Landrum men lose squeaker in Upper State basketball playoffs
Published 11:05 am Monday, February 22, 2016
With eight minutes to go, and the score tied at 45 after three quarters, Landrum’s men were not quite able to stop visiting Ninety-Six in the opening round of the Upper State basketball playoffs on Feb. 17.
Ninety-Six made key shots to leave with a 59-56 win, and go to the next round, while the Cardinals’ season came to a disappointing end, especially for the team’s seniors. The Cardinals finished a fine season at 19-6 overall and 12-2 in the Spartanburg 1 Region.
On Feb. 17, both offenses worked largely for deliberate shots, the Wildcats initiating the slow down.
“They (the Wildcats) executed what we thought they were going to do. We didn’t do what we needed to do,” reported Landrum head coach Lyn Smith. “They were scrappy and athletic.”
That athleticism helped Ninety-Six grab some rebounds that Landrum hands touched first, but couldn’t quite capture.
Foster Bridges got the Cardinals going with a two-pointer that gave Landrum a 2-0 lead. By the end of the first quarter, the Cardinals held a 15-14 edge. Trey Smith’s three-pointer early in the second period gave the Cardinals an 18-14 advantage. A three-spot by Bridges and a close-in goal by Payton McCullough helped put Landrum up, 27-23, but Ninety-Six came back to lead, 30-27, at the half. Landrum’s defense forced Ninety-Six to take longer shots, but the Wildcats hit enough three-pointers to take the lead.
However, an 18-15 effort by the Cardinals tied the game at 45 after three periods.
Fourth-quarter play was marked by Landrum trailing their guests by two or three points, even after key Cardinal baskets. With just under 15 seconds left in the game, the Cardinals Jacob Corn drove to the hoop for two, to cut Ninety-Six’s lead to 58-56, but one foul shot later, the scoring ended, as did the Cardinals’ season.