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Free throws lift LCHS boys; South Pike girls soar

MAGNOLIA – Lawrence County and South Pike split a Division 7-4A basketball doubleheader Tuesday night at the South Pike Coliseum. In the girls’ game, Janice Felder’s Lady Eagles moved to 15-5 overall and 3-0 in the division with a 64-54 win over Lawrence County. Lawrence County’s boys returned the favor in the late game, edging South Pike by a 68-64 margin.

South Pike 64, LCHS 54

Both South Pike and Lawrence County entered the girls’ game with 2-0 division marks. The Lady Eagles improved to 3-0 by shooting the lights out against the Lady Cougars. South Pike hit six 3-pointers in the game, and many more outside shot from just inside the 3-point line. That hot shooting helped South Pike to overcome a 10-point first quarter deficit, and to outscore LCHS 39-26 in the second half.

“I thought we played pretty well, especially offensively,” said Lady Cougar coach Vicki Rutland. “We just couldn’t keep up with their shooting. That’s the best anyone has shot the ball from outside on us in a long time.”

Diminutive point guard Akayla Powell led South Pike with 15 points, and Jamaya Carter added 13. Brady Coleman and Jacinta Stepter each scored 9. All 9 of Stepter’s points came on 3 second quarter 3-pointers which quickly erased the 10-point lead Lawrence County held at the end of the first quarter.

The Lady Cougars fell to 9-8 and 2-1 with the loss. Brittany McDuffey and Shayla Kees powered Lawrence County with 14 points each. DaKendra Collins had a strong game, with 11 points and 8 rebounds. Tiana Dampeer added 8 points and 3 assists.

LCHS 68, South Pike 64

The boys’ game was close and competitive throughout, with Lawrence County ultimately winning out due to some clutch free throw shooting. LCHS made 11 of 13 fourth quarter free throws, with freshman Gabriel Lewis and Phillip Moore hitting a combined 6 of 6 in the decisive period. For the game, the Cougars hit 20 of 26 from the charity stripe.

“It was a good win for our guys,” said LCHS coach Pat Bridges, whose Cougars improved to 9-8 overall, and 1-2 in Division 7-4A action. “We shot the free throws really well, and that was key to this win. South Pike played us really hard. There wasn’t anything easy about it.”

Lawrence County’s Brandon Daniels led all scorers with 27 points. He was joined in double figures by Moore, who scored 12, and Anson Fox, who netted 10. Lewis and Glenn Russell, Jr. each scored 9.

Joe Taylor’s South Pike Eagles fell to 4-15 overall and 0-3 with the loss. They were led by Desmond Cook, who scored 21 points. Monte Martin and Damien Ray each had 12.

Lawrence County will host North Pike in division play on Friday.