Down 13 points with less than 7 minutes to go Friday night, the Laurens Raiders boys’ basketball team didn’t panic. It just hunkered down and came through with arguably its biggest victory since Ryan Walker took over as head coach.
Laurens outscored Greenwood 25-13 over the final 6:50 of regulation, and got a pair of free throws from Dee Foster with 14.4 seconds left that proved to be the difference as the Raiders stormed back to pick up a 61-60 victory at home. The victory moves the Raiders to 9-8 overall, 4-2 in Region 1-5A.
Greenwood had its chance to win the game in regulation, but last-second shots by both Javarion Calhoun and Malik Palmore came up dry – the last of which was a second-chance opportunity with 0.5 seconds left – to give the Raiders their third victory in their last four games.
Laurens won the game despite a rough middle two quarters that saw the team hit just 5 of 21 field goals and turn the ball over 10 times.
Both Foster and Christian Anderson had 13 points to lead Laurens, which visits Hanna Tuesday.
LDHS girls: Laurens got off to a good start against rival Greenwood, but went ice cold from the field over the middle two quarters as well. Unlike the guys, their stretch was too much to overcome as they lost 52-33.
LDHS is now 5-11 overall, 1-5 in the region, and has lost four straight.
After leading by as much as six points in the first quarter, Laurens eventually fell behind by two points, 17-15, in the second quarter. Kenaja Burnside made a field goal to tie the game at 17-all, but from there the Raiders went nearly 11 minutes without a field goal – a run that ended on M.K. Moore’s field goal in the first 14 seconds of the fourth quarter. In that run the Eagles outscored Laurens 18-1, and eventually led by as much as 25 points.
Qua Fortson led Laurens with 13 points.
LA: Laurens Academy split a road doubleheader with Newberry Academy.
The LA girls had no trouble in their game with the Eagles, winning 43-15. Ruthie Moore was more than dominant on the scoreboard for LA, scoring a game-best 28 points. Jennifer Wu was second in scoring with six for the Crusaders.
Newberry Academy did not score its first point until the second quarter.
In the boys’ game LA suffered a 35-31 loss. Noah Moore was held to 11 points, and only scored two points in the second half – none of which came in the fourth quarter – as LA let a seven-point lead after three quarters get away.
Clinton: The Clinton girls picked up a victory on the road, a 58-43 decision over Newberry.
De’Shanti Watts had 23 points to lead Clinton, while Terriauna Bennett had 10.
Clinton’s boys did not have similar success in their game, though, as they lost 75-50. J.D. Payne had 14 points to lead the Red Devils.