The Laurens Raiders varsity basketball teams were back on the home court Tuesday, returning to region play with a doubleheader against Easley, and both teams came away with victories.
The Laurens girls picked up a 44-33 victory over Easley, moving to 3-7 overall and 1-2 in Region 1-5A play. Laurens’ boys, meanwhile, fought back from an early nine-point deficit and shook off a last-second effort by the Green Wave to force overtime, winning 51-49. Laurens’ boys are now 5-8 overall, 1-2 in the region standings.
Laurens visits Wade Hampton Friday.
In the Laurens boys’ game, the Green Wave got out to a 9-0 lead that covered the game’s first 4 minutes, 26 seconds, but Laurens was able to right the ship and eventually trailed by just two points, 22-20, at the half. Laurens continued its good momentum in the first three minutes of the third quarter, scoring 11 of the first 14 points of the half to grab a six-point lead, 31-25.
Easley answered with a 10-0 run to take the lead back at 35-31, but the game was eventually tied at 37-all after a 3-pointer by Dravious Copeland at the buzzer. Easley and Laurens stayed close throughout the entire fourth quarter, but Laurens found its way in front with a 3-pointer from Chase Jackson with 1:28 to go. It was one of four 3-pointers by Jackson in the game, and helped him finish with 13 points on the night.
Laurens couldn’t totally put the game away as it struggled at the foul line, hitting just 2 of 8 attempts in the final 2:55 – and 10 of 20 free throws in the game. The Raiders’ missed free throws gave Easley a chance to erase the deficit, which started with a basket by Princeton Rhodes with 33.4 seconds to go. Easley had two chances to tie in its final possession, including a shot from Malaki Calhoun at the buzzer, but the shot came up dry.
Dee Foster led the Raiders with 17 points.
Laurens’ girls struggled at the start of their game with the Green Wave as well, not hitting a field goal until the 4:02 mark when M.K. Moore hit a shot to stop what had been a 6-0 run by Easley. Moore’s basket proved to be the start of a solid offensive night as she finished with a team-high 15 points, and her first-quarter basket proved the start of an 11-0 run that gave Laurens a six-point lead with 5:20 to go in the second quarter.
Laurens appeared well on its way to a comfortable victory after further extending the lead to 13 points, 30-17, past the midway point of the third quarter, but Easley rallied back with nine straight points and trailed 31-26 after the third quarter was done. Easley later cut the margin to two, 31-29, but a Qua Fortson basket with 6:29 to go re-established a four-point lead. After a CaDayzhia Grant free throw for Laurens and a basket from Easley left the margin at three, Fortson hit two free throws and Lamoria Allen hit a free throw to push the Raiders’ lead to six – putting the game out of reach.
LA sweeps Cambridge Academy: Laurens Academy went on the road Tuesday night and came away with a sweep of the Cambridge Academy Cougars. LA’s girls had a 30-23 victory in their game, moving to 10-4 overall and 2-0 in region play, while the boys picked up a 65-39 victory in their game.
In the girls’ contest, Olivia Huck led the Crusaders with 11 points, while Blair Quarrels had eight points.
As for the boys’ game, Cal Robertson had 10 of his 16 points in the first quarter to lead the Crusaders, and teammate Diamond Grant had 10 points.
LA visits Greenwood Christian Thursday night.
Clinton splits: The Clinton varsity basketball teams split a home doubleheader with Tuesday that wrapped up non-region play for the season. The Clinton girls picked up a 46-25 victory over the Patriots, while the boys suffered a 64-43 loss.
In the girls’ game, Clinton held the Patriots to four points in each of the final two quarters to help pull away after holding an eight-point deficit at the half.
De’Shanti Watts had 17 points and Tinique Austin added 11 points for Clinton, which is now 11-3 on the season.
In the boys’ game, Clinton used a solid first half to grab a 27-22 lead over the Patriots, but the visitors outscored Clinton 42-16 in the second half to turn the game completely around. Draymen Burton scored 19 of his 31 points in the second half to lead the way for Powdersville.
Davis Wilson led Clinton with 12 points. The Red Devils are now 1-13.
Clinton hosts Union County Friday night.
Laurens boys 48, Easley 29: Laurens held Easley to single-digit points in three of the four quarters contested, pulling away to a comfortable victory over the Green Wave.
Ty’Qua Johnson led Laurens with 21 points, K.D. Mosely added 14 points, and Jay Hunter had 10 points.