Lexington’s girls basketball team is playing only for pride this season. The Wildcats are ineligible for the state playoffs because of a preseason practice violation.
But David Long’s team remains on a mission of sorts – to finish in first place (unofficially) in Region 5-4A this season. On Friday, Lexington gave itself a chance to reach that goal by moving within one game of front-running North Augusta after handing the Yellow Jackets their first conference setback of the campaign.
In a defensive struggle, the Wildcats (9-4, 4-2) emerged with a 36-25 win. Laura Beth Neal paced the attack with 12 points. She was the lone double-digit producer in the game.
The Lexington boys (17-5, 5-1) kept pace with Aiken atop the standings with an 84-73 win over North Augusta. Shaq Roland put together his best offensive game in weeks, canning 28 to set the tone for Lexington. Jalen Cook (18 points) and Nygel Gates (10) provided added support.
White Knoll fell two games behind the co-leaders after suffering a 52-40 loss at Aiken, The host Green Hornets blew open a tight game with a 19-4 run over the final five minutes of the game. Julian Johnson’s 12 points was the high mark for the slumping Timberwolves (15-6, 3-3), who had dropped three of their last four outings.
Once-beaten Aiken hosts Aiken on Friday, Feb. 4 in what figures to be the region championship game.
Region 5-4A boys standings
Lexington 5-1, Aiken 5-1, White Knoll 3-3, North Augusta 3-3, Orangeburg-Wilkinson 1-5, South Aiken 1-5.
Region 5-4A girls standings
North Augusta 5-1, Lexington 4-2, Aiken 4-2, Orangeburg-Wilkinson 4-2, South Aiken 1-5, White Knoll 0-6.