priester said. “I like the way they competed and fought all the way to the last second. We made South Pointe earn every point tonight.

“We would like to be in the playoffs next week, but we fell short this season,” he said. “We have a good group coming back next season. It’s a young group, but I like the way they hustle and play hard. We can build on this effort tonight and I feel it shows these young players if they will come and play hard for the duration, we can have our share of success.”

Senior C.D. Pelham led LHS with 12 as did junior guard Duece Dunlap. Calvin Crawford hit six. E.J. Patterson, Keifon Cogdell, Tyshen Hammond , Keon Montgomery and Lewis Johnson each tallied four points.

Kevonte Strain scored three points for the Bruins.

South Pointe, which finished 20-1, including a 13-1 region mark, was led by P.J. Heath’s 23 points, 15 in the second half. Anthony Johnson hit 13 and Montel McCullough added 10.