Despite losing seven seniors (four starters) off a state runner-up squad, Lexington’s new-look boys basketball team stayed on point all season.
“From the very beginning the goal has been to get back to The Citadel for the Lower State championship and the chance to get another shot at a state title,” said veteran Wildcats coach Bailey Harris. “Ws had The Citadel marked down on the schedule as a reminder of where we wanted to be.”
Lexington (24-5) punched its return ticket to Charleston and McAlister Field House by dodging a last-minute scare by visiting West Ashley on Tuesday at home. The host Wildcats led by five points with about a minute to play, but escaped with a 52-51 decision when the visiting Wildcats missed a contested 3-pointer from the corner at the buzzer and had the subsequent tip-in of the carom waved off by the officials.
Shaq Roland led Lexington with 23 points. Fellow junior Brandon Adams had a solid all around game with 13 points, five assists and three steals. Sophomore Nygel Gates led the club in rebounding with seven retrieves.
The Wildcats defeated Goose Creek 72-61 in the LS finale last season before faltering against Gaffney in the title bout.
Lexington advanced to the state championship game for the first time in 11 years in 2010. The idea this time around is to claim the program’s first state championship in 15 years.