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Quick start sparks Cats sweep of LHS

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Eric Rowell
For The Lancaster News
Rock Hill made the most of a visit to the Lancaster High Bruins’ Den, downing host LHS twice for a Region III-AAAA hardwood sweep.
The Bearcats, ranked No. 10 in Class AAAA boys, used a fast start to notch a 73-57 win over the Bruins in the nightcap.
The LHS girls fell in the opener, dropping a 52-51 loss.
Rock Hill, keyed by the play of Jaylen Reid, shot to a 20-9 lead after one period and held a 33-20 edge at the half. Reid hit 14 of his game-high 19 points in the first half.
The Bearcats owned a 53-34 lead after three periods, but the determined Bruins wouldn’t go away.
Lancaster used a 20-11 surge to slice the RHHS boys’ lead to 10 with just over two minutes to play.
“Our effort was solid and I liked the way we battled all the way,” LHS coach Ricardo Priester said. “We made a solid run to cut it to 10, but we couldn’t get over the hump.
“We probably burned a lot of energy making that charge at the end,” he said.
C.D. Pelham’s jam and four straight points from Demarcus Montgomery sliced the RHHS lead to 10, 64-54, but the Bearcats spurted with a 9-3 spree to seal the road victory.
Warren Vinson, who hit 16 points, tallied six in the final period to boost Rock Hill.
The Bearcats netted 15 of 20 free throws in the final period to aid the victory.
Reid hit 19, including three treys. Nate Motley scored 12, five in the final quarter.
Lancaster, 6-4, 1-2, was led by Pelham’s 16, nine in the second half. Montgomery scored 12, six in the final period. He hit 8 of 8 at the line for the game. Deuce Dunlap tallied 11, eight in the fourth period. Demarte Simpson hit seven. Terrell Rivers hit five. Jay Hood, Shai McCain and Marquivious Hall had two points each.
“Rock Hill came ready to play,” Priester said. “They were the better team tonight. The key was they established themselves on the boards which gave them too many second and third shots.”
In the girls game, Rock Hill rallied for a 52-51 win.
The game was deadlocked at 39-all after three periods, but Rock Hill outscored the Lady Bruins, 13-12 in the final eight minutes for the comeback win.
Lancaster opened a 20-10 lead after the opening period and took a 28-23 lead at the half.
The Lady Bearcats outscored Lancaster 16-11 in the third period to tie the game at 39.
“We let Rock Hill back in the game after we had the chance to put them away,” Lancaster High coach Ronnie Robinson said. “That was disappointing because this was a game we could have won, but we let it slip away.”
Sha’ Ron Brunson led the LHS girls, 2-5, 1-2, with 15 points. Chanda Niven netted 10 points.
Keyotta Garris hit eight points and grabbed five rebounds. Tilandra Staton scored five points and Phoebe Johnson netted four points with seven rebounds. Johnson was held scoreless in the second half.
Aliyah Davis chipped in three. Shareese Ross, Alexis Williams and Hayden Thorne each had two points.
Rock Hill was led by Zy’Kia Knox, who scored 16. Asia Potts posted 10 and Alexis Ervin added nine.
Lancaster caps pre-holiday hoops play with a region road trip to Clover on Tuesday night.
Both Lancaster teams will play in the first Breast Cancer Awareness tournament at Fairfield Central High School in Winnsboro after Christmas.
The boys tourney runs Dec. 26-29, while the girls event is Dec. 27-29.
The LHS boys face Camden on Dec. 26 at 4:30 p.m. The Lady Bruins meet Airport High of Columbia on Thursday, Dec. 27 at 4:30 p.m.