With a lead in the fourth period of more than 40 points, maybe then did Loris girls basketball coach Douglas Gause devote any thought as to what was transpiring in Dillon.
Coming into the final night of the regular season, the rivals were knotted atop Region VI-3A. Guess the teams were fit to be tied after all was said and done Wednesday evening.
The Lions did their part to earn a share of a league crown, downing Aynor 53-13. Moments later, Dillon matched the Lions’ league record of 9-1 with a 73-29 victory over Waccamaw.
A tiebreaker Friday night will decide which squad earns a No. 1-seed in the upcoming playoffs. The game — with a 6 p.m. tip time — will be held at Aynor High School.
Disappointed it was unable to put a bow on the league Monday night, a refocused group of Lions took the floor. The Lions sprinted out to a 25-6 halftime lead, then continued to push the pace after the break, its press proving to much for the visiting Blue Jackets.
“I just tried to remind them that we know what is at stake, to stay playing at our level regardless of the level of our competition. We still have to play our game,” said Loris girls basketball coach Douglas Gause. “Tonight we did that. We worked on our offense tried to focus on our defense and it worked out good for us.”
Ty’Anna Green led the Lions with 15 points. Neaundra Gause and Iklea Green each followed up with 10 points in a winning effort.
With one more shot at a region title, Loris plans to make the most of this rare opportunity.
“They were really motivated tonight. They took the loss kind of hard Monday night,” the Loris girls hoops coach said. “They really wanted to close (Region VI-3A) out on Monday night, where we wouldn’t have to be in this position. But hopefully today and a good practice Thursday and we will be ready.”
Said Iklea Green: “It feels good (to get over Monday’s loss to Dillon). We just know we’re going to work harder. We took a loss to get a win. We’re going to take care of them Friday night and take the region.”
AYN (13): Alexis Ball 2, Michaela Jones 4, Riana Hucks 7.
LOR (53): Tyniece Hemingway 3, Nysha Jackson 3, Neaundra Gause 10, Iklea Green 10, Ty’Anna Green 15, Aundrea Washington 2, Keioshya Davis 2, Lanise Harris 8.
3-pointers: AYN 0, LOR 6 (Hemingway, Jackson, Gause 2, I. Green, T. Green). Team fouls: AYN 5, LOR 7. Fouled out: None. Technical fouls: None
Records: AYN 0-17 (0-10 Region VI-3A), LOR 16-8 (9-1 Region VI-3A)
Loris 52, Aynor 24: Much like its peers on the girls side, the Loris boys hoops squad had plenty to play for Wednesday night.
In a three-way tie for second place in Region VI-3A starting the night, it only needed a victory over Aynor to — at the least — stake its claim to the league’s No. 2 spot.
Early on, however, it was the Blue Jackets who looked as if it had something to play for. Patient on the offensive end and relentless on the defensive glass, Aynor held a 9-6 advantage after a quarter of play.
Displeased with his team’s play to start such a pivotal contest, Loris boys basketball coach Adrain Grady let his feelings be known.
“Six points … six points in the first quarter?,” he asked the team as it came to the bench between quarters.
Apparently, all Loris needed was a wake-up call.
Outscoring the visiting Blue Jackets 19-5 in the second period of play, it was able to put a stamp on a breakthrough season with a 28-point win.
“I don’t really recall everything I said, but it boiled down to the fact that we need to play hard at all times,” Grady said. “… It’s great to come out with a win any night. But on Senior Night, they are recognized and everyone sees them, their parents and is a testament to them pushing them from when they were little till now, investing in them. This is a testament to their hard work.”
Helping key the run was senior Bobby Gore, who scored 10 points in the quarter. He was the lone player in double figures from either team.
Chipping in was Antron Smith with 9 points, while Travis Walters had 6 points in a winning effort.
AYN (24): C. Riddle 2, C. Jenerette 6, J. Gause 6, S. Sarvis 3, J. Kersey 1, L. Long 5, T. Follord 1.
LOR (52): Jahrique Isiahi 1, Carl Green 1, Surqavin Hemingway 3, Kyle Bellamy 4, Levon Stevenson 2, Koran Hemingway 2, Bobby Gore 16, Travis Walters 6, Antron Smith 9, Kavon Drayton 2, Derick Grisset 4, Darius Bellamy 2.
3-pointers: AYN 3 (Sarvis, Jenerette, Long), LOR 3 (Gore 2, Smith). Team fouls: AYN 12, LOR 10. Fouled out: None. Technical fouls: Jenerette (AYN).
Records: AYN 1-16 (0-10 Region VI-3A), LOR 14-5 (7-3 Region VI-3A)