Sports Extra: Red Devils clinch region title with win
The Clinton boys basketball team captured its second straight region championship Tuesday night with a 56-49 win over Emerald in Greenwood.
The Red Devils (16-5 overall, 7-1 Region 4-3A) needed the victory to avoid a potential winner-take-all game against Union County for the Region 4-3A championship and the region’s top seed in the Class 3A playoffs. The opening round of the playoffs is set to begin for Clinton on Feb. 15. The Red Devils are to host Broome, the No. 4 seed from Region 3-3A.
“I’m proud of this team for the great season we’ve had so far,” said Clinton head coach Eddie Romines. “Now, on to the playoffs.”
Clinton overcame a narrow 43-40 deficit at the beginning of the fourth quarter to down the Vikings.
Defense and rebounding made the difference for the Red Devils in the fourth quarter, Romines said. A Tushawn Richardson steal turned into points and a 52-49 lead late in the fourth quarter that the Red Devils never relinquished.
Richardson finished with a game-high 22 points, and Taliek Fuller added 14 for Clinton, ranked No. 6 in Class 3A.
“We battled all night and made a great comeback in the fourth quarter,” Romines said. “Our defense in the fourth quarter was great.”
K.T. Morton led three Vikings in double figures with 15 points.
9th-ranked Emerald edges Red Devils, 35-31
Emerald, ranked No. 9 in Class 3A, put a period on its Region 4-3A girls basketball championship with a 35-31 win over visiting Clinton Tuesday night.
Danielle Oliver led the Vikings with 11 points, while Byranna Belton scored 11 for the Red Devils (13-8, 4-4), who wound up with the No. 3 seed from Region 4.
Clinton will travel to Travelers Rest, the No. 2 seed from Region 3-3A, for the opening round of the Class 3A playoffs on Thursday, Feb. 16.
Raiders end hoops seasons with losses
The Laurens varsity basketball teams ended their respective seasons Tuesday night with Region 2-4A losses at Eastside.
The Eastside boys defeated LDHS 68-49, building an insurmountable 60-32 lead after three quarters. Ty Johnson led the Raiders with a game-high 18 points, and Martinez Shaw added 16.
LDHS finished the season at 6-17 overall and 0-8 in Region 2-4A.
Eastside defeated the shorthanded LDHS girls 69-17 behind Miracle Cheeks’ game-high 18 points. The Raiders were playing their final game without three starters.
Senior Akacia Smith led the Raiders (6-17, 0-8) with 6 points.
Neither LDHS varsity team made the Class 4A playoff field.
LA set to close season, region tourney up next
The Laurens Academy boys and girls varsity teams were to close out their respective regular seasons tonight (Wednesday) with SCISA Region 1-1A contests at Newberry Academy.
If the LA girls win, they will claim the region championship outright. Junior guard Olivia Huck, who is LA’s leading scorer at about 20 points per game this season, has been cleared to play by doctors after suffering a head injury in the second half of a 33-32 win over W.W. King Monday night.
Huck collided head-first with a King player and both left the floor bloodied and did not return to the contest.
LA head coach Jason Marlett said Huck has been cleared to play, but his staff will continue to monitor her health in the game.
The Region 1-1A tournament is scheduled to begin Friday at LA. The LA boys will end up facing Newberry Academy for the second time in three days in the opening round of the tournament at 4:30 p.m.
The LA girls will receive a first-round bye in the region tournament and will open region tournament play Saturday at Richard Winn Academy.