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Warriors finish strong

No. 9 Central Christian turned a close game into a blowout with an 86-27 win over Sumter Academy on Thursday.

The Eagles gave the Warriors fits early and kept the game close for most of the first quarter.

“I thought we handled them pretty well for the first quarter,” said Sumter coach Bob Taylor.

But by the fourth, the game was played with a running clock to keep the score respectable.

“My boys didn’t play sloppy,” said Central Christian coach Carl Rawls. “That was a game where they could’ve, but they didn’t. We’re building some momentum.”

Both teams matched up well for the first five minutes. The Eagles (3-14) kept the Warriors off-balance, prevented their transition offense and answered every basket.

Leading 16-13, the Warriors (15-7) found their groove and went on a 9-2 run to push the lead to 25-15 after the first period. They closed the half with a 17-0 run sparked by a Keevan Woods 3-pointer to take a commanding 48-20 lead into the break.

The third quarter went much like the second for both teams. Central Christian jumped on Sumter with a 9-0 run to extend the advantage to 57-20 before a Tanner Armstrong layup ended a 7-minute Eagle drought.

With the Warriors leading 64-27 headed into the final period and a running clock, Central Christian continued its assault, outscoring the Eagles 19-0 in the final frame.

“Central Christian is as good as advertised,” said Taylor. “They ran the floor a lot better and shot the ball so well.”

Four Warriors scored in double figures. Woods led all scorers with 27 points. Wesley Bell added 18, Pierre Coleman contributed 13, and Trevoris Sheppard finished with 10.

Armstrong led Sumter with 17 points.