Lower Richland’s boys basketball team claimed the championship at the Aiken Holiday Invitational tournament on Tuesday night, downing host Aiken 70-52.
The Diamond Hornets sprinted out to a 19-11 lead by the end of the first quarter, and expanded the advantage to 36-20 by halftime. After the Green Hornets pulled within 44-3 in the third quarter, LR delivered the knock out blow with a 14-2 run.
Preston Blackmon led Lower Richland with 20 points, and had double-digit support from Larry Felder (12 points) and Nashawn Burgess (10).
LR advanced to the finals with a come-from-behind 51-44 win over Glenn Hills (Ga.) in Monday’s semifinal round. The Diamond Hornets scored just two points in the third quarter, but sprinted past Glenn Hills with a 25-14 run in the fourth quarter. Keith Johnson and Kenneth McFadden shared the scoring lead with 10 points apiece, while Blackmon and Felder both tallied nine points.
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Lower Richland (8-3) returns to regular-season action Friday at home against Blythewood. The Diamond Hornets downed the Bengals 54-43 in the first meeting on Dec. 16.
The LR girls team is the first game of Friday’s twinbill. The Diamond Hornets saw their 51-game winning streak come to an end at the Crescent Bank Holiday Invitational in Myrtle Beach prior to Christmas, but closed out a 3-1 showing at the elite gathering with a 69-42 win over Williams High from Alexandria, Va.
Lower Richland (8-1) crushed the Bengals 52-28 on Dec. 16.