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The Lancaster Bruins used a decisive half in each game to register a doubleheader sweep of the rival Andrew Jackson Volunteers in the LHS gym on Friday night.
The Lady Bruins, in the varsity opener, built an early lead and had to hang on against a scrappy Lady Vols’ team in a 55-39 win.
In the nightcap, the Bruins, against a determined AJ squad, ignited in the second half to take a 52-16 win over the Vols.
LHS picked up the pace in the second half to outscore the Vols 33-5 for the victory.
AJ, bidding for the upset, battled the Bruins to a 5-all tie after one period. Lancaster, with a late first-half run, was able to forge a 19-11 edge at the break.
“In a rivalry game, you know the records don’t matter and it’s what you do on the court,” LHS coach Ricardo Priester said. “A Dale Reeves team is going to compete hard as they did tonight and you have to match that.
“We came out in the second half and were able to get control of the game and build on it,” Priester said.
The Bruins took control in the third period with a 15-4 run for a 34-15 lead with a quarter to go.
Midway the third period, the Vols notched their first bucket of the second half to make it 24-13, but then the Bruins clawed back with a 10-2 surge to gain a 34-15 lead.
A Tremaine Jackson bucket sliced the LHS lead to 26-15, but the Bruins used a Nate Bush trey, Ron Trapps hoop and Sindarius Thornwell three-point play to put LHS up, 34-15.
“I was encouraged by our first half play and we did a good job of keeping the tempo to our pace,” AJ coach Dale Reeves said. “Lancaster is bigger, faster and stronger and that made a difference.”
Thornwell tallied 20, 11 in the first half, to lead LHS. Trapps finished with 10 points.
Qua Duncan scored six and Bush scored five. Lorenzo Scott hit three. Alan Robinson, KeAnthony Foster, Brien Clyburn and C.D. Pelham each hit two.
Jackson led AJ with 11 points. Drew Gardner had four and Chris Harris added one.
“We weren’t pleased with the final result, but we had some bright spots for a young team,” Reeves said. “We can build on this effort.”
In the girls’ game, Lancaster fashioned a 32-16 lead at the break, but AJ didn’t wilt.
The Lady Vols battled back and chopped the Lancaster lead to eight, 42-34 midway through the final period.
Lancaster surged behind Kyia Hough, who had two buckets, and a Tarah Tipton hoop to build a 50-34 lead.
“We shot the ball well in the first half,” LHS coach Ronnie Robinson. “I was pleased with the effort. We had a team effort which helped us keep the lead.
“Andrew Jackson is a much-improved team over last year,” Robinson said. “They didn’t get down, but kept playing to get back in the game. We got a little complacent, but then we starting contesting shots and that made a difference.”
Hough and Tipton each hit 11 points to pace LHS, 2-0.
Hough’s points came in the second half, with seven in the final period. Hough added six steals, five assists and four rebounds. Tipton had 10 rebounds. Sharon Brunson had 10 points. Chanda Nivens netted seven. Torri Cunningham, A’Kiedra Frasier and Shannon Truesdale had four each. Brittany Reese and Aliya Davis added two points each.
AJ was led by Ashleigh Aiello with nine. Elizabeth Scott scored eight. Ashley Williams and Dareisha Sowell netted five. Bree Wright and McKenzie Horton had four each. Halle Thompson and Rebecca Johnson added two apiece.
“We didn’t execute in the first half, but we did better in the second half,” AJ coach Dennis Farmer said. “The first half was the difference. Against a good team you have to play four solid quarters.
“In the second half, we showed heart and learned a lot about ourselves.”
Lancaster hosts South Pointe on Monday and Lugoff-Elgin on Wednesday.
AJ hosts McBee on Tuesday and Lancaster on Friday night at 6 for the girls’ game.