Warriors spear Cyclones

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Sawyer keys Warriors in road victory

CHESTER – The Indian Land Warriors have played a challenging preseason basketball schedule to prepare for competitive play in Region IV-AA.

It’s been tough, but in their final game before embarking on region play this week, Indian Land’s boys came up big in a road game with Class AAA Chester High School.

The Warriors, 3-8, topped the Cyclones, 72-64 to give the IL teams a split in the varsity twin bill on Saturday night.

The Warriors were able to gain the early lead and stayed in control for the eight-point road win.

The Warriors owned a 21-19 lead after one period and took a 36-30 edge at the half.

Rashid McGriff, who scored  22 points, netted 14 in the opening half to trigger the Warriors.

In the second half, IL’s top scorer Hayden Sawyer took over, hitting 23 of his game-high 33 points.

“Our guards played well for us and we did a good job of shutting down their three-point shooters on the perimeter,” said IL coach Nate Smith.

“We needed to come out and play well before opening our region schedule and we did,” Smith said. “We needed some momentum heading into region play.”

Chris Barnes and Quran McMillan tallied four points each.

Marty Cauthen, Drew Richardson and Cameron Davis each scored three points for the Warriors.

“We can build on this effort,” Smith said.

In the opener, the Lady Warriors, 2-10, battled Chester, but the Lady Warriors fell to the CHS girls, 44-37.

The Lady Cyclones, up 13-7 after the first period, used an 11-3 second-quarter run to take a 24-10 lead at the half.

Chester held a 36-18 edge with a period to play, but the Lady Warriors finished strong with a 19-8 run in dropping the seven-point defeat to the Lady Cyclones.

“I was pleased with our second-half effort,” Indian Land High School first-year girls coach John Phillips said “If we can take that second-half effort and play like that in our region games, we will be in each game.

“We’re young, but we have to grow and learn,” he said.

Khadijah Sistare led the Indian Land girls with 13 points, seven in the second half.

Jessica Floyd hit 12 points, 10 in the second half for the Lady Warriors.

Kendra Nesmith and Shalyn Dougherty each tallied five points.

Toi Lathan added two points to round out the IL scoring.

Diamond Simpson hit 14 points to lead the Lady Cyclones, who were coming off a home loss to Class AAAA foe Lancaster High School the previous night.

Indian Land opened region play, hosting county foe Andrew Jackson on Tuesday night.

 Indian Land hits the road for region play Friday when the Warriors travel to Cheraw.