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Demons' rally comes up short in 63-57 loss

Posted: January 22, 2014 3:07 p.m.
Updated: January 24, 2014 5:00 a.m.

Having left the door open for Ridge View, which failed to close it, Lugoff-Elgin could not slam the door shut itself.
Confused? Try figuring out the final minute of Ridge View’s 63-57 win over the Demons on Tuesday night inside the Demons Den.
With the visiting Blazers holding a slim 59-57 advantage with 48.9 seconds left in the fourth quarter, the hosts were called for a personal foul and a pair of consecutive technical fouls on the same play resulting in the expulsion of an L-E player. The Blazers’ Khalil Hopkins missed the front end of the one-and the-bonus foul shot before Dextor Foster missed three of four technical foul freebies to keep this a one-possession game at 60-57.
Getting the ball back, the Blazers’ Trent Robinson was quickly fouled and he made one of two from the stripe with 44.6 ticks left in the game clock. L-E missed its chance to close the four-point gap when it was called for traveling, nine seconds later.
As if this one could not get any crazier, the Demons were called for their 10th personal foul of the second half with 23.9 seconds to go. A double-technical after the play resulted in RV’s Justin Alewine knocking down both tries to push the lead to 63-57. For the briefest time, the Demons looked to make it a one-possession game only to see Aldreacio Wells’ 3-point jumper circle the rim twice before ending up in the arms of Alewine, who was fouled and missed both tries in the final seven seconds.
In all, the Blazers attempted 12 free throws in the closing 56.4 seconds of play and made only four of those. The Demons, who trailed by 12 with less than six minutes in the contest only to get a Kevin Fields 3-point jumper to make it a 59-57 game with 1:58 left, did not score after that.
The loss was the fourth in as many Region 4-4A outings for the Demons. And in what has been a season of bumpy roads, this was the roughest patch for Garrett Knight’s young charges.
“We had a couple bad plays and we let them get up by (12) on us,” said the first-year L-E head coach. “But our boys fought back at the end to make it a two-point game.
“I could not have asked for a better effort from our guys. If we could have hit one of those threes (in the closing seconds) and then, call a time out, you never know what could have happened. But I’m proud of these boys. They played their butts off tonight.”
It looked as if the Demons had run out of gas in the fourth quarter after Tony Washington stuck a 12-foot baseline jumper with six minutes left in the fourth quarter to give the guests what seemed to be a comfortable 53-41 advantage.
In the span of 56 seconds, the lead dropped to eight points after L-E freshman Tyrese Elm scored on a pair of layins, leading RV head coach John Combs to burn a time out in order to stem the tide. The break worked as Foster had a stickback with 4:40 left to push the lead back into double digits at 55-45.
L-E countered with the second of Fields’ trio of treys. Jumping into a trapping defensive scheme, L-E forced a pair of turnovers which turned into two Elm free throws and a Daniel Quattlebaum putback as the hosts drew to within 55-52 with 3:34 to go.
Knight said his team had little choice than to extend their defense to get back into the contest.
“We’ll definitely keep that in the back of our minds for the next time that we play them,” Knight said of pressuring the RV ballhandlers. “I thought our 1-3-1 trap worked great. We’ll definitely use that next time against them because they’re young, like we are.”
Hopkins would help keep the Demons at bay as he drove the baseline for a layin and hit a pair of free throws, sandwiching two Elm free throws as the Blazers held a 59-54 lead until Fields’ trifecta cut the deficit to 59-57 with 1:58 remaining.
Following an RV timeout, the Blazers went into the delay game for a little less than a minute before the Demons hiked the pressure back up and started what turned into a last-minute parade to the charity stripe for the guests which won for the first time in four 4-4A outings.
For the second time in as many games, the Demons --- playing the second of five consecutive home games --- got off to a strong start and led after the first quarter. This time, getting scoring contributions from six different players, the hosts jumped to a 16-13 lead after RV opened the contest on an 8-2 run.
L-E evened things at 8-8 thanks to an Elm trey and Quattlebaum grabbing a missed shot and going coast-to-coast for the tying layin. The Demons grabbed the 16-13 lead after the first stanza thanks to a Fields putback and Elliott Campbell’s five-foot runner in the closing 80 seconds of the first stanza.
The Demons led, 24-20, following a Quattlebaum trey with 4:40 to play before the break and then held their biggest cushion, 33-28, when Wells knocked down a short baseline jumper before Jamerius Summerson drove an open baseline with 65 ticks left in the first half clock. Two L-E turnovers opened the gates for the Blazers to close the first half scoring with two free throws and Foster rolling in a layup after grabbing a loose ball under his own basket with four seconds to play in a half which closed with the home team carrying a 33-32 lead into the locker room.
Knight said he was impressed with the way his players attacked the glass as well as with their ability to hit several short to mid-range jumpers.
“Our kids stepped up and knocked down some shots tonight,” he said. “I can’t argue with our effort. Our boys played good all the way to the end.”
The one-point lead was the final time the Demons would hold the upper hand as RV opened the second half on a 7-3 run before a Summerson putback chopped the deficit to 39-38 with 4:40 to go in the third quarter. A Fields 3-ball kept the margin at one at 42-41 with 3:55 left in a third quarter which saw the guests close with a 7-0 spurt to take a 49-41 lead into the final quarter. The Blazers continued to build on their lead and momentum with Alewine’s jumper to make it a 53-41 lead with six minutes showing on the game clock.
Fields led L-E with 17 points. The senior guard also went inside to help with the rebounding chores while playing a solid defensive game.
“Kevin is one of those kids who is all over the court all game. You can’t ask for any better effort out of him,” Knight said of Fields. “His defense has been tremendous all year long and tonight, he hit some big threes that kept us in it.”
Knight said the way in which his players composed themselves and got back into the thick of things down the stretch showed that the Demons are maturing as a team. He said this is a game from which his squad can build.
“Tyrese (Elm) played a great game and Aldreacio (Wells) is just a sophomore and he hit some big shots for us tonight,” Knight said. “We have a lot of young kids out there who are just pouring their hart out for our program. We couldn’t be more pleased with the effort they’re giving.”

RV (63): Dextor Foster 10 2-6 23, Malik McLane 3 5-6 11, DeShaun Davis 1 0-0 2, Trent Robinson 2 1-3 6, Cainan Griffin 2 2-4 7, Tony Washington 3 1-2 7, Daequan Smith 1 0-0 2, Justin Alewine 1 2-4 5 Totals: 23 13-25 63
   L-E (57): Jamerius Summerson 4 1-2 9, Stacey Patterson 1 1-2 4, Tyrese Elm 4 3-7 12, Daniel Quattlebaum 4 0-2 9, Kevin Fields 6 2-4 17, Elliott Campbell 2 0-1 4, Aldreacio Wells 1 0-0 2 Totals: 22 7-18 57
  Score by quarters: First: L-E, 16-13; Halftime: L-E, 33-32; Third: RV, 49-41; Three-point goals: RV 4 (Foster, Robinson, Griffin, Alewine); L-E 6 (Fields 3, Quattlebaum, Elm, Patterson)

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