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Roundball revenge highlighted play in the packed Lancaster High School gym on Thursday night when middle school rivals A.R. Rucker and South avenged earlier losses to their hardwood foes.The SMS Mustangs, in the nightcap, rebounded from their lone loss, handing rival Rucker its first defeat this season in a 45-42 comeback win.In the opener, Rucker’s girls downed South in a 34-31 revenge victory.The boys’ game saw the Mustangs, who finished 13-1, use a torrid rally to take the three-point comeback win.South, down 37-28, went on a 17-5 run in the final 3:35 to take the win.“I’m proud of our team,” South coach Justin Thomas said. “We stayed poised and calm. Execution was the key for us.“We played smart and remained focused in a pressure-packed game,” Thomas said.Rucker, seemingly taking control of the game, used an 8-2 run to open the final period to build a 37-28 lead on SMS.South, which dropped a 44-33 loss to the Rams in the first meeting, then ignited on a decisive 11-0 run to take a 39-37 lead. Breshawn Reed’s three-point play – a basket and free throw – put South up 39-37 and the fast-finishing Mustangs protected the lead.Brien Clyburn keyed the Mustangs with 17 points, eight in the final period.Rucker battled to the wire and had a shot with an inbounds play under its basket with 1.2 seconds to play, but couldn’t convert. South, which finished 13-1, added a late free throw to seal the win.“South did a good job down the stretch,” said Rucker coach Brian Hammond, who saw the Rams’ 13-game win streak end with the defeat. “It was a tough loss, but a great season. I thought we did a good job of picking up the pressure to get back in the game. We battled all the way.”South, up 13-10 after one period, led 21-17 at the break. The Rams rallied to take a 29-26 lead with a period to play, but South prevailed with its decisive 19-13 fourth-period charge.Clyburn’s 17 points led South. Reed followed with eight. Brandon Reese and Alan Robinson added seven points each. Shaq Elder hit three and Davarius Foster had two points. Kaderrious Jackson added one point.Shaq Williams led the Rams with 17, 15 in the second half. Jamal McClinton scored 11 and Andre Foulks hit six. James Crawford scored four. Chris Stevenson and Shawn McCrorey added two points each.n The Rucker girls avenged an earlier loss to South, taking an exciting 34-31 win in the opener.The Lady Rams used clutch free throws to seal the three-point victory over the Lady Mustangs, who defeated Rucker 30-24 in the first meeting this season.Rucker snapped a 31-all tie with less than a minute left, hitting three crucial free throws.In the final 56 seconds, Chanda Nivens, who led the Lady Rams with 14 points, hit two free throws and Sharon Brunson added another free toss to lift Rucker to the win. Rucker, up 20-15 at the break, held a 25-23 lead going into the final period.South’s Shanyse Fraizer hit a free throw with 1:23 to tie the game at 31-all, but the Lady Rams responded at the line in the final 56 seconds.“We kept our composure at the end of the game,” Rucker coach Sandra Meadows said. “We did a good job of hitting our free throws. Defensively, we kept the pressure on and forced needed turnovers. Good defense wins games.”Rucker, 12-2, was led by Nivens, who scored eight of her game-high 14 points in the final half. Aliya Byrd tallied six. Brunson had five and Mary Beth White added four points. Tori Cunningham netted three points and Angel Mickel had two points.Shanyse Fraiser and Tashida Scott hit nine points each to pace South, which finished 11-3.Akedra Fraizer had five points. Shantail Evans and Megan Eades added four apiece.“We hung in there to the end and were in good position to win, but just couldn’t pull it out,” South coach Amanda Mings said.