South tops Rucker in hoops sweep

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Mustangs down Rams twice

By Eric Rowell

South Middle School’s basketball teams each took a different direction, but went home with the same result – on the north end of the final score of a pair of games with rival A.R. Rucker.

The South Middle Mustangs swept to a pair of wins over the rival Rams at the Lancaster High School gym on Wednesday night. The Lady Mustangs, who capped a 14-0 hoops season, rallied for a thrilling 45-43 win, while the South boys took a 54-28 victory.

The games were played at the LHS gym to handle the overflow crowd for the second of two clashes this season.

The South girls, who edged the Lady Rams 30-29 in their first clash in December, posted a similar win in the second meeting.

Tashida Scott hit a last-second shot to seal the Lady Mustangs’ victory in the first game.

Ditto for Phoebe Johnson, who netted a layup just before the buzzer to lift the South girls to an exciting 45-43 win.

Johnson scored eight points, six in the final half.

Rucker came out determined to earn some revenge as the Lady Rams forged an 11-5 lead after one period and took a 25-19 spread at the half.

South used a 14-7 surge in the pivotal third period to forge a 33-32 advantage with a period to play.

“We didn’t rebound well in the first half and we got in some foul trouble, but we turned it up in the second half,” South  coach Amanda Mings said.

Scott led the winners with 15 points, nine in the first half. Kyia Hough and Johnson scored eight points each. Shareese Ross, Kadedra Strain and Brittany Reese each hit four points. Kayla Staton added two points.

Rucker was led by Chanda Nivens and Angel Mickles, who tallied 12 points each. Shavontai Graham hit six and Sha’ Ron Brunson chipped in five. Aliya Byrd supplied four points. Jizmine Williams and Toni Ellis added two points each for the Lady Rams, who finished 12-2.

“Our girls played hard, but the third quarter hurt us,” Rucker coach Sandra Meadows said. “We struggled in the third period and didn’t hit our shots.”

In the boys’ game, the Mustangs earned a measure of revenge with their 26-point win. South, up 15-7 after one quarter, held a 27-16 spread at the half.

The Mustangs ignited in the second half when they outscored the Rams 27-12.

“We came out and executed the whole game and did what we had to do,” South Middle  coach Justin Thomas said.

The Mustangs, who finished 12-2, were paced by Sindarius Thornwell, who scored 21 points – 12 in the first half. Terrell Ingram netted 17, nine in the second half. Terrel White and David Hilton tallied four points each. Trey Payne and Kaderrious Jackson hit three points each. Rodney Thompson added two points.

Rucker, which defeated South 32-31 in the first meeting this season, was paced by Gabe Glover’s 10 points. Jaden Driggers hit six. Glenn Thompson and Benjamin Dunlap had four points apiece. Ja’Miara Boulware and Peyton Brumfield added two points each.

“I thought our team had a good effort out there, but we just couldn’t get our shots to fall,” Rucker coach Lamont Elder said.