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The Lancaster Lady Bruins’ 37-26 win over Nation Ford wasn’t a hoops masterpiece, but the effort was more than enough to net a season’s goal – the Region III-AAAA championship.
The No. 6 Lady Bruins, 15-4, 12-0, took the region title – their first since 2005 – with the 11-point win over the Lady Falcons on Friday, Feb. 7 in the LHS gym.
“We had to grind it out,” LHS girls coach Ronnie Robinson said. “It was a tight game, but we did things right to get the win.”
Lancaster opened the game with an 8-5 first-period lead and extended its edge to eight, 17-9, at the half.
The Lady Bruins, who have posted 13 straight wins, owned a 25-16 lead after three quarters before taking the victory.
“Defense wins championships and that was true tonight,” Robinson said. “When we had to have stops, we made them.
“I’m ecstatic about this accomplishment,” he said. “Last year, after we lost in the playoffs, we set this as our goal because we wanted to play at home in the playoffs.
“Our girls have stayed true to themselves and their hard work has paid off,” Robinson said.
Senior guard Kyia Hough was the lone LHS player in double figures with 10 points and four assists.
Sophomore forward Keyotta Garris followed with eight points, four rebounds and two assists.
Senior center Phoebe Johnson scored five points and was the enforcer inside with four blocked shots and 11 rebounds to go with two assists.
Senior Aliyah Davis finished with six points and three steals.
Hayden Thorne hit four points and grabbed four boards. Kaliya Jackson and Mia Flowers added two points each. Kenyatta Robertson grabbed eight rebounds.
Taylor Yarborough, projected as the preseason region player of the year, was held to eight points to lead the Lady Falcons. Alixis Roccia had six and Sydney Adams added five.
In the boys’ game, Nation Ford earned the split with a 60-49 win over the LHS boys.
The Bruins, 7-16, 1-11, trailed by 15, 32-17, at the half before rallying in the second half.
Lancaster, with a 25-14 run, closed to within four, 46-42, on a Deuce Dunlap three-point play, but the Bruins couldn’t get any closer.
“I really was pleased with the way we fought back in the second half, especially with the play of our younger players,” LHS coach Ricardo Priester said. “It was disappointing to get the loss, but I was encouraged by the play from our younger players.”
Nation Ford, 12-11, 6-6, hit 26 of 39 at the foul line, while Lancaster was 3-5 at the stripe.
Riley Hilton hit 17, 11 in the first half, to lead NFHS. Mike Campbell netted 14, nine in the opening half.
Nehemiah McGriff led LHS with 10 points, four rebounds and two steals.
Keifon Cogdell had eight and Quasheon McCarter hit seven. Cordarious Tinsley tallied six and Taron Heath had five.
Lewis Johnson scored four and grabbed seven rebounds. Kavonta Strain, Dunlap and Taron Heath each had three points.
Dunlap had four assists and Heath grabbed five boards. Desmond Ricks added one point.
Lancaster hosts York on Tuesday, Feb. 11 for its annual Senior Night game.