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INDIAN LAND – Third-ranked Indian Land took control in the second quarter and cruised to a solid 76-44 win over Eau Claire of Columbia in the opening round of the Class AA Upper State boys basketball playoffs on Thursday, Feb. 20.
The Warriors, 18-4, held a 20-14 lead on the Shamrocks after the opening period, but they got rolling in the pivotal second quarter on the way to the 32-point win at the IL gym.
Sophomore guard Darnell Rogers, IL’s top scorer, provided the spark, hitting 14 of his 24 points in the second period.
Rogers’ stellar play, part of a 20-point first half, sparked the Warriors in the second quarter.
“We executed well and had good guard play from Rogers, Hampton and Damien Foreman,” IL coach Nate Smith said.
Lee McCall hit 11 of his 16 points in the second period to also propel the Warriors key spree.
“We only have four players with playoff experience, so we were a little slow getting started, but as the game wore on, we were able to pick up the pace,” Smith said.
Indian Land, with a 29-9 second-period surge, forged a 49-23 halftime lead.
IL held a 57-30 lead after three periods before finishing strong for the lopsided win over the Shamrocks.
“This was a great win and a good start for us, but we have areas to work on,” Smith said. “In the third period, Brandon Barnes had a strong defensive effort to boost us.”
Rogers and McCall paced the Warriors, combining for 40 points, but IL had nine other players to score.
Derries Hampton hit eight, while Foreman and Brandon Barnes each netted six. Mike Webb finished with five and Quantra Taylor tallied four.
Mark Morton, Brandon Sellers and Ravon Dixon each had two points. Mark Truesdale added one.
Eau Claire, which finished 7-13, was led by Chris Dwyer’s 15 points.
The Warriors hosted Fairfield Central on Saturday night in Class AA Upper State second-round play.
Fairfield Central, the runner-up to Keenan in its region, opened the playoffs with a 73-55 win over Chesterfield.
Lady Warriors fall
The news wasn’t as good for the Lady Warriors, who dropped a 74-40 loss to Fairfield Central of Winnsboro in the opening round on Thursday, Feb. 20.
Chyna Moore hit 19 and Jada Martin netted 17 for FCHS. Raven Rivers added 11 for the Lady Griffins.
Indian Land, which finished 8-13, was led by Monae Brown’s 12 points. Jessica Reynolds netted eight and Mary McGunegle had seven. Kate Komorous tallied six.
Shalyn Dougherty had five and Bailey Penegar added two.
“I am proud of our accomplishments this season,” IL coach Natasha Farmer said. “We have really laid down the foundation and are going to look to do even bigger and better things next season.
“These girls have come a long way and have gone through many ups and downs, but were able to overcome a lot of things throughout the season to end up in the playoffs and that says a lot about this young team.”
Farmer noted three Indian Land High girls – Monae Brown, Kate Komorous and Jessica Reynolds – were selected to the All-Region IV-AA girls team earlier in the week.