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KERSHAW – Buford launched play in the annual Comporium Christmas Classic with a 39-35 win over Chesterfield on Tuesday afternoon at Andrew Jackson High School.
The Lady Jackets built a 12-point lead, 39-27, with three minutes to play, but the Lady Rams used a late spurt to slice the gap to four.
Chesterfield, in the waning seconds, was able to get a steal, but the Lady Rams were unable to get off a shot and Buford held on for the win.
“We played well,” Buford coach T.J. Armbrust said. “I have a lot of respect for Chesterfield and its coach. They’re always ready to play. Our defense was the key and we did a good job of capitalizing on their turnovers. Our intensity was real good today.
Buford used a balanced attack to net the win.
“I like the way we spread the ball around,” Armbrust said. “We showed a lot of teamwork in getting this win. We’ve got to keep that up and have another solid effort today.”
Kendall Boone and Carley Bailey each hit 10 points to pace the Buford attack. Boone scored five in each half, while Bailey tallied six in the opening half.
Hannah Knight scored seven and Daphne Honeycutt chipped in six points.
Erica Blackmon had four and Catie Rowell finished with two points.
Buford broke from an 8-all tie after one period to forge a 20-16 halftime edge. Buford was up 27-23 after three periods and used a 12-4 run in the final period to build its lead.
Chesterfield rallied late, but the Lady Jackets held the upper hand for the victory.
Chesterfield was led by Yaseen Joines’ 14 points, eight in the first half. Anna Louise Bittle scored eight points for the Lady Rams.
Buford advances to the girls title game today at 6 p.m. when the Lady Jackets face either host Andrew Jackson or North Central.
Chesterfield plays in the girls’ consolation game at 3, with the boys consolation game at 4:30. The girls’ title game is at 6, with the boys championship game at 7:30.
A five-member all-tournament team will be picked along with a tournament most valuable player for the girls and boys games.
Due to The News’ holiday deadlines, other first-round games will be in the Friday paper.
Lady Warriors fall
The Indian Land Lady Warriors fell in the opening game of the Exxon On The Run basketball tournament at York High School on Tuesday afternoon.
The host Lady Cougars rallied in the second half for the comeback victory over the Lady Warriors.
Indian Land, the runner-up in the Y.C. Winborn Memorial basketball tournament last week at Rock Hill High School, held a 20-17 halftime edge, but York ignited for a 19-8 surge to take a 36-28 edge with a period to play.
York kept the upper hand for the 10-point win.
“We were plagued by foul trouble,” said IL coach Tamara Jacobus of the loss.
Brittany Merriweather led the Lady Cougars with 15 points.
The Lady Warriors were paced by senior guard Mariah Williams, who netted 13 points. Jessica Floyd finished with 12.
Brittney Montgomery hit seven and Kelsey Young chipped in six points.
Indian Land opened with a 13-10 lead after one period and kept its three-point edge, 20-17, at the half before York made its key rally in the third period to gain the lead for good.
Indian Land returns to York today for a 12:30 p.m. game in the consolation round.
The Lady Warriors played without the services of senior Hannah Harris, who suffered a severely sprained ankle in the early stages of the Winborn tournament championship game with Northwestern High School last week.
Harris did receive a tournament honor as she was presented the scholar athlete award, a $500 scholarship.
Following IL’s play in the York tournament, the Warriors return to regular-season play on Tuesday when they host Class A foe Chesterfield to tip off the 2011 portion of their varsity basketball schedule.