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Lady Knights dominate District 9 basketball tourney Friday

BY EDDIE LITAKER Special to The Sumter Item
Posted 12/28/19

After playing its three scheduled games in the 23rd Annual District 9 Officials Christmas Basketball Tournament, Crestwood High School's varsity girls team appeared to be the class of the 4-team field, by a wide margin.

Playing twice on Friday at …

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Lady Knights dominate District 9 basketball tourney Friday

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After playing its three scheduled games in the 23rd Annual District 9 Officials Christmas Basketball Tournament, Crestwood High School's varsity girls team appeared to be the class of the 4-team field, by a wide margin.

Playing twice on Friday at Morris College's Garrick-Boykin Human Development Center, the Lady Knights won both games in dominant fashion. First came a 57-19 win over Lamar to open Friday's 8-game slate, then Crestwood blew out Blythewood 54-17 in the day's fourth game. Those romps followed a 47-35 win Thursday night over Hartsville, the team they were likely to face for the championship on Saturday.

The Crestwood boys are in the championship game as well after beating C.E. Murray 66-56 and Timberland 59-48.

Three-point shooting helped the Lady Knights to pull away in both of Friday's games, with Tynia Saunders burying three shots from behind the arc in both games to lead the charge.

"I tell the girls to step into their shot, and I was proud of the way Tynia Saunders stepped in today and shot the ball well," said Crestwood head coach Tony Wilson, whose team advanced its record to 11-2. "I'm happy for her because she wasn't getting many minutes. She's starting to come around and starting to see what it takes. Her confidence level was down early on (in the season) but she's starting to play with confidence right now, so I was very pleased to see her shooting the ball with such confidence. She was able to knock down some good open looks against both Blythewood and Lamar."

Saunders' points against the Lady Benagls came in rapid-fire succession on three of four second-half trips down the floor. The one trip that didn't end in a Saunders trey saw Shania Davis hit for three. In all, the Lady Knights connected on eight treys, including six in the second half, with the other treys coming from CeCe Wells, who hit two while finishing with 10 points, Ta'Janique Johnson and Dynasia Jackson.

While Crestwood was getting 24 of its 54 points from long range, Blythewood managed just five field goals all game, with seven points coming at the free-throw line. The Lady Bengals' first field goal, a Michaela

Bosman free-throw line jumper, came at the 5:27 mark of the 16-minute first half as the Lady Knights led 24-5 at the break.

"The girls stepped up and really played a good defense today," Wilson said. "I was telling them we're about to head into region play and we've got to start playing better than what we've played. I think our zone trap was real big for us today because we got a lot of steals and jumped out to an early lead. I think that was the turning point in the game today."

Jackson added five steals, six rebounds and two assists while Wells closed with eight assists, two steals and one rebound. A'Yonna Young led the Lady Knights in scoring with 14 points and cleared six rebounds. Johnson matched Jackson's five steals, along with three rebounds and one assist, and Ashanti Washington had five boards and one assist.

Bosman paced the Lady Bengals with seven points.

Young and Washington paced Crestwood in the win over Lamar, scoring 12 and 11 points respectively. Young added seven rebounds, three steals and one blocked shot while Washington, who popped for three treys, had seven rebounds and an assist. Tatiana Farmer and Tiliyah Kennedy both hit the boards hard as well, closing with nine and six rebounds respectively.

Other Friday scores:

Boys: Crestwood 66, C.E. Murray 56; Scott's Branch 43, Timberland 39