The Keenan Raiders outscored the Lower Richland Diamond Hornets 19- 6 in the second quarter to help pull away with a 61-46 win Tuesday, January 25.
“I think defensively we got after it a little better,” Keenan head coach Zach Norris said. “We got into the passing lanes and forced them to turn the ball over a little bit. That allowed us to get out and run a little bit. This is the first time we ever went inside-out on offense. We’ve been stressing that we need to use our bigs a little more, and that’ll open up our jump shots from the outside.”
Olyn Knox led the Raiders with a game-high 24 points. Samejah Echols chipped in 14.
“Olyn played well,” Norris said. “He has a long way to go for me. I’m always criticizing him and Samejah a little because they should be our backbone on our team. They are seniors, and they should be leaders. We have to go through both of them, and both responded well today.”
Alex Atkinson led Lower Richland with 14 points. Arturo Overton and Adrien Jackson each added seven.
Lower Richland got two layups and a tap in from Atkinson to take a 6-2 lead. Keenan stormed back with a layup, slam dunk, and a free throw from Knox; a layup from Marquece Williams; a free throw and tap in from Echols; and a jumper from Jaden Gipson to take a 12-6 lead. A bucket from Jamari Warren closed the gap to 12-8 at the end of the first quarter.
Knox and Atkinson traded buckets to start the second quarter, before Keenan again went on a run. Chrisean Oree started things off with three free throws and two layups. Echols added a jumper, a layup, and a free throw; Williams chipped in a jumper; Knox scored on a bank shot; and Amari King knocked down a free throw to give the Raiders a 31-14 lead at halftime.
The Keenan lead grew to as large as 40-18, following five points from Knox, two from Echols, and two from Oree.
Lower Richland was able to whittle the deficit with two layups from Atkinson, a 3-pointer from Warren, a bank shot from Amari Smith, and a jumper from Shib Brown to make the score 45-29 at the end of the third quarter.
The Diamond Hornets got seven points from Jackson in the final quarter. Overton chipped in three points, and Atkinson and Matthew Butler each added two points. Keenan got ten points from Knox, four from Echols, and two from Oree to come away with the win.
“This is a big win, and we need to get another one on Friday when we go to Lower Richland,” Norris said. “This sits us alone in first place right now, but it’ll be to no avail if we go over there and get beat. So we are going to work hard the next couple of days and try to correct some of the mistakes we made tonight.”
Keenan: Olyn Knox 24, Semajeh Echols 14, Chrisean Oree 13, Marquece Williams 4, Jadea Gipson 2, Brian Sumpter 2, and Amari King 2.
Lower Richland: Alex Atkinson 14, Adrien Jackson 7, Arturo Overton 7, Jamari Warren 5, Jeremiah Orange 5, Matthew Butler 4, Amari Smith 2, and Shib Brown 2.
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