INDIAN LAND — The fifth-ranked Indian Land Warriors advanced to the third round of the Class 2A state playoffs by holding off Fairfield Central 78-67 Monday evening.
Indian Land will now hit the road on Wednesday to play Keenan, which beat Cheraw 72-65. The matchup will pit two top five teams in the state against each other as Keenan is ranked third. The winner would then head to the Bi-Lo Center in Greenville for the Upper State Championship on Saturday.
The Warriors had four players score in double figures – with two of those in the 20s – as they used a 9-0 run in the third quarter to pull away from Fairfield Central.
“I knew we were going to make a run,” said Indian Land coach Nate Smith. “We took the momentum and rode it out tonight. We have got to play better down toward the end. This is the playoffs. There is no tomorrow.”
Indian Land held a 43-38 halftime lead, but Fairfield Central opened the third quarter with back-to-back 3-pointers by Keith Workman, who gave the Griffins a 44-43 lead.
From there the game went back-and-fourth, until the Warriors’ freshman Darnell Rogers started a 9-0 run by Indian Land with the help of one of his four 3-pointers. Rogers led Indian Land with 24 points and was aided by All-State player Rakym Felder, who had 21 points.
The run gave Indian Land some breathing room as the Warriors forced Fairfield Central into five straight turnovers with a full-court press and some quick reflexes.
Any time the Griffins tried to make a run, Indian Land stymied their efforts.
The Warriors shot 38 percent from the field for the game, while Fairfield Central struggled just as much, hitting just 40 percent of its shots.
Indian Land had a slight edge at the free throw line, making 68 percent from the stripe compared to Fairfield Central’s 60 percent.
INDIAN LAND 78,
FAIRFIELD CENTRAL 67
Fairfield Central – Keith Workman 32, Daniel Maple 8, Shadarius Hopkins 8, Compton Walker 6, Jared Young 5, Jalyn Davis 5, D’Andre Belton 3. Indian Land – Darnell Rogers 24, Rakym Felder 21, Hayden Sawyer 16, Lee McCall 14, Cameron Davis 2, Connor Butler 1.
3-pointers: Fairfield Central 8 (Workman 4, Davis 1, Maple 1, Hopkins 1, Young 1), Indian Land 5 (Rogers 4, Sawyer 1). Team fouls: Fairfield Central 26, Indian Land 21. Fouled out: Keith Workman (FC), Hayden Sawyer (IL), Rakym Felder (IL).
Records: Fairfield Central 15-10, Indian Land 23-2.