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Dogs, Knights suffer single-digit defeats

Posted: January 22, 2012 10:03 a.m.
Updated: January 23, 2012 5:00 a.m.

Marlboro County used a pair of London Johnson free throws in the final 16 seconds of play to give itself a three-point cushion and would then tack on two more insurance points to hold out visiting Camden, 38-33, in a Region 6-AAA boys’ basketball game played on Friday night in Bennettsville.
The loss dropped Ron McKie’s troops to 2-3 after the first of two rounds in conference play. Marlboro County improved to 2-4 in league action with the victory.
MC led, 9-6, after the first quarter of the low-scoring affair and maintained that three-point advantage at halftime, leading, 17-14. The hosts carried a four-point, 25-21, lead into the final stanza.
Senior point guard Darelle Smith and junior guard Josh Council led Camden with 10 points each while senior forward Jamari Ferguson was next with eight points.
Lady Bulldogs upended: After nearly pulling off an upset over visiting Lakewood with a late-game rally on Tuesday, the Camden girls were upended by a strong Marlboro County squad, 59-38, in a Friday night game played in Bennettsville.
The loss left Natalie Jeffcoat’s squad (7-6) with a 1-4 record after the first round of play in Region 6-AAA. MC improved to 4-1 in conference play with the win.
Gamecocks get past Demons: Host Sumter answered a game-opening 4-0 run from Lugoff-Elgin by outscoring the Demons, 30-2, between the first and second quarters before pulling away for a 92-36 non-region victory on Friday night.
L-E trailed, 22-6 after the first quarter and faced a 37-11 deficit at halftime. The hosts padded their cushion to 67-20 heading in to the final quarter before scoring 16 points.
Derek Belton’s squad was paced by nine points each from A.J. Timmons and Stephan Hunter.
Sumter girls race past Lady Demons: Stepping out of Region 4-4A play on Friday for a rare mid-season, non-conference game, the Lugoff-Elgin girls came out on the short end of a 73-43 contest with host Sumter.
The Lady Demons fell to 3-12 overall on the season.
The Lady Gamecocks bolted out to a 17-0 lead to start the game and never looked. L-E trailed, 23-4, after the first eight minutes of play. Sumter closed with a rush, as well, outscoring L-E 25-6 in a fourth quarter which started with the Lady Demons trailing, 48-37.
L-E closed to within 35-19 at halftime after Dahiana Rodriguez knocked down a pair of free throws in the final seconds of the opening half.
The Lady Demons would narrow the gap to 10 points, at 36-26, after Aneka Dixon drained a 3-point basket with 6:09 left to play in the third quarter.
The Lady Gamecocks carried a 48-37 lead into the fourth quarter, in which the hostesses opened with a 15-1 run to put this one away.
Dixon led Von Duncan’s squad with 19 points while Rodriguez added nine. Samantha Jean and Diondra McKie were next with nine and six points, respectively.
Knights fall to Rams: Chesterfield sent visiting North Central to its third consecutive Region 3-A loss as the Golden Rams held on for a 57-53 victory over the Knights on Friday night.
The defeat gave Chad Dixon’s team a 1-3 mark in conference play and a 10-7 overall record. The Golden Rams won for the first time in four Region 3-A contests.
NC girls struggle at start and end: Chesterfield bookended its game against visiting North Central by outscoring the Lady Knights by a combined 30-4 count en route to taking a 40-26 win over Mitch Lowder’s squad in a Friday night game.
NC slipped to 1-3 in Region 3-A play while falling to the Lady Rams for the second time in three games this season. In the first meeting, played at the Andrew Jackson Christmas Tournament, Chesterfield beat NC in an overtime contest.
Chesterfield jumped to a 17-3 first quarter lead against a listless Lady Knight squad.
“We came out and it looked like we didn’t even want to play basketball,” Lowder said of his team’s first quarter struggles on the offensive end.
The hostesses threw a full-court press at NC, which the guests handled. The problem came when they crossed the half-court line.
“They threw a couple different presses at us,” Lowder said. “We did a good job of breaking the press and once we did that, we had open shots and good looks at the basket, but we just couldn’t get them to go in the basket.”
NC regrouped in the second quarter and held CHS to six points as the Lady Rams held a seemingly comfortable 23-8 lead at intermission.
Things would get interesting in the third quarter as the Lady Knights turned things around as they outscored the home side, 17-4, to close the gap to 27-25 heading into the final eight minutes of play.
Things would revert back to getting ugly for the visitors in the fourth quarter as they were outscored, 13-1, as CHS went on to the 14-point victory.
“We are two evenly matched teams,” Lower said, “but in the first and fourth quarters, we just didn’t come out and play well.”
Senior point guard Elexis Ross led NC with 10 points. Morgan Bass was next with six followed by four points from Haley Thomas. Brianna Brown and Sheikee Drakeford added three points each.
NC has a key conference pairing with McBee on Tuesday at The Castle. Lowder said his team needs a win to get back in the playoff hunt. Like NC, Great Falls lost to Chesterfield in conference play.
Lowder said he is glad this next game is at home and hopes it will be a springboard as his girls look to make it to the state class A playoffs for a fourth straight season.
“The second round of conference play is right around the corner. In this region, everybody is pretty competitive with everybody,” he said. “The thing about girl’s basketball is that anything can happen on a given night.”

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