Columbia Star

Lower Richland battles by North Charleston

An 18-2 third quarter run propelled the Lower Richland Diamond Hornets past the North Charleston Cougars 62-46 Wednesday, February 15 in the first round of the boys 3A playoffs.

Alex Atkinson knocked down a bankshot to put Lower Richland ahead 2-0. North Charleston answered with a layup from Marcus Simmons to tie the score. Ethan Mays put the Diamond Hornets back in front with a layup. The Cougars matched it with a jumper from Tyrell Gadsden. Atkinson converted on a pair of free throws to give Lower Richland a 6-4 lead. A 3-pointer from Marco Simpson and a layup from Jaiden Williams gave North Charleston a 9-6 lead. Two free throws and a bankshot from Atkinson and a layup from Mays put the Diamond Hornets ahead 12-11 at the end of the first quarter.

Two free throws from Atkinson pushed the Lower Richland lead to 14-11. A bucket from the Cougars’ Onarae Grant brought it back to a one-point game. Then the Diamond Hornets scored eight of the next 13 points to extend their lead to 22-16. Atkinson and Shib Brown scored three points each, and Matthew Butler added two.

North Charleston fought back with two 3-pointers from Ethen Corbin-Willis and a layup from Zanquel Baldwin to give the Cougars a 24-22 edge. A layup from Mays tied the score at halftime.

Then came the third quarter. Two free throws by Michael Jordan gave North Charleston a two point lead. Lower Richland then proceeded to score 18 straight points to lead 42-26, led by Brown with nine. Atkinson scored four points, Arturo Overton chipped in three, and Butler added two.

The Diamond Hornets then outscored the Cougars 20-17 in the fourth quarter to preserve the win. Atkinson led the way with seven points, Butler chipped in with six, and Mario James added four.

Lower Richland: Alex Atkinson 19, Shib Brown 15, Matthew Butler 10, Arturo Overton 8, Ethan Mays 6, and Mario James 4.

North Charleston: Marco Simpson 13, Ethen Cobin-Willis 9, Onarae Grant 5, Nizhier Baldwin 5, Michael Jordan 4, Zanquel Baldwin 3, Tyrell Gadsden 3, Marcus Simmons 2, and Jaiden Williams 2.

Lower Richland’s season came to an end with a 68-49 loss to the Crestwood Knights in the boys 3A quarterfinals.

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