PRESEASON HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL - Lexington usher in Elliott Pope era with school record for points at Lake Murray Tipoff
The Elliott Pope era started in record-setting fashion Monday in the Lake Murray Tipoff at Lexington High School.
The host team Wildcats opened the tournament with a 105-92 victory over Lugoff-Elgin.
In breaking the previous school mark of 104 set against Columbia on Jan. 4, 2011, Lexington rallied from an early 15-point deficit to outscore the Demons over the next 3 quarters in a contest which saw both teams combine for 49 personal fouls.
“You’ve got to give all the credit to the kids,” Lexington head coach Elliott Pope said. “We’ve got guys like Adin Daniels and Keldric Bouknight and Cam Scott and Amari Davis. That’s their 1st varsity action. We’ve got guys playing major roles and that’s the 1st time they put on a jersey and played with officials in a real game and that’s huge for their confidence. But it’s a testament to the kids. They bought it.”
Lexington was led by a trio who did not see action for last year’s 29-1 squad.Cameron Scott had a team-high 29 points and Aden Daniels scored all 23 of his points in the 2nd half.
It was the reverse for Keldric Bouknight who had all 19 of his points in the 1st half.
Lexington trailed 19-4 before closing out the 1st quarter on a 19-7 run to cut the deficit to 26-23. Lugoff-Elgin had 5 players in double figures led by Jordan Williams with 23, Devante Johnson with 16, Kerondre Ransom with 13, Kyjuan Gadson with 12 and N. Diggs with.
“Goodness gracious, that’s a good Lugoff team,” Pope said. “They get up and down the floor. They shoot the ball well. They’re aggressive defensively.”
The Wildcats more than matched the Demons’ upcourt tempo in the 2nd quarter. They outscored them 30-20 in the 2nd quarter to take control of the game.
The 3rd quarter saw Daniels assert himself in the paint with 12 points as Lexington extended its lead. He added 11 more in the 4th as the Wildcats increased their advantage as many as 20 points.
His layup late in the game pushed Lexington over the century mark with 57 seconds left. The Wildcats would get the final 4 points necessary to break the record.
Despite the record, Pope said not to expect the Wildcats to play at such a frenetic pace on a nightly basis.
“I want to be able to play both (ways),” he said. “To play with the Dormans and the Berkeleys, and the Goose Creeks and the Mauldins of the world, you have to be able to run up and down the floor, but you also have to be able to run a set offense when you don’t get transition opportunities. I think this was a good step forward to doing something effectively transition-wise. But we’ve got to be able to execute on offense.
“Did we do that tonight? Yeah, at times. But more often than not, we’re getting fastbreak stuff. So, we’ve got to be able to score when the offense is set and the defense is set.”
Up next for Lexington is Cross Creek, a 86-61 winner over Fairfield-Central.
White Knoll 85, Richard Winn 48
By KEVIN OLIVER
The Timberwolves kicked off their Lake Murray Tip-Off tournament run with a convincing win over the Eagles on their home court.
The tournament final will take place Friday at White Knoll after games Tuesday and Wednesday night.
Jalen Jennings led all scorers for the Timberwolves with 19 points, followed by Devin Stone with 15. Darius Boyel led Richard Winn Academy’s scoring with 16.
The Eagles struggled to keep the game close in the first half, with missed shots and ball handling mistakes keeping them from closing the scoring gap that continued to widen after the 1st quarter. White Knoll’s defensive play shut down any chance of Richard Winn coming back in the second half by disrupting their passing lanes and forcing turnovers.
In the 1st game at White Knoll, Wilson defeated Fox Creek 39-25.
(At White Knoll High School)
Richard Winn vs. Wilson 6 pm
Fox Creek vs. White Knoll 7:30 pm
(At Lexington High School)
Fairfield Central vs. Lugoff-Elgin 6 pm
Cross Creek vs. Lexington 7:30 pm
TIP OFF AT THE DAM
River Bluff 81, Silver Bluff 39
Josh Crenshaw scored 14 points, Myles Jenkins had 12 and Christian Green added 11 as the Gators advanced to the semifinals Monday.
They will next play Spring Valley, a 44-41 winner over Summerville, at 7:30 pm Tuesday.
Over at Chapin High School, Dutch Fork defeated Goose Creek 44-41 and the host team fell 70-68 to South Aiken.
The Silver Foxes will face the Thoroughbreds at 7:30 pm for a berth in Wednesday’s final at Chapin. The Eagles will face Goose Creek at 6 pm
(At River Bluff High School)
Summerville vs. Silver Bluff 6 pm
River Bluff vs. Spring Valley 7:30 pm
(At Chapin High School)
Chapin vs. Goose Creek 6 pm
Dutch Fork vs. South Aiken 7:30 pm