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Bulldogs, Lady Demons keep their post-season hopes alive

Posted: February 3, 2011 11:24 a.m.
Updated: February 4, 2011 5:00 a.m.

Tuesday’s 53-44 win over visiting Lakewood gave the Camden High boys’ basketball team’s playoffs hopes a lift.

The victory gave the Bulldogs a 3-4 record in Region 6-AAA, placing them in a fourth-place tie with Lakewood, which downed Camden, 55-31, in Sumter two weeks earlier. Darlington leads the circuit at 7-0 followed by Marlboro County and Hartsville, both at 4-3 in league play.

Senior Martez Vaughn led Ron McKie’s troops with a career-best 15 points. Tayler Workman was next with 10 points while Josh Council added nine for the Dogs.

Demons snap conference skid:

Tuesday night, after losing their first nine games in Region 4-4A, the Demons broke into the win column and snapped a nine-game skid by upending host Blythewood, 61-59.

L-E carried the lead, which ballooned to as many as 10 points on occasion, for most of the game, but had to sweat things out as the Bengals cut into that lead and were within a pair and at the foul line with two free throws in the final seconds of the contest. Two missed freebies later, the hosts grabbed the rebound from the second miss only to have L-E’s Darius Custard block the desperation try at the buzzer.

The Demons received a combined 45 points from their trio of seniors with Custard and Jo Jo Pellegrino leading the way with 16 points each while classmate Zach Salmond continued his strong run of recent play by adding 13 points.

Lakewood rallies past Lady Bulldogs:

The Lady Bulldogs fell to 0-7 in Region 6-AAA.

Tyechia Reed led the way for Natalie Jeffcoat’s charges with 15 points while junior center Chelsea Reynolds added eight points.

Lady Demons caged by Bengals:

The loss left Von Duncan’s troops with a 2-8 record in conference play which, unofficially, places L-E in sixth place, a game behind Irmo (3-6), which comes into the Demons Den tonight. The winner of tonight’s game can go a long way toward wrapping up a post-season tournament berth. The top five teams in the conference earn a slot in the state playoffs.

Dahiana Rodriguez and Aneka Dixon scored 12 points each to lead the way for Lady Demons. Caressa Samuel was next with eight.

CMA excels in Statesville:

"I was nervous about how we would come out after a long trip," Johnson said. "But this was probably the best game we’ve played all year."

The Spartans (7-5) made 32 of their 55 shots from the field, pulled down 42 rebounds, dished out 24 assists, and had 20 steals while blocking 11 shots in the one-sided victory.

"The key to this game was that we played tremendous defense and we played together as a team," Johnson said. "Our kids had fun running up and down the floor. And when we subbed, our guys were standing on the bench and cheering their teammates on.

"Our guys just went out there and had fun (Tuesday) night."

John Cornett nearly had a triple double in the win as he scored 18 points, 17 rebounds and six blocks. Andrew Holbert had 12 points seven rebounds, seven steals and two blocks while Giovanni Arrindell had a game-best 23 points to go along with 10 assists and five steals. Stephen Thomas had 12 points and six steals.

Last week, CMA split two games, defeating Orangeburg Prep, 68-29, before falling to Prince Avenue Prep, 82-61.

Against Orangeburg, Holbert had 20 points and seven caroms. Arrindell had 15 points, eight assists and five steals while Thomas had 15 points and five rebounds. Cornett added a dozen points for the Spartans, who shot 47 percent from the floor.

Things were different against Prince Avenue Prep in a Carolinas Athletic Association game in which Johnson shouldered the blame for the loss.

"We just didn’t come out ready to play; I didn’t have our kids ready to play," he said.

Holbert and Arrindell led CMA with 18 points each with Cornett adding 16 for the hosts which made just 21 of their 65 shots from the field.

"We’re a team that lives by the 3-point shot and this time, we died with the 3-point shot," Johnson said. "That came back to bite us in this game."

Johnson said that his team continues to work hard to improve on its 7-5 overall record and 1-1 conference ledger.

"We take things as they come and I’ll take 7-5, right now," Johnson said. "But if we can come out and play every game like we did (against Academy of Excellence), I’ll be happy."

Tonight’s games:

All three doubleheaders tip off with the girl’s game at 6 p.m.

The Camden Military Academy will hit the road to meet Orangeburg Prep in a 6:30 p.m. start.

Lugoff-Elgin will return to the Demons Den to host Irmo while C.A. Johnson visits North Central. Camden heads to Darlington tonight to complete the penultimate week of the regular season.
Playing what head coach Speedy Johnson described as what might have been their best game of the season, the Camden Military Academy returned from Tuesday’s trip to Statesville, N.C., with a 72-41 win over the Academy of Excellence.
Lugoff-Elgin’s girls 4A state playoff hopes took a bit of a hit as the Lady Demons fell to Blythewood, 51-35, on Tuesday.
Lakewood came back from an eight-point deficit to pin a 58-47 loss on the Camden girls Tuesday night in a game played on the Coach Mike Culp Court at CHS.
Following last Friday’s gritty effort in a loss to Dutch Fork, Lugoff-Elgin boys’ basketball coach Derek Belton said that all he wanted from his team was to keep playing hard and try to close the season strong.

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