Red Devils’ quest derailed; LA teams advance
Travelers Rest center Drew McGibben scored 8 of his game-high 22 points in the fourth quarter as the Devildogs held off host Clinton 51-46 Monday night, stopping the Red Devils one victory short of their first Class 3A Upper State finals appearance since 2017.
The five-point margin of victory for Travelers Rest was a single point shy of the largest lead held by either team in the game.
Inside of three minutes left to play, McGibben scored back-to-back layups that gave the Devildogs a 42-38 lead that they were able to hold until the final buzzer.
The second half turned into to a menagerie of missed opportunities and missed calls for the Red Devils, who ended their season with a 18-6 record.
“Tough loss but we competed and in the fourth quarter, we had a chance to win it,” said Clinton head coach Eddie Romines. “It didn’t work out for us. We had a great season. . . . I’m proud of what we accomplished this season. I want to thank all of the Clinton community for supporting us all season, especially during our playoff run.”
The Red Devils trailed 26-22 at the half, but battled back to tie the score at 34-34 heading into the fourth quarter.
But two second-half charge calls against all-state guard Taliek Fuller and sophomore Devon Swindler halted the Red Devils’ attempt to gain any offensive momentum.
In the final seconds, a missed call on an inbounds play as Travelers Rest guard Caleb Mills stepped on the baseline thwarted a desperate comeback attempt as the Red Devils trailed by 3.
Sophomore guard Tushawn Richardson, who averaged 14.3 points per game in three playoff games, led the Red Devils with 14 points, and Wil Stewart scored 12 after hitting a pair of first-quarter 3-pointers.
The Devildogs will play for the Class 3A Upper State championship, leaving them one step away from the state title game, Saturday afternoon at Bob Jones University.
LA advances to SCISA Class 1A Final Four
SCISA Region 4-1A Player of the Year Olivia Huck scored a game-high 30 points as Laurens Academy advanced to the SCISA Class 1A Final Four with a 51-44 win over Jefferson Davis Academy Monday night in Columbia.
LA is set to face familiar region foe Wardlaw Academy Thursday in the state Class 1A semifinals at Hammond Academy. Wardlaw was a 49-46 winner over Charleston Collegiate Monday.
Huck scored half of her total from the free-throw line, hitting 15 of 17 attempts from the charity stripe. Rylee Ballard added 7 points, and Emily Suttles and Gracie Hall scored 6 points apiece for LA.
The Crusaders, who received a first-round bye, doubled up on Jefferson Davis early, leading 14-7 after the first quarter.
Emma Craig scored 20 points for the Raiders.
No. 5 LA stuns in opening round
Fifth-seeded Laurens Academy upset No. 4 Lowcountry Prep 59-47 in the opening round of the SCISA Class 1A state tournament in Columbia.
The Crusaders are set to play No. 1-seeded Faith Christian Tuesday at Hammond Academy in Columbia.
Hector Rubio led LA with 17 points, while Jared Willard added 12 for the Crusaders, who were outscored 21-9 in the fourth quarter, but rebounded for 35 second-half points – 19 in the fourth quarter – to put Lowcountry away.