2014-02-17 / Sports

Indians, Cavs battle for bragging rights, not region title

By LARRY HILLIARD
Ledger Sports Editor


Gaffney’s Shaq Davidson drives to the hoop against Dorman’s J.J. Arcega-Whiteside in first quarter action of the teams’ first meeting. Gaffney won that meeting, with the second matchup set for tonight at Dorman. Tip time for the boys’ game is 7:30 p.m. 
(Photo by LARRY HILLIARD) Gaffney’s Shaq Davidson drives to the hoop against Dorman’s J.J. Arcega-Whiteside in first quarter action of the teams’ first meeting. Gaffney won that meeting, with the second matchup set for tonight at Dorman. Tip time for the boys’ game is 7:30 p.m. (Photo by LARRY HILLIARD) Tonight’s game between heated rivals Gaffney and Dorman won’t be for first place in the region. But that doesn’t lessen its importance.

“It’s significant,” Gaffney coach Mark Huff said. “We are going to try to win, and I don’t care if it’s for first place in the region.”

The Cavaliers (19-4, 12-1) secured the region’s No. 1 seed with a 69-46 win Saturday over Boiling Springs. The Indians (18- 4, 10-3) will be the No. 2 seed and likely host Rock Hill (the No. 3 seed in Region III) — a rematch of last year’s first round matchup — on Thursday.

The first meeting between the Cavs and Indians lived up to the hype.

L.J. Peak, held without a field goal in the first quarter, poured in 41 points after that and finished with 44 as he led Gaffney to a second-half comeback victory, 71-64.

The Indians trailed 20-6 after the first quarter, but trimmed that deficit to 34- 28 at halftime.

Peak scored 11 of his teams’ next 16 points and Gaffney went in front on one of his fast-break slam dunks to make it 43-41 with four minutes left in the third quarter.

Dorman never led again.

Dorman is led by versatile forward J.J. Arcega- Whiteside and top scorer Quantez Brown.

“Dorman is very good,” Huff said. “They are very well coached and they play hard. Gaffney and Dorman is a rivalry.”

In the first game, Peak went wild when he decided to post up. Huff said Peak’s ability to play inside and out is a gamechanger.

“We move L.J. around depending on the personnel,” he said. “The good thing about L.J. is that he can play all the positions. We will put him where he will be most effective.”

Huff said the key to tonight’s game is turnovers and rebounding.

“We have to take care of the ball,” Huff said. “We can’t have the turnovers. We also have to do a good job on the boards. We can’t give them three or four shots.”

The boys game will begin about 7:30 p.m. The girls game will tip at 6 p.m. The Lady Indians must beat Dorman to qualify for the playoffs.

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