Warriors top Jackets twice

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IL boys cap 10-0 region; Girls net bid

By Heath Joplin



BUFORD – Strong finishes propelled Indian Land to a regular season-ending hoops sweep of Region IV-AA rival Buford on Monday, Feb. 17 in the BHS gym.

The Warriors completed the hardwood broom job with a 60-43 win to give the third-ranked IL boys a perfect finish in region play with a 10-0 record.

The Lady Warriors also charged late to earn a 50-31 victory over the Lady Jackets to net a Class AA Upper State playoff berth.

Indian Land boys coach Nate Smith noted the Warriors’ 17-point win was a landmark triumph, with the IL boys capping a 10-0 region season with back-to-back region crowns.

The Warriors’ win didn’t come easy as IL held a 25-23 lead at the half before charging in the second half to post the solid victory.

IL, 17-4, began to take control in the third period, using a 13-6 surge to gain a 38-29 lead with a quarter to play.

In the final period, the Warriors outscored the Jackets, 22-14 to take the win.

Mike Webb’s 10 points in the final period keyed the Warriors.

Derries Hampton hit 22, 13 in the first half, to lead the Warriors. Lee McCall scored 11 points, six in the first half. Mike Webb netted 10. Mark Morton had five and Damien Foreman chipped in three.

Quantra Taylor, Brandon Barnes, Brandon Sellers and Tellon Patton-Glenn each had two points. Charlie Webb tallied one.

The Warriors played without sophomore point guard Darnell Rogers, who didn’t dress for the game.

“I think this is the first time to win back-to-back region titles,” Smith said. “I’m proud of our regular season, but we’re not satisfied. The road to Columbia (for the state title) goes through those Columbia area teams and we want the challenge of playing those tough teams.”

Buford, 9-13, 3-7, was led by Orantez Coleman and Kholby Pate who had nine points each. Corey Bracey scored eight and Garrett Crenshaw hit seven.

Tomas Hayden had three. Wade Lambert, Christian Joplin and Druw Rollings each scored two and Rhylee Blackmon added one.

“We played with great effort,” said BHS assistant coach Tripp Watts, who coached the Jackets with BHS head coach Neil Couch absent with the flu.

“We played hard for three quarters, but you have to put together four complete quarters against a great team like Indian Land,” Watts said.

The loss ended Buford’s season, while IL, as the region champion, will be home to face Eau Claire of Columbia, a fourth seed out of Region III, on Thursday, Feb. 20.

In the girls’ game, the Lady Warriors used a torrid finish to notch their 50-31 victory over the Buford girls.

The IL girls’ 19-point victory earned them a playoff berth to face Region III-AA champion Fairfield Central of Winnsboro on Thursday.

Indian Land, 8-12, 4-6, was locked in a tight game with the Lady Jackets, but ignited in the final 4:40 to reel off a key 19-3 spree to gain the win. Indian Land sparked the late surge, scoring the game’s final 16 points.

IL, up 18-12 at the half, outscored BHS 8-5 in the third period to hold a 26-17 lead with a quarter to play.

The Lady Jackets outscored IL, 11-5 to make it 31-28, but the Lady Warriors responded on their pivotal 19-3 surge to notch the victory.

IL’s Kate Komorous, who hit 13 points, scored nine of her 11 second-half points in the final period.

“We played with great intensity for four quarters and we need to take that same intensity to Fairfield Central on Thursday night,” IL coach Natasha Farmer said. “It was good to get a road win as we head to the playoffs. That’s a plus.”

Jessica Reynolds, who led IL with 15, scored nine first-half points. Komorous followed with 13 and Monae Brown had 10, five in each half. Mary McGunegle had five and Shalyn Dougherty scored four. Tianah Miller hit two and Raygon Moore added one.

Buford, 7-14, 1-9, was led by Gabby Davis’ 13 points, nine in the second half. Hanna Robinson scored six and Autumn Rabon had four. Jasona Ballard, Ashley Roberts, Valerie Jones and Betty Ingram each had two points.

“Our girls played well in spurts, but didn’t put it together for four quarters,” BHS coach T.J. Armbrust said. “I thought we played hard for four quarters.”