The Laurens Raiders’ varsity basketball teams returned from its New Year’s break and resumed region play Friday night in a home doubleheader against Wade Hampton. The results of those games, however, were not the positive return to play either team was hoping for.
Laurens’ boys fought tooth-and-nail with the Generals throughout the night found themselves trailing by two with 9 seconds to go, only to not only have Christian Anderson, who had gone out of the game on a defensive switch, not be allowed back into the game and leave the final shot attempt to Dravious Copeland, who was unable to make the shot. When Wade Hampton got the ball back, it threw the ball long on an inbound pass and ran out the final 1.6 seconds to secure a 53-51 victory.
The loss dropped Laurens to 7-8 overall, 2-2 in Region 1-5A play.
Dee Foster led the Raiders with 14 points, and was the only player to score in double figures for Laurens.
Neither team led by more than five points throughout the entire contest, and Laurens weathered a fourth-quarter burst that included a technical foul on the Raiders. Wade Hampton scored eight straight points to turn what was a three-point deficit into a 46-41 lead, but the Raiders scored the next six straight points to prevent Wade Hampton from pulling away. Tyler Bowens hit a pair of free throws with 20.4 seconds left to put Wade Hampton ahead for keeps.
In the girls’ game Laurens was unable to muster any offense for the first three quarters against Wade Hampton, falling behind by as many as 21 points, but the Raiders stormed back in the first six minutes of the fourth quarter and cut the margin down to five before the Generals held on and pulled away late for a 49-38 victory. The loss sent Laurens to 5-9 overall, 1-3 in the region.
Qua Fortson scored 16 points for the Raiders, seven of which coming in a 19-5 run that spanned 6 minutes, 10 seconds and not only doubled Laurens’ scoring output to that time of the game but also gave them a chance at what would’ve been a wild comeback.
Laurens hosts a doubleheader with Woodmont Tuesday.
Clinton: The Clinton girls lost their first game of the season Friday night when they fell at Union County, 48-35. Head Coach John Gardner said his team couldn’t get over the hump after trailing by between six and eight points most of the night. Clinton is now 12-1 on the season.
De’Shanti Watts had 13 points and Terriauna Bennett added 12 for Clinton, which hosts Mid-Carolina Tuesday.
Clinton’s boys suffered a 76-68 loss in their game to Union County. Amari Bates had 26 points and J.D. Payne followed with 25.
Clinton hosts Lexington Saturday at 7:30 p.m. The game will be played at the Templeton Center.
LA: The Crusaders had a split of their games Friday night at Richard Winn.
LA’s girls picked up a 51-22 victory in their game, while the boys suffered a 48-33 loss in the nightcap.
LA visits W.W. King Tuesday night for a region doubleheader.