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Knights cannot overtake AJ in closing seconds of loss; L-E swept by Vikes, CHS postponed

Posted: December 17, 2011 12:13 p.m.
Updated: December 19, 2011 5:00 a.m.

With less than 15 seconds left in the game, North Central looked as if it had run out of chances in trailing rival Andrew Jackson, 52-48.

But it was the visiting Volunteers which had to wait to exhale as NC had a chance to tie and/or win the game at the free throw line. Unfortunately for the Knights, the foul line was not the place to be.

"We had the potential of making five free throws in the last five seconds. But we made just one, which sealed our fate," said NC head coach Chad Dixon following what turned out to be a 52-49 AJ victory on Friday at The Castle in Boonetown.

The loss dropped the Knights to 5-4 overall. NC will not play again until it meets McBee in the first round of the Ahlstrom Nonwovens/MPCU Carolina Classic at The Castle on Thursday, Dec. 29.

AJ led, 52-48, with 12 seconds left as NC called a time out. The Knights would get the ball to Brady Brister, who went the length of the court before being fouled on his shot. He would make the back end of the two-shot foul to trim the deficit to 52-49 with 6.2 ticks left in the game clock.

NC then deflected the Vols’ inbounds pass before the hosts gained control of the loose ball with 4.6 seconds to play and quickly called a time out to design a 3-point shot attempt.

The Knights would get a try from some 25 feet away, which missed the mark only to have the shooter fouled on the play with no time left on the clock. But the missed free throw sealed the Knights’ fate.

NC led, 39-35, heading into the fourth quarter only to lose the lead in the final eight minutes.

"We made some poor decisions on offense in the fourth quarter," Dixon said. "We made some poor shooting choices.

"We stayed in it right until the end, but we just couldn’t finish it."

NC trailed, 16-9, after the first quarter before Justin Black drained a trio of 3-point shots while Jeremy Fowler added another from beyond the arc in a 17-9 run which gave the Knights a 26-25 halftime lead.

"We did a pretty good job in the second quarter," Dixon said. "We were patient on offense. We moved the ball around and took good shots. And, when you get (four) 3-point baskets in one quarter, that helps a great deal."

NC struggled in two areas on the night, making just six of 14 free throw attempts while also turning the ball over 28 times. The latter number was tough for Dixon to swallow.

"We did turn the ball over against the full-court press when we lost our lead," he said. "We also had difficulty against the half-court trap which surprised me because we worked on that all week in practice."

Black led the hosts in scoring with 15 points while Fowler and Brister added 14 and 10 points, respectively.

The Volunteers’ win in the boys’ contest gave the guests from Kershaw a sweep of the night as the Lady Volunteers defeated the Lady Knights in the opener.

Demons come up short against Vikings:

The loss dropped the Demons to 0-6 overall and 0-2 in Region 4-4A action. The Vikings improved to 5-2.

Junior forward Bobby Gary led the Demons with 15 points while senior guard Oran Smith continued his strong early season play with 15 points for Derek Belton’s charges. A.J. Timmons was next with nine points.

Stephan Hunter and Travis Wilson added eight points each.

The Vikings had four players in double figures led by Dominique Taylor’s 24 points while freshman Perry Dozier Jr. was next with 17.

Lady Demons fall to defending champs:

The loss dropped Von Duncan’s squad to 2-4 overall and 1-1 in Region 4-4A competition.

Aneka Dixon led the way for the Lady Demons with 14 points followed by seven points from Dorothy Fair.

Asia Dozier led the Lady Vikings with 17 points.

Camden at McBee postponed:

The two sides will make up that doubleheader in McBee on Wednesday, Jan. 4.

Due to a rash of illness and injury which left the McBee girls basketball team with only four available players, Camden’s Friday night game with the Lady Panthers and the boys game with McBee was postponed by mutual agreement.
Facing long odds, the Lugoff-Elgin girls were upended by defending 4A state champion Spring Valley, 84-39, on Friday night in northeast Columbia.
After struggling to find offense in Tuesday’s loss to Richland Northeast, the Lugoff-Elgin boys’ basketball team nearly doubled their point output from Tuesday’s game, but still came out on the short end of a 79-67 decision against homestanding Spring Valley on Friday night.

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