Big first quarter helps Lady
Knights top Lakewood 53-33
By DENNIS BRUNSON
The Crestwood High School varsity girls basketball team pitched a shutout in the first quarter …
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The Crestwood High School varsity girls basketball team pitched a shutout in the first quarter of its game against Sumter School District rival Lakewood on Friday at The Swamp.
The Lady Knights dominated with a 16-0 first quarter. After that though, the game leveled out. LHS was never able to pull any closer than 11 points, but never trailed by anymore than 20. That would be the final score as CHS went on to a 53-33 victory.
Crestwood improved to 17-3 on the season and 6-1 in Region VI-4A. The Lady Gators dropped to 8-9 and 2-4.
The Lady Knights, coming off a 65-63 loss to Hartsville in which they allowed 46 second-half points, swarmed over Lakewood defensively in the first quarter. There was a reason for that.
“We really put a lot of emphasis on defense in practice (on Wednesday and Thursday),” said first-year CHS head coach Larry Crosby. “We needed to play better on defense, and this gave us an opportunity to get better.”
Destinee Jamison had six points and Jah’Che Whitfield five for Crestwood in the opening quarter.
During a timeout near the end of the first quarter, LHS head coach Demetress Adams-Ludd could be seen talking passionately to her squad.
“I just challenged them to push themselves, give a better effort and play harder,” Adams-Ludd said. “We missed some shots and had some turnovers, and you have to give Crestwood credit for being the team it is. We knew we could play better though.”
The Lady Gators got their first points at the 7:49 mark of the second quarter on a Valencia Croom layup. They got only two other field goals – one from Rahteisha Burgess and another from Treasure Smalls – but hit seven of eight free throws to make it 26-13 at halftime.
“We got in a little bit of foul trouble there in the second quarter,” Crosby said. “We didn’t let up in what we were doing defensively. We had three starters with two fouls and (Lakewood) was able to get some baskets.”
LHS got as close as it would get when Zaria Stephens scored the first basket of the second half to make it 26-15. It would later have a couple of opportunities to pull within 10, but was unable to capitalize.
“That was a little frustrating,” Adams-Ludd said. “I think that was our youth coming out there. Our girls played hard and gave themselves a chance, but we couldn’t capitalize.”
Crestwood led 41-26 after three quarters and Lakewood never got closer than 13 in the fourth quarter.
Jamison led the Lady Knights with 19 points. Whitfield had 14 and Monijah Lewis had nine.
Burgess led the Lady Gators with 10. Ki’Ari Cain had six.
Crestwood can clinch at least a share of first place in the region with a win over Darlington at home on Tuesday. Lakewood has two road games next week, playing at Lugoff-Elgin on Tuesday and at Darlington on Thursday in a game that was postponed in January due to snow.
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