Lady Bengals fall to Sumter

COLUMBIA – The Sumter girls basketball team had their game at Blythewood well in hand by halftime Friday night. Up 30-16 coming out of halftime, the Gamecocks outscored the Bengals 18-5 in the third quarter and closed out a 63-28 Region 5-5A victory.

Emilya Gallman throws up her shot with very little opposition. | Ross Burton

Layken Cox led the way with 16 points. Keyare Coin and Cece Wells had 13 points apiece, and Tamerrah Brown had 11 points.

Even though the game was a complete victory, head coach Jeff Schaffer said he knows Sumter has to clean up some things before the postseason tips off.

“We still have to do a better job on the boards,” Schaffer said. “We’re not very good at that yet. When we play teams like Spring Valley, you’ve got to put bodies on bodies. We want to get a rebound before we block out. Against athletic teams, they’re going to go on top of you.”

Sumter (20-2, 5-1) now looks to finishing region play strong. The Gamecocks head to Spring Valley Tuesday to play the defending 5A state champion Vikings. Sumter’s only region loss came in the form of a 61-45 loss to Spring Valley Jan. 18. The Vikings, at 20-3, are unbeaten in the region.

“They’re very strong, and you have to body them up,” Schaffer said. “We still haven’t figured that out. Once we do, we’re gonna be really good. We can get out and go, because our guards are so good.”

With the Gamecocks being young this year, yet still poised to go far in the postseason, Schaffer said he’s optimistic that his team can grasp the finer points of playing under the nets.

“It’s something we’ve been preaching for months now, but it’s slowly starting to sink in,” he said. “This is a young team, mostly juniors and sophomores. It’s a learning curve that they’ve got to get over, but unfortunately, we’re almost out of time this year to work on it.”

Alexis Mims scored 10 points to lead Blythewood (8-13, 2-4). The Bengals travel to Lugoff-Elgin Tuesday and play host to Spring Valley Friday.

SHS  – 14-16-18-15 – 63

BHS – 6-8-5 -7 – 28

SHS: Layken Cox 16, Keyare Coin 13, Cece Wells 13, Tamerrah Brown 11, Conyers 4, Jackson 3, Johnson 2, Calaugh 1.

BHS: Alexis Mims 10, Weeks 7, Johns 6, Emetu 4, Galman 1.

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