Rallies key Bruins’ sweep

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Lancaster takes two from rival AJ Volunteers

By Robert Howey

KERSHAW – Visiting Lancaster used rallies to post a hoops sweep of rival Andrew Jackson on Friday night.

The Lady Bruins, down 24-18 at the half, picked up the pace to notch a 59-49 comeback win in the opener.

In the nightcap, the Bruins, down 9-1 early, responded to post an 85-57 win over the Vols.

AJ, in the boys game, came out blazing behind the play of sharpshooter Dustin Eddins, who led the Vols with 17, including five treys.

AJ led 9-1 in the early going, but the Bruins began to find their range and closed the gap to 17-14 after a period to play.

“AJ is well-coached and they came out and hit us in the mouth,” LHS coach Ricardo Priester said. “Coach Wright, in the short time he’s been leading this AJ team, has done well.

“It was a playoff-like atmosphere in here tonight,” Priester said. “Their guys played hard like they always do, but especially here. We weathered the storm and made some key adjustments.”

LHS, with a 16-3 flurry to open the second period got rolling behind junior ace Sindarius Thornwell, to take the lead for good and hold a 30-20 spread midway the period.

Thornwell, who finished with a game-high 40, netted 10 points in the key spree. Thornwell tallied 29 in the opening half, hitting an assortment of shots from deep treys to alley-oop dunks off timely feeds from senior guard Alan Robinson.

The Bruins, with a 31-12 second-period charge, took a 45-29 lead at the half.

LHS, making liberal use of its bench in the second half, held a 67-47 advantage after three periods.

“We had 13 players contribute and that was the key,” Priester said. “We have to have steady, consistent play from our starters and players on the bench. I was proud of the way we came back in a tough environment. This was a test and AJ gave us a battle.”

Thornwell led LHS with 40, including four treys – three in the pivotal second period.

KeAnthony Foster hit 15 points, 12 in the second half and Robinson scored 10. C.D. Pelham posted seven. DeMartae Simpson hit four and Terrell Rivers added three. Nate Bush, Shaq Williams and Markevias Hall scored two each.

AJ was led by Eddins’ 17. Avalon Truesdale scored 13. Wade Eubanks, who battled inside all night, scored eight. Bobby Delly finished with seven and Quincy Grier hit six.

Chris White, Lemarcus Bracey and Kolby Whitley had two each.

“I thought we fought them hard for two-and-a-half quarters,” AJ coach Danny Wright said. “Each game we’re getting better and better. I was pleased with the effort and I see a lot we can build on.”

In the girls’ game, Lancaster, trailing 24-18 at the break, charged in the second half to notch the 10-point lead.

The 1-3 Lady Vols held a 39-37 edge with a period to play, but the 1-1 Lady Bruins started to make their move behind the play of Phoebe Johnson and Tarah Tipton.

The inside tandem combined for 34 points and 22 rebounds.

Johnson tied the game at 39-all early in the final period and then Tipton tallied eight straight points for a 47-39 LHS edge.

Guard Kyia Hough followed with a steal and score for a 49-39 LHS lead.

“We came out timid early, but we picked up the pace and were more aggressive,” LHS coach Ronnie Robinson. “We were able to get some steals and easy baskets with our press.

“I thought Tarah Tipton hit some big shots for us at crucial times,” Robinson said. “They doubled on Phoebe and that left Tipton open for a shot.”

Tipton finished with 18, 13 in the second half to go with 11 boards. Johnson hit 16, nine in the final period, and grabbed 11 rebounds.

Hough netted 12, 10 in the second half, and six in the final period.

Chanda Nivens scored six points on a pair of treys. Sha’Ron Brunson hit four Shareese Ross had three.

AJ was paced by Sowell’s 18 points, 10 in the first half. Elizabeth Scott scored 11, seven in the opening half.

Summer Vick hit seven. Anslee McDow had four and McKenzie Horton tallied three.

Halle Thompson and Kantara Sowell had two each. Oxi Shropshire and Brandy Truesdale scored one point each.

“We were disappointed with the loss, but we were right with them for three quarters,” AJ coach Dennis Farmer said. “We tried to adjust with Johnson in there because she’s a factor.

“I thought Tipton came through with some big shots for them.

“Overall, we played well and we feel better about ourselves after the road game with McBee on Thursday night.”

AJ is on the road next week, traveling to Lewisville on Tuesday and visiting Lancaster for a rematch Friday.

The Bruins travel to South Pointe on Tuesday and host AJ on Friday.

Contact sports editor Robert Howey at 283-1157