HEY 19! Wildcats defeat Panthers to tie in-season win streak school mark
Years ago, Bailey Harris and David Smith were teammates on the 4x400 meter relay track and field team at Presbyterian College.
For the first time Thursday, they faced each other as head boys' basketball coaches.
Smith and the host team Panthers under looked to upend Harris' 5th-ranked and undefeated Wildcats. For the 19th time this season in 19 outings, it was Lexington coming out on top by a 57-37 score.
The victory tied the school record for most consecutive wins in a season. It was previously held by the 1996 Class 4A championship team who ended the season with 19 straight victories.
Senior Mason Carver scored a game-high 24 points as he closes in on 1,000 career points. Bradley Foulks posted a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds as he held his own under the boards against the taller, aggressive Panthers.
The contest was physical at times, with Lexington's Joe Long losing a tooth after taking an inadvertant elbow while defending a driving Pelion player. Carver also left the game briefly after taking a hard fall while converting a layup.
"A very physical, way more athletic than us team and I thought we did a good job of keeping our cool and our composure," Harris said. "A call didn't go our way or we didn't get a rebound, kind of got knocked out of the way. We didn't retaliate. We didn't make a stupid play. I thought our guys did a pretty good job keeping their cool. It was a very physical game."
After scoring 5 unanswered points in the final 3 seconds of the first quarter, Lexington held a 20-10 advantage. It maintained a double-digit lead for most of the contest, at one point forcing Smith to call 2 timeouts in the span of 11 seconds in the third quarter.
Travon Alston had a team-high 17 points for the Panthers.
Afterwards, both head coaches believed such a tough contest will benefit their efforts in upcoming region games.
"I believe this tough schedule has prepared us for what we will see in Region 5-3A," said Smith, who play host to Edisto Friday. "The only thing between a great region season is us. We have the necessary elements. Now, let's see what happens. It was very educational to watch the way Coach Harris and his kids handle themselves on the basketball court."
"That's probably not bad preparation for (Dutch Fork) because they're going to be very physical and aggressive and they're well-coached," said Harris about Tuesday's opponent who's coached by a former Wildcat Brett Jones. "I won't hold any secrets from them, that's for sure."
Lexington 79, Pelion 28
Olivia Thompson scored 16 points, Alexis Sexton had 12 points on, 4 3-pointers and Claire Tarlton finished with 10 to lead the Lady Wildcats (13-3, 1-0).
Elaysia Keitt and Whitney Craft both scored 8 points for the winless Lady Panthers (0-8).
FRIDAY'S PREP SCHEDULE
(All varsity doubleheaders start at 6 p.m.)
North Augusta at Airport
Ninety Six at Batesburg-Leesville
Brookland-Cayce at South Aiken
White Knoll at Chapin
Dutch Fork at River Bluff
Edisto at Pelion
Gray Collegiate at C.A. Johnson
Northside Christian at Palmetto Christian
Swansea at Strom Thurmond
Irmo at Blythewood
Richard Winn at W.W. King
Swansea at Strom Thurmond