PREP BASKETBALL

Back in the groove: Gamecocks get offense in gear in 70-37 dismantling of Lakewood

BY DENNIS BRUNSON
dennis@theitem.com
Posted 12/16/17

Points were hard to come by for both the Sumter and Lakewood varsity boys basketball teams in their first meeting of the season, a Gamecock 50-46 overtime win.

The offensive struggles continued …

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PREP BASKETBALL

Back in the groove: Gamecocks get offense in gear in 70-37 dismantling of Lakewood

Posted

Points were hard to come by for both the Sumter and Lakewood varsity boys basketball teams in their first meeting of the season, a Gamecock 50-46 overtime win.

The offensive struggles continued for LHS in the rematch on Friday at The Swamp. Not so for SHS.

After taking a 13-8 lead after the first quarter, Sumter scored no fewer than 17 in a quarter the rest of the way on the way to a 70-37 dismantling of the Gators.

“We didn’t rush things and we ran our offense tonight,” said Gamecock head coach Shawn Jones, whose team improved to 6-2 on the season. “We moved without the basketball and worked it around until we got a good look.”

Lakewood, which lost its second straight game to fall to 4-3, actually took the lead before the game clock began running. SHS received a technical foul for dunking during warmups. Grant Singleton hit one of the two free throws for the first of two leads on the night for the LHS. The other came on a driving layup by Terrell Houston with 4:48 left in the first quarter to make it 4-2.

SHS didn’t come out guns a-blazing. After Calvin Felder hit a layup at the 7:17 mark, another basket didn’t come until over three minutes later. That’s when Jaylen Johnson drilled a 3-point basket to make it 5-4 with four minutes left.

That got things flowing for the Sumter offense. Isiah Moore and Johnson got loose for layups to make it 9-4. After Ahkeem Lawson and Singleton scored baskets to cut the lead to 9-8, a basket from Moore and two free throws from Javontay Singletary with two seconds left in the quarter made it 13-8.

“Sumter’s a great team and we didn’t match their intensity,” said Lakewood head coach Bryan Brown. “We didn’t do a good job guarding the perimeter and they made a lot of shots.”

That was the start of a run of 14 straight points for the Gamecocks. Johnson drilled his second trey to open the second quarter and a 3 from Tyree Smalls made it 23-8 with 5:48 left in the first half.

“We did a good job of moving the ball inside and then getting it back out,” Jones said. “We just ran our offense really well. Jaylen knocked down a couple of big shots for us. He’s a really good shooter.”

While obviously not pleased with the scarcity of points, Brown was much more perturbed with his team’s defensive play.

“The effort wasn’t there for us on defense, and that’s not like us,” Brown said. “We’ve got to regroup. We couldn’t make any adjustments. We’ve got to figure out what our problem is and get it taken care of.”

SHS led 30-13 at halftime. Lakewood scored the first basket of the second half and forced a quick turnover. However, they turned the ball back over and that was the end of any real comeback attempt.

Sumter scored six of the next seven points to push the lead out to 36-16. After LHS whittled the lead back down to 15, the Gamecocks scored the final 10 points of the third quarter for a 48-23 advantage.

Lakewood finally went above 10 points in a quarter in the final stanza, but it was way too little, too late. Singleton, the Gators’ standout guard, was the only one in double figures with 11 points, but they were very hard to come by.

“We did a good job of playing defense on the ball on Singleton,” Jones said. “We used Zykiem (Jackson) and Cody (McCoy) on him. They’re our two best defenders and they did a great job.”

Moore led Sumter with 18 points. Smalls had 11 and McCoy and Cameron Singleton, Grant’s cousin, both had eight.

In the girls contest, Sumter outscored Lakewood 12-5 in the third quarter to open a 10-point lead entering the fourth quarter on the way to a 38-30 victory.

Neither team scored in double figures in each of the first two quarters. The Lady Gamecocks led 9-8 after one quarter and 17-14 at halftime.

SHS led 29-19 entering the final stanza. The Lady Gators pulled within 36-30 with just under two minutes left and had a couple of opportunities to cut the deficit to four but couldn’t capitalize.

“I think we took a couple of steps forward tonight,” said Sumter interim head coach Jeff Schaffer, whose team improved to 4-3. “I told them they’ve already won more games than they did all of last year. It’s early in the season though, and I think we’ve got a time to get better. We just need to continue to work hard.”

Nina Edlow and Kiarra Jones both scored seven points to lead Sumter. Carnasia Wells, Layken Cox and Tamerah Brown each had six.

LHS’ Ki’Ari Cain led all scorers with 17 points. Lashala Harvin and Valencia Croom both had five.

“We played hard and we had some opportunities at the end of the game,” said Lakewood head coach Demetress Adams-Ludd, whose squad is also 4-3. “We missed some shots and free throws and had some turnovers at the end that hurt us.”

Sumter plays at Lee Central today.