Rodgers sparks IL in win over Piedmont

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Holiday Hoops Roundup

By Robert Howey



Indian Land launched play in the Holy Angels tournament with an exciting win.

The Warriors, 6-1 and ranked No. 8 in the latest Class AA boys state poll, rallied from a seven-point halftime deficit to post a 75-72 overtime win over the Piedmont Panthers of Union County, N.C.

The Warriors’ three-point win over the Panthers advanced IL to a second-round clash with host Charlotte Catholic.

The Catholic Cougars opened with a 74-65 win over Porter Ridge on Friday, Dec. 27.

The Warriors rallied in the second half behind guard Darnell Rodgers, who led IL with 41 – 35 in the second half. Rodgers drained six treys.

“I thought the key in the second half was that we played much better,” IL coach Nate Smith said. “We came out in the second half and used our pressure to force a lot of turnovers.

“I thought Lee McCall came on and played big on the boards,” Smith said. “Darnell hit some big shots for us.

“I really feel our strength of schedule has made a big difference,” Smith said. “We have played some outstanding teams since the season has begun and I feel that level of competition has helped our players improve.”

Rodgers led IL with 41. Lee McCall scored 12 and Derries Hampton hit nine points. Brandon Barnes hit six points and Quantra Taylor hit four points.

Mark Morton finished with three points for the Warriors in the win.

“This is a tough tournament, but that is what we wanted as we prepared for region play,” Smith said. “We know we have to play well. Our captains, Darnell Rodgers and Lee McCall, have given us good leadership.”

The three-day tournament, held at Charlotte Cathoic and Charlotte Latin, caps play Monday, Dec. 30.

“Our goal is to be in the championship game,” Smith said.

Due to The Lancaster News’ holiday deadlines, the Indian Land games from Saturday, Dec. 28 and Monday, Dec. 30, will be in the Wednesday, Jan. 1 edition.

Bruins fall to Cats

Lancaster dropped its tournament opener in the Capital City Classic at Keenan High School on Friday, Dec. 27 when Brookland-Cayce of Columbia topped the Bruins, 66-59.

Lancaster High, 4-7, dropped its third straight loss.

The Bearcats, up 25-19 late in the second quarter, finished the half on a 4-0 run to gain a 29-19 halftime lead on the Bruins.

Lancaster outscored B-C, 30-20 in regulation to tie the game at 49-all to force overtime.

The Bearcats outscored Lancaster, 17-10 in the extra period to gain the overtime win over LHS.

Bernard McCall paced the Bearcats with 15. Kenny Simmons scored 13 and Kyle Stinson scored 12.

Lancaster was led by senior guard Deuce Dunlap, who netted 28 points, 21 in the second half.

Kavonta Strain and Jay Hood each netted seven points.

Keont’e Mack hit six and Calvin Crawford had five.

Cameron Meadows and Lewis Johnson each tallied three points for LHS.

Lancaster returned to Keenan on Saturday, Dec. 28 to face Heathwood Hall in second-round play.

Due to holiday deadlines, see The News’ Wednesday, Jan. 1 edition for a full report on prep basketball holiday play.

The Lancaster High School girls, 5-4, 2-0, are idle over the holiday break.

The Buford Jackets and Indian Land Lady Warriors played in pre-Christmas holiday tournaments.

BHS went 1-2 in the Seahawk Invitational at Hilton Head. The IL girls were 0-2 in the Battle of the Border tournament at Forest Hills High School in Union County, N.C.

Lancaster returns to regular-season play Tuesday, Jan. 7 when LHS hosts Clover.

Buford visits Lewisville on Monday, Jan. 6.

AJ hosts North Central on Tuesday, Jan. 7, while Indian Land travels to Monroe, N.C., for a Jan. 7 with the Red Hawks.