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Cougars finally solve Crusaders in state title game

Laurens Academy’s Olivia Huck (10) drives against Cambridge Academy’s Jilliam Mapes (31) during the second half of Saturday morning’s SCISA Class 1A state championship game at the Sumter Civic Center.

SUMTER – The fourth time was not the charm for Laurens Academy.

LA, which had defeated Region 4-1A foe Cambridge Academy three times this season, fell to the Cougars 41-34 in the SCISA Class 1A state title game Saturday morning at the Sumter Civic Center.

Cambridge, a No. 4 seed in the state tournament, downed No. 1 overall seed Curtis Baptist in the semifinals Thursday and then downed its old nemesis, LA behind a balanced scoring attack and a harassing defense that caused 22 LA turnovers.

Indya Sutherland and Faith Harvley led Cambridge with 10 points apiece, while Izzy Sutherland and Jillian Mapes scored 9 points each for the Cougars.

Junior Olivia Huck once again led LA with a game-high 17 points, scoring 11 of that total at the free-throw line where she was 11 of 13 for the game.

LA led 6-4 after the first quarter as Cambridge missed its first field-goal attempts, but the Cougars went on a 9-0 run to start the third quarter, taking the lead on short jumper from Mapes with 3:50 left in the first half.

Cambridge (15-8) never trailed after that, building double digits leads in the third and fourth quarters.

LA (20-11) struggled to give Huck room to operate inside, hitting just 3 of 24 (12.5%) 3-point attempts.

Game Notes: The scenario for Saturday’s state championship game was very similar to that of the state volleyball championship finals in the fall. LA had defeated Cambridge four times leading up to the state title match and defeated the Cougars a fifth time. Both teams had several players who played both sports. . . . Cambridge’s bus broke down just outside of Greenwood Saturday morning. Players piled into family vehicles and made their way to Sumter communicating virtually along the way via a group chat. . . . Check out the March 1 edition of The Advertiser for more on Saturday’s championship game.



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