2018-01-08 / Sports

Gaffney keeps poise down the stretch to edge Trojans

By LARRY HILLIARD
Ledger Sports Editor

Down by five with three minutes to play and their best player Bradley Childers still sidelined with an injury, things looked bleak for the Gaffney Indians.

But the Indians remained poised, hit critical free throws down the stretch and held off visiting Northwestern for a 65-59 win on a frigid Friday night.

The Indians pulled within 57-56 with 2:11 to go before Stan Ellis converted a steal for a layup to give the Indians the lead for good.

The Trojans were whistled for a charge, and Sadarius Bowser hit one of two free throws. Gaffney rebounded the miss and Nyun Peeler made two free throws to increase the lead to 60-57 with 48.2 left to play.

The Trojans closed the gap to a bucket but Ellis made four free throws in the final 10 seconds to seal the win.

Gaffney finishes its non region schedule with an 11-5 record.

The Trojans forced 25 Gaffney turnovers in the first meeting. This time, the Indians did a better job of handling the basketball.

That was the key, according to Gaffney coach Mark Huff.

“It was better this time,” said Huff, referring to the number of turnovers. “We still turned it over but it wasn’t as many. That was the difference.”

The Indians also kept their composure after Northwestern took the lead.

“That was important,” Huff said. “We made our free throws.”

Nick Agapion had a team high 17 points, while Ladarius Foster had 16 and Ellis finished with 11.

Bowser was dominant on the backboards and blocking shots.

Huff said he expects Childers to return for the team’s region opener Friday at Byrnes.

Lady Indians 75, Northwestern 33

Kayla Ford had a season high 35 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Lady Indians.

Mariah Corry added 14.

“The girls are playing with confidence and that’s important going into region play. It was a great win for us,” Gaffney coach Susan Wade said.

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