The Sumter High School varsity boys basketball team came up a little short at home on Tuesday against Hartsville, falling 79-70 due in large part to Red Fox senior point guard Trae Hannibal.
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The University of South Carolina signee dropped 21 points on the Gamecocks.
“Our rotation was terrible on defense,” Sumter head coach Shawn Jones said. “They’re a good team; we split with them one and one.”
The Gamecocks beat the Red Foxes 88-77 in Hartsville last week.
Sophomore guard/forward Cesare Edwards scored 16 points for the Red Foxes, senior guard/forward Ray O’Neal dropped 12 and junior power forward Demonte Capehart and senior guard Shaquez Pendergrass both scored 11.
For the Gamecocks, senior power forward Calvin Felder scored 21 points and senior shooting guard Jalen Johnson dropped 14.
“We shot terrible from the free throw line,” Jones said. “We have football guys who haven’t been with us, so we’re trying to find chemistry.”
Hartsville was up 22-19 after the first quarter, and the Gamecocks took a 38-36 lead at the half.
However, Hartsville went on a 7-0 run halfway through the third quarter on a free throw from Capehart, a basket from Edwards and two baskets from Hannibal, including an electrifying alley-oop he threw off the backboard to himself to put the Red Foxes up 49-45 with around 4:30 to go in the quarter.
Hartsville was up 60-57 after the third quarter.
Sumter cut Hartsville’s lead to 66-64 with two free throws from Johnson with 5:39 to go in the game, but two free throws from Hannibal and a basket from Pendergrass put the Red Foxes in front 70-64 with 4:17 left.
After a dunk from Felder, the Gamecocks cut the lead to 70-66, but an 8-2 run from Hartsville that included two 2-pointers from Capehart and baskets from Hannibal and O’Neal put the Red Foxes up 78-68 with 1:10 to go in the game.
“We played well in spurts, but bad decisions gave the momentum back,” Jones said. “(I liked our) fight, we just have to be more patient on offense. I’m excited about these guys, it’s still early."
With the loss, the Gamecocks fell to 1-2 on the season, while Hartsville improved to 2-2.
The Lady Gamecocks fared much better against Hartsville, blowing out the Red Foxes 56-33.
“We had a decent game on defense,” Sumter head coach Jeff Schaffer said. “We found the shooters and rotated. They have three girls that can shoot.”
Sophomore forward Layken Cox led Sumter in scoring with 20 points and grabbed 12 rebounds.
“Layken Cox did a good job cleaning up the glass in the third quarter,” Schaffer said. “We crashed the offensive glass.”
Senior guard Ki’ari Cain scored 13 for the Lady Gamecocks and junior guard Cece Wells added 10.
“We didn’t turn it over in the first half and we worked well together,” Schaffer said. We’re a work in progress. We had good, solid fundamentals and we’ll continue to work on fundamentals.”
Hartsville junior guard Jazolyn Pendergrass led the Lady Red Foxes in scoring with 10 points, senior point guard Teasia McPhail added nine and junior point guard Tarewyn Dawson had eight.
The win improved Sumter’s record to 5-1, while Hartsville fell to 2-3.
“We’re in a much tougher region this year, it’s a lot more competitive,” Schaffer said. “We need to be better by the region schedule.”
Both Sumter’s girls and boys teams will be back in action on Friday night at Crestwood with the girls game starting at 6 p.m.
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