DALZELL - The Thomas Sumter Academy varsity girls basketball team entered Friday's contest at TSA's Edens Gymnasium against Williamsburg Academy sitting in second place in SCISA Region II-2A, …
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DALZELL - The Thomas Sumter Academy varsity girls basketball team entered Friday's contest at TSA's Edens Gymnasium against Williamsburg Academy sitting in second place in SCISA Region II-2A, starting its second swing through the region schedule.
The Lady Generals got off to a slow start, falling behind 14-12 with about five minutes left in the second quarter, but got some solid play from its bench, built a 26-14 lead by halftime and never looked back in the second half enroute to a 52-26 victory.
TSA improved to 12-7 overall, 6-1 in region play with the victory.
"We were really bad from the free throw line in the first half, but then what a great spark some kids off the bench had in that second half," said TSA head coach B.J. Reed, whose team goes out of region today in a 6 p.m. game against Augusta Prep Day of the Georgia Independent Schools Association.
"Marley McCormick came in, Allie Lindler came in and Caetlyn Martin came in huge as a spark plug, hitting some shots for us, and we settled in in the second half."
"We were in a little bit of foul trouble, so we decided we'd come out in our 2-3 zone," Reed said. "We were able to create some things and Aubrey Stoddard took over in the second half, not only offensively, but defensively did some really good things for us."
Stoddard led the way scoring for the Lady Generals, pouring in 17 points, many of them easy baskets in transition off tough defensive pressure that kept the Lady Stallions stymied throughout the final three quarters of the game. Martin added 14 for TSA.
Brandy Gause led Williamsburg Academy with nine points.
"This was a huge win," Reed said. "When we played them the first time, it was nip-and-tuck until the very end, and we won by 10.
"When it started out and we were down, I was a little worried," she said. "Not only did our team get in foul trouble, their team got in foul trouble, and that makes you have to make some adjustments and our bench came up huge tonight."
In the boys game, it was Thomas Sumter's stifling defense that made the difference. The Generals limited the Stallions to only two field goals and two free throws in the first half, building a 29-6 halftime lead and pulling away in the second half for a 57-23 win.
"I'm very pleased with the defense," said Thomas Sumter's first-year head coach Woody Lathan, whose team improved to 8-7 overall and 5-2 in SCISA Region II-2A.
"They came out trying to hold the ball - they've had some illnesses - and so we attacked them and were able to take the ball from them about every other possession in the first half."
Williamsburg's EJ Muldrow led all scorers with 15. No TSA player scored in double figures, but almost every player on the team saw significant playing time and scored.
Zach Fugate and Eli Kessigner both had nine points for TSA and Jacob Brown had eight.
"We were in second place in the conference and very happy to be there," Lathan said. "This was a big conference win."
Thomas Sumter's boys host Camden Military today at 5:30.
"With us playing tonight, going hard, we've got to be ready for tomorrow," Lathan said. "Hopefully our legs will be ready too."
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