ROCK HILL — Kenny Orr’s Rock Hill Bearcats turned the ball over Thursday afternoon against Lugoff-Elgin on each of their first four possessions. They scored on their fifth possession, but taking care of the ball would continue to prove problematic for both sides as the Bearcats (5-5) opened the Y.C. Winborn Holiday Classic with a 64-52 win over the Demons.
“Ugly game, way too many turnovers,” said Orr afterward. “Just complacency. I’m gonna use the excuse that we played out of our time slot, but just too many turnovers.”
Last year Rock Hill lost in the second round to Charlotte’s Olympic High School. Any chance of a rematch this year was dashed when Forest Hills beat the Trojans 56-36 Thursday evening. Rock Hill and Forest Hills square off Friday at 6:30 p.m.
In a gym that never got louder than a library in the middle of the day in the middle of the week, it wasn’t easy for either team to find a spark.
“It felt like nobody wanted it,” Orr said. “But it is a win that puts us at .500. But we’ve got to play 10 times better.”
Rock Hill struggled offensively, but again rode its defense to a barrage of easy buckets. Shaunte Young led the Bearcats with 15 points, while junior Asia Potts pitched in 13 and Zekiya Knox 10. Samantha Jeans’ 17 led the Demons, who were largely content to shoot from outside.
Rock Hill jumped out to a 14-3 lead inside the first quarter, and held a double-digit advantage much of the contest. Potts, Young and Knox all scored in an 8-1 run to start the game that forced a Lugoff-Elgin timeout with less than three minutes played. Potts then hopped into the lane and her floater crept over the rim before Whitney Simpson scored in the paint with a strong move to make it 14-3.
Rock Hill led 37-26 at the half, and the visitors managed to shave the lead to 40-30, but that prompted a 13-3 surge by the Bearcats that had them up by 20 points and cruising the rest of the way.
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Rock Hill: Victoria Sanders 4, Kia Walls 2, Zekiya Knox 10, Asia Potts 13, Jericka English 2, Shaunte Young 15, Chelsey Dorsey 9, Alexis Ervin 7, Whitney Simpson 2. Lugoff-Elgin: Samantha Jean 17, Dahiana Rodriguez 19, Alexis William 2, Megan Jean 7, Tiera Hodge 3, Jessica Heath 4.
Team fouls: Rock Hill 19; Lugoff-Elgin 18.
Foul shots: Rock Hill 10-25; Lugoff-Elgin 12-30.
Bret McCormick 329-4032. Twitter: @BretJust1T