It was a tale of two halves on Saturday as Sumter High School's varsity girls basketball team outscored Crestwood 21-9 in the third quarter and continued to pull away down the stretch, erasing a 19-12 halftime deficit to come away with a 48-32 victory at the SHS gymnasium.
"We talked about it at halftime and we made a couple of little adjustments," said SHS interim head coach Jeff Schaffer, whose team ran its record to 2-1. "The biggest thing in the first half was we could have been standing at the beach and not hit the ocean if we had been there. I told them you missed a lot of shots, I said we've got to get to the rim in the second half and maybe get them in a little bit of foul trouble. So we started attacking the basket a little bit more."
Crestwood's offense revolved around Destinee Jamison, who had eight of her team's 19 first-half points and scored nine of the Lady Knights' 13 second-half points.
"Defensively, I thought we did a better job in the second half of containing Destinee," Schaffer said. "She's a great player. You've got to keep her in front of you, because she's going to hurt you if you let her get by you."
For Sumter, Nina Edlow definitely picked up her offensive game in the second half. After a quiet first half with just an old-school 3-point play on the books, Edlow pressed the issue down low and on the fast break in the second half. She earned 12 trips to the free throw line, connecting on seven shots to close the game 8-of-13, while adding three baskets for a team-high 16 points.
"She was one I talked to at halftime a little bit," Schaffer said of Edlow. "In the first half, when they kind of manned up on us, she was just kind of standing around a little bit. I told her you've got to get your hands on the ball and go to the basket a little bit. So in the second half she obviously did that, got to the foul line and was able to knock down some foul shots."
Crestwood's last lead was 23-22 with 4:57 to go in the third quarter, after two Kionna McElveen free throws. Sumter closed the quarter on an 11-5 run and scored the first six points of the fourth to build a 39-28 lead before a Jamison basket broke a 7-0 Lady Gamecock run. The Lady Knights, now 2-1, added a Moenijah Lewis follow to cut the lead to seven before Sumter scored the game's final nine points.
Tamerah Brown added 12 for the Lady Gamecocks, who close out a 4-game season-opening homestand on Tuesday against Lee Central.
In the varsity boys game, Sumter broke open a close game with a strong second-half effort, pulling away for a 53-40 win.
Crestwood had the advantage early in what turned out to be a 3-point shooting contest in the first half. Kwalick Jones drained three treys, all in the opening half, among his game-high 17 points, but seven threes from Sumter, including four from Jaylen Johnson, gave the Gamecocks a 28-21 halftime lead.
Two Isaih Moore threes to close the half gave Sumter a cushion that it would build on with a 5-0 run to open the third quarter. The lead was 18, 45-27, heading to the final quarter and peaked at 20 on two occasions in the fourth.
Moore closed with 15 for the Gamecocks, now 3-0, while Carl Benjamin had nine and Nazir Andino eight, including two threes, for the Knights, who dropped to 0-3.