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Seneca halts Gold stars' state title run

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By Robert Howey

Seneca halted the Lancaster County Gold all-stars’ state title hopes, taking a 62-48 win in the semifinals of the U-14 boys basketball tournament at the Howard gym in Georgetown on Saturday afternoon.Seneca followed the win over Lancaster County with a 41-39 victory over Southern District champion Orangeburg to capture the U-14 state crown.In the win over Lancaster County, Seneca’s Blake Earle hit 35 points to lead the Western District champions to the 14-point win. Demarcus Taylor scored 10 points.Ke’Anthony Foster led Lancaster County with 11 points. Kenny Blackmon followed, hitting 10 points. Lafayette Chavis chipped in nine points.Seneca led 20-10 after the opening period and held a 36-20 edge at the break. Seneca owned a 47-32 lead with a period to play.“Our guys played hard and just fell a little short,” said Lancaster County Gold stars coach Kirk Jackson, who saw his club go 2-1 in postseason play. “We shot for the stars and landed on a cloud. I’m still proud of them.“I think this level of competition will help the players prepare for next year and on into the future,” Jackson said. “Overall, it was a good experience for them.”Savon Davis hit eight points and Terian Scott added seven points for Lancaster County. Kewon Anthony had three points.The team also includes Quinterius Clinton, Montray Clyburn, Raheem Hough, Trey Payne, C.D. Pelham, Tywon Anthony and Mardarius Bailey.Jackson is assisted by Frank Massey and Taniel Massey.State tournament play opened Friday night when Florence, the Eastern District champion, downed tournament host Georgetown, 56-30.In the semifinals on Saturday, Orangeburg topped Florence 53-38 and Seneca downed Lancaster 62-48.“Earle is an outstanding player for Seneca and he was the difference in our game,” Jackson said.Host Lancaster earned a bid to the state tournament, capturing the Central District title with a 48-43 victory over Forest Lake of Columbia at the Springdale Recreation Complex.The Lancaster County stars opened district basketball tournament play with a 58-57 victory over North Springs of Columbia.