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ROCK HILL – The Lancaster Lady Bruins, since returning from the holiday break, have been earning their hoops props with comeback wins.
The LHS girls, 5-8, rallied for their second straight Region III-AAAA basketball win, a 44-41 victory over South Pointe High School of Rock Hill on Friday, Jan. 11.
After charging back for a 43-27 road win over Fort Mill on Tuesday night, the Lady Bruins rallied to post the three-point win over the Lady Stallions to even the LHS girls’ region mark at 3-3.
The Lancaster boys also made a second-half charge, but fell short in the nightcap in a 70-56 loss to the No. 8 SPHS boys.
In the varsity opener, South Pointe started strong and led 14-7 after one period before Lancaster, on a 14-9 run, sliced the gap at the half, 23-21.
The Lady Bruins picked up the pace in the second half and forged a 32-31 spread with a period to play.
In the final period, Lancaster, with some clutch late play on both ends of the floor, held on to gain the win.
SPHS, with the ball in the final seconds, had a shot to possibly tie, but the Lady Bruins’ sticky defense denied the shot and Lancaster prevailed.
“We started slow to open the game, but in the second half we turned it up and played well,” LHS coach Ronnie Robinson said. “The key was our defense down the stretch when we had some key stops.
“I think the key was we picked up our energy in the second period to close the gap and that carried over to the second half and we finished strong for the win,” Robinson said.
Senior guard Chanda Nivens led LHS with 12 points and had three steals. Junior center Phoebe Johnson supplied nine points, 10 rebounds and four blocked shots.
Sha’Ron Brunson hit eight points and grabbed three rebounds. Keyotta Garris scored seven points, including the LHS girls’ final field goal, and had five boards. Aliyah Davis tallied five points. Shareese Ross netted a point and two steals, while Hayden Thorne and Keyotta Robertson each tallied a point and had three rebounds.
South Pointe, 5-7, 1-4, was led by Ashley Jaggers’ 12 points. Israelle Clark added seven.
In the nightcap, the Stallions stormed to a 42-22 halftime lead and appeared on the way to a lopsided win.
The Bruins had other ideas and clawed back in the second half.
Deuce Dunlap, who led LHS with 24, netted 15 in the second half when Lancaster rallied to make it 54-42 with a period to play.
South Pointe, 12-1, 5-1, responded to go up 60-42, but LHS answered with a 10-0 spurt to make it an eight-point game, 60-52.
Dunlap drilled two treys and Marquivious Hall and Demarte Simpson each had a bucket to make it an eight-point game with 4:30 to play.
South Pointe steadily built its lead back to take the win.
“Our guys battled all the way no matter what the score was,” LHS coach Ricardo Priester said. “We didn’t do the little things we needed to do and South Pointe responded by making plays.”
Dunlap, who hit six treys, led LHS with 24. Shai McCain tallied 14 points, 10 in the second half. Calvin Crawford had six points.
Demarcus Montgomery and Hall scored three points each. Jay Hood, Kavonta Strain and Simpson hit two points apiece.
Anthony Johnson led SPHS with 21, 10 in the second half. Marveon Mobley hit 14, 11 in the first half.
Montez McCullough and Tay Blake each scored nine points. Dylan Burton added seven.
Lancaster is home to face region foe York on Monday at 6:30 p.m., with the boys game at 7:45. LHS travels Rock Hill to battle Northwestern High School on Friday night.