Tradd Hunter’s 3-pointer with 16 seconds remaining pushed Lexington to a come-from-behind 43-42 win Wednesday at White Knoll.
The host Timberwolves had a seven-point lead with about three minutes to go, but couldn’t seal the deal. In fact, the Wildcats shut their archrivals out over the final three minutes of the contest. Hunter’s bonus bomb staked Lexington to its one and only lead of the night.
As a result, Lexington (16-2 overall) closed out the first half of the Region 5-4A campaign with a perfect 7-0 slate, and a three-game lead over Aiken and North Augusta. The Wildcats appear to be on the fast track to winning their first region championship since 2001.
Hunter ended up as the ‘Cats leading scorer with 13 points – a season high in region games. Freshman Shaq Roland contributed 11 points and Justin Mills scored eight. Roland is the nominal scoring leader in region play with a 10.3 average. Mills is next at 8.7.
Dermaine Smith tallied a game-high 18 points for the hard-luck Timberwolves, who fell to 3-4 in region play, 12-6 overall. The loss halted a two-game conference winning streak for WK.
The home fans had more to cheer in the opener. The White Knoll girls snapped a five-game losing streak with a 37-24 win over the archrival Wildcats.
Senior Emily Kirby scored a game-high nine points for the Timberwolves (6-8, 2-5), and senior Ashley Thompson tallied eight in support. The Wildcats fell to 6-10, 1-6.
Lexington opens second-half play Friday at Aiken, while White Knoll travels to Richland Northeast.
Region 5-4A boys standings
Lexington 7-0; Aiken 4-3; North Augusta 4-3; Irmo 3-3; Richland Northeast 3-4; White Knoll 3-4; Dutch Fork 2-4; Orangeburg-Wilkinson 1-6.
Region 5-4A girls standings
Dutch Fork 6-0, Irmo 5-1; Orangeburg-Wilkinson 5-2; Aiken 4-3, North Augusta 4-3; White Knoll 2-5; Lexington 1-6; Richland Northeast 0-7.