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Rucker Rams sweep Mustangs

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Middle School basketball

By Eric Rowell

 

The A.R. Rucker Rams, by different methods, took two from the rival South Middle School Mustangs on Tuesday, Jan. 14 in the Lancaster High School gym.

The Rucker girls stayed unbeaten on the season with a 60-16 lopsided win over the Lady Mustangs in the opener.

In the boys’ game, Rucker posted a close 42-39 win.

South, sparked by Keal Ballard’s six points, forged a 33-27 lead heading into the final period. Rucker then picked up the pace, outscoring the South boys 15-6 in the fourth quarter to take the three-point win.

Desmond Stowers keyed the Rams as he tallied all five of his points in the final period.

A Stowers’ bucket tied the game at 37-all and then he put the Rams ahead with another basket for a 39-37 edge.

Stowers connected on a free throw to give Rucker a 40-37 lead and the Rams stayed on top for the victory.

“This was a good tight win for us and I was proud of the effort,” Rucker coach Lamont Elder said. “We were 2 of 16 at the foul line and we have to do better there.”

Kemarkio Cloud hit 13 to lead Rucker. Tybo Scott scored 10 and Damajac Ingram added eight points.

Stowers netted five and Kendrick Shropshire hit four points. Raekwon Sanders added two points.

Rucker opened a 10-5 lead after one period, but South rallied to close the gap, 17-15 at the half.

South, with an 18-10 run, led 33-27 with a period to play before the Rams rallied for the win.

“We didn’t rebound down the stretch and that hurt us,” South coach Jennifer Hardin said.

Zyquavion Brown led South with 10 points and Ji’Quan Stover tallied nine. Deunta Buchanan hit eight.

Ballard hit six and R’Keavious Barnes had four points. Shallah Savoy added two points.

In the girls’ game, Rucker built an early lead and cruised to the win.

The Lady Rams took a 19-3 lead after one period and extended the margin to 27-11 at the break.

Rucker used a 21-2 third-period surge to gain a 48-13 lead after three quarters.

Tikeyah Mackey hit 14 to lead Rucker, with six coming in the first period. Asia McCrorey hit six of her seven points in the opening stanza.

Keianna Howze hit 13 and Zaria Woods netted 11. ZyZy McIlwain, Tiesha Shannon and Makalah Jones each had four points. Lydia Plyler had two and Dariana Miller added one point.

“We handled the ball well and had great rebounding for second and third shots,” Rucker coach Ashley Berryhill said.

Baylee Evans led South with eight points and Summer Clinton chipped in five. Anari Price added three points.