Preston Blackman scored 21 points, but it was the play in the post that helped Lower Richland's boys wrap up its regular season with a 65-56 win against Chester at Lower Richland Thursday.
Sidney Rivers was a bruiser in the lane for Lower Richland, scoring 22 points as the Diamond Hornets have a share of the region lead. Lower Richland improved to 20-4 overall and 9-1 in region play.
The Diamond Hornets, ranked third in this week's Class 3A poll, came into the game trying to stay in the hunt for the region title. They trailed Fairfield Central on points.
Lower Richland didn't pull away from Chester (5-12, 4-6 until late.
"I thought our post players by committee played well tonight," Lower Richland coach Ezekiel Washington said. "But we know we've got to play better. We expect it. Our community expect it."
Washington was disappointed in his teams lack of intensity at times in the game.
"We started off with good intensity, but then we lost focused," he said. "Our whole game involves us playing harder than our opponent. And when we don't do that, then bad things happen."
Chester led for much of the first half. But Lower Richland closed the second quarter with a 13-8 run for a 29-25 lead halftime lead. Rivers led the Diamond Hornets with 11 first-half points.
Darren Williams and Julius Pendergrass each scored 14 points for Chester. Tony McNeal had 13.C: Williams 14, McNeal 13, Johnson 5, Julius Pendergrass 14, Fred Lee 10. LR: Garrick 4, Smith 4, Johnson 2, Sabb 3, Outing 3, Sumter 2, Burgess 4, Sidney Rivers 22, McFadden 1.