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Vols, Warriors split tilts

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IL boys, AJ

By Ernie Rowell

 

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INDIAN LAND – Indian Land and Andrew Jackson each sport teams ranked in the S.C. Basketball Coaches Association top 10 state poll.

Friday night, each elite squad showed why.

The No. 6 Warriors, 15-2, 4-0, rolled to a 91-67 win over the Vols for a home split.

The No. 6 AJ Lady Vols flexed their hoops muscles early and cruised to a 67-44 win over the Lady Warriors.

The boys game saw the Warriors reach the 90-point plateau for the second time in four days in their 24-point win over the Vols.

The Warriors built a 44-32 halftime lead as Darnell Rodgers hit 13 points and Haydan Sawyer, who recently passed the 1,000-point career point plateau, netted 12 of his team-high 24 points.

The Warriors kept building on their lead to gain a 62-47 spread after three quarters.

IL freshman Rakym Felder, who along with Rodgers each hit 20 points, netted seven third-quarter points to boost the Warriors.

“We’ve had some good practices this week and this was a total team effort,” IL coach Nate Smith said. “Tonight was our night and I felt it was one of our better games this season.

“The key was our defensive play which we used to trigger our offense,” Smith said. “Andrew Jackson is a solid team and we knew we had to come out and play a strong game from the opening tap to the final whistle. We played well, but we have to keep it up because the region road is rugged.”

The Warriors finished strong, outscoring the Vols, 29-20.

Sawyer scored eight points in the final eight minutes, hitting a pair of treys. Indian Land nailed eight treys on the night.

Sawyer led four Warriors in double figures with 24, while Felder and Rodgers each scored 20. Connor Butler hit 10.

Lee McCall supplied eight and Chris Barnes scored five. Cameron Davis and Marty Cauthen each had two points.

AJ junior ace Quadarius Fair led the Vols, 10-6, 2-2, with a game-high 26, 14 in the second half.

Cameron McIsaac tallied 14, 11 in the first half, and two treys on the night. Avalon Truesdale scored 12, nine in the second half. Dustin Eddins hit seven and Wade Eubanks added five. Nick Cathcart chipped in two points. Deshawn Kirkland added one point.

In the varsity opener, the Lady Vols started strong and stayed in control in notching their 23-point win.

Bre Wright, who led AJ with 21 points – 13 in the second half, along with Elizabeth Scott keyed AJ early with six first-period points.

“Our good start was a key since we were on the road against a region and county opponent,” AJ coach Kelly Phillips said. “We were able to play a lot of people and they responded and contributed to our win.”

The Lady Volunteers, 11-3, 3-1, owned a 33-11 spread at the half and rolled on to the region win. Scott netted 16, nine in the first half, and drilled four treys. Summer Vick, tallied 14, 10 in the second half, and connected on a pair of threes.

McKenzie Horton hit 10, six in the second period. Brantley Ussery scored three and Lauren Rowell had two. Brittany Harris added one.

Indian Land, 2-13, 0-4, was led by Asha McIlwain, who hit 12, nine in the second half. Mi’Asia McCarter scored eight points, including two threes. Shalyn Dougherty and Kate Komorous each netted seven.

Kendra Nesmith netted five and Jessica Reynolds finished with three. Selena Stroble supplied two.

“Our slow start really hurt us,” Indian Land girls coach Natasha Farmer said. “I thought we came out in the second half and played better.

“We’re a young team and we’re still learning our roles and working as a team,” she said.

Indian Land travels to Buford on Tuesday night when plays opens at 6 p.m.

AJ visits Pageland to battle the Eagles at 6:30 p.m.