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KERSHAW – The No. 5 Indian Land Warriors got rolling in the final two periods to stay unbeaten in Region IV-AA boys basketball play Friday, Jan. 24 at the Andrew Jackson High School gym.
The Warriors’ second-half surge gave IL a split of the league twin bill after the No. 7 Lady Volunteers took a 47-41 win in the opener.
In the boys’ game, Andrew Jackson, 4-13, 1-3, battled IL tough for two periods before the Warriors took control behind captain Darnell Rogers, who hit 18 of his 22 points in the second half.
Indian Land owned a 36-31 lead at the half before picking up the pace for a 73-50 win over the Vols.
“We picked up the intensity and we executed better in the second half,” IL coach Nate Smith said. “Coming off a home loss to Monroe on Wednesday night, this was a good win for us.
“We found a way to finish strong,” Smith said.
A key 12-0 IL run in the third quarter helped the Warriors take a 50-36 spread.
IL held a 52-38 lead going into the final period, and AJ could only get as close as eight, 52-44, and the Warriors took the win.
Rogers hit 12 of his 18 second-half points in the final period to key the Warriors’ decisive surge.
“We talked at the half about going out and doing a better job of executing,” Smith said. “That played a big role for us.”
Rogers had plenty of support in helping the 11-4 Warriors push their region mark to 4-0.
Lee McCall netted 21 and Damien Foreman had 11. Mark Morton and Quantra Taylor each scored six points. Brandon Barnes had five and Derries Hampton added two points.
Senior guard Dustin Eddins led AJ with a game-high 26, 16 in the first half. Cameron McIsaac had nine and Dontarius James supplied eight points.
Corey Walters had three, while Gervais Canty and Austin Truesdale each finished with two points.
“We executed and played as a team for three quarters,” AJ coach Danny Wright said. “We haven’t been able to finish. We had a lot of breakdowns and we have to learn to play in the fourth quarter.
“I do appreciate the fans coming out and supporting us to the end,” he said.
AJ led 18-16 after one period, but IL used a 20-13 second-period surge to gain a 36-31 lead at the half.
The Warriors outscored the Vols 16-7 in the third period to hold a 52-38 lead with a stanza to go.
In the girls game, the AJ Lady Vols were able to gain the win despite a late Lady Warriors’ surge.
The Lady Vols were able to hold the lead to stay undefeated in region play.
AJ owned a 38-28 lead with a period to go and protected the margin down the stretch.
A Monae Brown trey with three minutes to play made it, 43-39. AJ’s Anslee McDow netted a free throw for a 44-39 lead, but IL’s Kate Komorous scored to make it a three-point game, 44-41.
AJ senior Dareisha Sowell hit a free throw and added a late bucket to give the Lady Vols the six-point win.
Elizabeth Scott led AJ, 13-3, 4-0, with 15 points, 12 in the first half.
Sowell scored 11, nine in the second half.
Summer Vick hit eight and Jerrisha Crawford had six. Anslee McDow finished with three.
Mary Kelsie Broughton and Hailley Burton each had two points.
Indian Land’s Brown continued her recent solid play with 13 points and Jessica Reynolds hit 11. Shalyn Dougherty and Kate Komorous scored seven points apiece for the Lady Warriors.
Bailey Penegar posted two points and Tianah Miller had one point for IL, 5-9, 1-3.
“We had some positives tonight,” IL girls assistant coach Ziggy Barjona said. “I hate to lose, but we competed, If we keep competing like that, we will win our share of games.”
Indian Land High hosts county rival Buford High School in region play on Tuesday, Jan. 28, while Andrew Jackson is at home to face Central High of Pageland.