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Warriors wrap up crown

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IL boys trip BHS, cap unbeaten region season

By Eric Rowell

 

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The Indian Land High boys basketball team put the wraps on an unbeaten region season with an impressive home win over county rival Buford High School on Warriors senior night Friday, Feb. 8.

IL, 21-2, capped a 10-0 region season with a 96-70 win over the visiting Jackets.

The Jackets managed a split as the Buford girls opened the varsity twin bill with a 66-46 win over the Lady Warriors.

The Indian Land boys took control of the game in the second period and steadily pulled away for the 26-point win.

The Warriors, up 21-16 after one period, ignited on the first of two 30-point periods, to gain a 51-36 lead at the half.

Indian Land freshman standout Rakym Felder, who hit a game-high 27 points, netted 17 in the second period when the Warriors began to take control. Felder nailed four treys in the Indian Land High victory.

“We hit our threes and we will need that going forward in the playoffs,” IL head coach Nate Smith said. “It’s nice to savor the win now, but we have to focus on next week.

“I will say it was a great win to have a perfect region record,” Smith said. “Our players and coaches have worked extremely hard to reach this goal.”

The Warriors continued to build on their lead in the third period when they went on a 30-11 surge to gain an 81-47 lead.

Warriors’ senior Haydan Sawyer, in his final regular-season home game, hit 21 points, with 11 coming in the third period. Sawyer, like Felder, drilled four treys on the night.

The Warriors had two others players in double figures, including Chris Barnes with 17 and senior Marty Cauthen, who netted 11 points, including three treys.

Connor Butler scored seven and Brandon Barnes scored five. Cameron Davis had four points. Dell Rivers and Lee McCall each had two points.

Buford, which finished 2-8, 8-10, was led by Kholby Pate’s 15 points. Nate Saxon scored 11 and Garrett Crenshaw, with three treys, hit nine points.

Dru Rollings and Corey Bracey each tallied eight points. Wade Lambert and Orantez Coleman each had six points. Mikeem McKinney netted three. Christian Joplin and Jesse Stacks supplied two points apiece.

“We played hard and we had a good effort off the bench,” Buford High School coach Neil Couch said. “We matched Indian Land’s intensity, but we couldn’t match their talent. Indian Land is just a good, talented basketball team.”

The Warriors will open Class AA Upper State postseason play on Wednesday, Feb. 13 when IL hosts North Central.

In the girls game, Buford was too much for the Lady Warriors, who fell to 0-10 in region play with the 66-46 loss.

The Lady Jackets, who went 11-10, 3-7, trailed 25-23 at the break, but rallied in the second half for the win.

Buford opened the game on a 9-0 run, but the Lady Warriors fought back and trailed 13-10 after one period.

Indian Land held a 25-23 lead at the break, but the Lady Jackets ignited on a 20-10 surge to gain a 43-35 lead heading into the final period where the Lady Jackets ignited on a 23-11 run to capture the 20-point win.

Buford took the lead for good with 2:37 left in the third period when Gabby Davis hit a bucket to put BHS up 33-31, to spark a key 12-4 spurt to close the final period.

Lady Jackets’ senior Carley Bailey paced the winners with 28 points, 18 in the second half – seven pints in the third period and 11 in the final quarter.

Gabby Davis hit 11 and Adrianna Ray added 10 for the Buford girls.

Erica Blackmon supplied seven. Tatyana Stewart scored four. Valerie Jones, Mikayla Hannah and Megan Deese each had two points.

“In the first half, Indian Land was able to dribble penetrate and hit their shots under the basket,” Buford coach T.J. Armbrust said. “We made adjustments in the second half and forced Indian Land to shoot the ball outside.”

The Lady Warriors were led by Jessica Reynolds who hit 21 points, 13 in the first half. Kendra Nesmith scored 11 and Kate Komorous tallied nine. Selena Stroble had three and Shalyn Dougherty netted two points.