Sumter basketball teams returns to action on Saturday at home against country rival Crestwood in a tune-up for the start of the Region 6-4A campaign on Jan. 13.
The Gamecocks boys (6-3) snapped a three-game losing streak on Tuesday, downing Spring Valley 67-57. Sumter trailed 32-26 at halftime, but seized control by scoring the first 11 points of the third quarter. Quinn McClendon rang up 17 points and eight rebounds to lead the way, and Travis Fredimon nearly pulled off a triple double with 11 points, 13 assists and eight rebounds.
Sumter dropped a bitter 50-49 decision to the tough Crestwood Knights (10-2) on Jan. 2. In a back-and-forth struggle, Crestwood went on a 14-0 roll at the start of the fourth quarter, but then failed to score again in the final 4:34 of the game. The Gamecocks roared back into contention by forcing turnovers, and poor shooting by the Knights (from the field and the foul line) certainly helped. Stephon McBride’s 3-pointer with 25 seconds and things interesting, but it proved to be the last score of the contest.
The Sumter girls (4-5) will be looking to snap a three-game losing on Saturday. Crestwood scored a 38-28 win in the first meeting of the area rivals last week.
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The Gamecocks had a nice showing at the Orangeburg Sweet 16 tournament during the holiday break, beating Gilbert and Fort Dorchester before falling 59-44 to host Orangeburg-Wilkinson in the championship game.
Brittany Starling and Shanice Cooper have been the Gamecocks’ leaders to date. Starling is averaging 9.1 points and 9.0 rebounds. Starling is averaging 8.4 points, 3.7 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.6 steals.