The last two local basketball teams left standing advanced in state playoff action this weekend.
Clinton held on for a 34-28 home win over Pendleton Friday night in the Class 3A playoffs, while Laurens Academy rallied for a 48-45 victory over Lowcountry Prep in Sumter Saturday afternoon to advance to the SCISA 1A quarterfinals Tuesday.
The Red Devils (22-4) stingy man-to-man defense held Pendleton without a field goal until the early moments of the third quarter, jumping out to a 19-6 halftime lead and making it stand up the rest of the way. The Bulldogs (15-11) were able to whittle the lead down to five points in the fourth quarter, got no closer despite Clinton’s free-throw shooting woes (9 of 26).
“I thought it was pretty evenly matched across the board,” said Clinton head coach John Gardner. “I told our players that we can’t get too high if we’re up by 10 or too low if we’re down by 10. It’s just going to come down to the fourth quarter at some point. It’s been the story the past couple of games – in the fourth quarter who’s going to make a couple more plays, and we made a few down the stretch.”
Region 3A Player of the Year De’Shanti Watts led Clinton with 12 points.
Clinton is to host Keenan Monday at 7 p.m. The Raiders defeated Chapman 100-50 Saturday afternoon.
Laurens Academy girls 48, Lowcountry Prep 45
Laurens Academy has been looking for another on its roster to step up and give the Crusaders a needed scoring option to go with veterans Blair Quarles and Reagan Williamson. Against Lowcountry Prep, Payton Breen became that option just in time, scoring 12 of her team-high 17 points in the second half as LA rallied from a 19-13 halftime deficit to advance to the SCISA Class A quarterfinals Tuesday at Heathwood Hall in Columbia.
Breen’s 10-point third quarter was part of a 23-point explosion in the period for the two-time defending state champion Crusaders (18-7) , who turned the six-point deficit in to a six-point advantage they made stand up in the final stanza.
Quarles and Olivia Huck added 11 points each for LA, which will face Dorchester Academy Tuesday night. Sailor Reardon scored a game-high 18 points for Lowcountry Prep (14-2).
Andrew Jackson 68, Laurens Academy boys 38
Three Crusaders scored in double figures, but LA was no match for top-seeded Andrew Jackson Friday night at Heathwood Hall in Columbia.
Andrew Jackson doubled up on LA 34-17 by halftime behind a 19-4 second-quarter outburst.
Thomas Lowry led the Crusaders with 12 points, Caio Rita added 11 and Diamonte Grant 10.
LA ended its season at 12-16 overall.