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Category Archives: Sports

Burrow, LSU too much for defending champs

By Alex Maminakis
Courtesy The Journal
alex@upstatetoday.com

NEW ORLEANS — In the end, there was no slowing down Joe Burrow and LSU’s prolific offense.
No. 1 LSU stormed back from an early 17-7 deficit on Monday night and proved to the college football world what it may have already known — that it was the best team in the nation this year — beating Clemson 42-25 to win the College Football Playoff National Championship Game and complete a perfect 15-0 season.
The loss brought an end to Clemson’s 29-game winning streak — a streak that began after the Tigers lost to Alabama in the same building two years ago.
“Obviously a disappointing night for us, not the way we envisioned it going,” Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said. “I’m thankful for our team. I’m thankful for God’s grace, for allowing me to be part of such a special group of

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Short-handed Wave fall to Greenwood

By Bru Nimmons
Staff Reporter
bnimmons@thepccourier.com

EASLEY — Facing any opponent without your starting point guard is a tough proposition, but the Easley Green Wave boys’ basketball team seemed up to the challenge without sophomore guard Princeton Rhodes early on in Friday night’s region matchup against the Greenwood Eagles.
Rhodes’ absence proved too much, though, as turnovers and sloppy play plagued Easley down the stretch in a 64-50 loss.
“When Princeton is out, we have to play guys at different positions,” Easley coach Mike Jones said. “Then, when you play a team that is so athletic and so defensive-minded like Greenwood, it really exploited some of the areas that we are normally stronger at.”
With Rhodes out with injury, sophomore Kain James picked up the slack and had a strong game, scoring 15 points and keeping  Easley afloat in a game that always seemed within reach, even though the Green Wave were unable to close the gap.
“Every time we started to make a push, I felt like they upped the pressure defensively,” Jones said. “Some bad turnovers at those critical points just never allowed us to get over the hump.”
The Wave started off in a hole, letting Greenwood go on an 8-1 run

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Easley girls drop heartbreaker

By Bru Nimmons
Staff Reporter
bnimmons@thepccourier.com

EASLEY — The Easley Green Wave girls’ basketball team faced an emotional rollercoaster against the Greenwood Eagles on Friday night.
The Wave used an 18-4 run to take their first lead in the fourth quarter, but after another Eagles run, the Wave were in dire straits in the final seconds, trailing by two points.
The Green Wave got their chance for the victory after a miss by Eagle guard Kendahl Spearman on a one-and-one opportunity, as Elizabeth Goodwin launched a half-court heave for the win.
Goodwin misfired on the attempt and a subsequent miss on a putback as time expired doomed Easley to a 44-42 loss.
“We’ve struggled a lot lately, and part of that is lack of confidence while on the floor,” Easley coach Ivan Raymond said. “Tonight we saw them be patient and play good basketball, but we didn’t get the desired outcome. Still, I couldn’t be more proud of this group.”
The Wave got off to a rough start offensively, making no field goals

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Lady Blue Flame split two games

PICKENS — The Pickens High School girls’ basketball team last week split two games with area rivals, losing to Seneca at home and defeating Greer Middle College in an away game.
On the regular season, the Lady Blue Flame stand at 5-4 as they begin region play this week. The Pickens girls dropped a Jan. 8 home game to Seneca, 67-35, then rebounded the following against Greer Middle College, defeating the Lady Blazers 46-35 in a game played at Eastside High School in Greenville.
“Last week’s games got us mentally and physically prepared to start region games this week,” Pickens coach Rikki Owens said. “It has

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Pickens boys snap 69-game losing streak

By Bru Nimmons

Staff Reporter

bnimmons@thepccourier.com

SALEM — A lot has changed for the Pickens Blue Flame under first-year head coach Jeff Harrelson.

The Flame were a rudderless program that had gone three years without a win, but after some close calls early in the season, the Flame emerged victorious for the first time in nearly 70 games with a 53-26 win over the Eagle Ridge Eagles on Monday night.

“We’ve been so close this year,” Harrelson said after the victory. “I’ve told the guys since the beginning of the year, they just have to learn how it feels to win, and we finally got

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Pickens High honors Dean at tournament

PICKENS — Melissa Dean was named the tournament honoree at the first-ever Festival of Flames Girls’ Basketball Tournament established by Pickens High School head coach Rikki Owens.

Dean was presented the honor after a breakfast held for all participating teams and prior to team play on Dec. 21 in the Peggy Harden Anthony Gymnasium by her lifetime friend and college teammate, Peggy Anthony.

Dean played basketball at Daniel High School from 1968-72 before becoming a star three-sport athlete at the University of South Carolina, playing basketball, softball and tennis. She participated in the 1973 AAU National Women’s Basketball Tournament in New York City and twice participated in the Women’s College World Series in Omaha, Neb. She was a teacher, basketball and tennis coach at Estill and South Aiken high schools for 13 years.

For 50 years, however, Dean has endured a staggering number of health issues. She has suffered torn knee cartilage; epilepsy; Wolf-Parkinson-White Syndrome; four brain surgeries; a stroke; a 30-day coma; permanent paralysis of her left side; Achilles tendon surgery; two bouts of breast cancer; kidney stone surgery; gall bladder

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SCHSL realignment to affect local schools

By Bru Nimmons
Staff Reporter

bnimmons@thepccourier.com

COUNTY — As Pickens County enters the new year, there are plenty of changes to be expected for the decade ahead, and for the four local high school athletic departments, major changes are scheduled to begin in the fall.

The South Carolina High School League recently announced its proposed realignment for the 2020-2022 school years, with those changes seeing three county teams move down a classification.

The Easley Green Wave will move back down to Class 4A and will join Region I alongside county rival Pickens

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Daniel drops tourney final after comeback

By Bru Nimmons
Staff Reporter

bnimmons@thepccourier.com

CENTRAL — After wins against Crescent and Dunbar (Fla.), the Daniel Lions entered the finals of their annual Christmas tournament against the Seneca Bobcats last week battling not only for the championship, but also a season series win against their fiercest rival.

After trailing for the entirety of the game leading into the fourth quarter, the Lions kept the ball in the hands of sophomore Bobby Taylor and senior Brenton Benson, and the duo didn’t disappoint, leading Daniel on a 15-2 run to take its first lead of the game with less than three minutes to play.

The Lions’ hopes ended there, though, as Seneca guard Jared Rogers took

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County council honors Liberty athlete for title

By Jason Evans
Staff Reporter

jevans@thepccourier.com

PICKENS — Liberty High School student-athlete Alexandria Stancell was recently recognized for her state championship win.

During its Dec. 16 meeting, Pickens County Council passed a resolution recognizing Stancell as the unlimited division state champion in the second South Carolina High School Strength Coaches Association state championship strength meet.

Chairman Roy Costner read the resolution aloud following the vote.

The resolution said that under the leadership of principal Josh Oxendine and athletic director Kyle Stewart, Liberty High School “has established an excellent athletic program.”

The second South Carolina High School Strength Coaches Association state championship strength meet was held at Dorman High School on Nov. 16.

“Alexandria Stancell participated for Liberty High School in the bench press, the squat and the standing broad jump,” Costner said. “All of those would break my back. I’m so impressed with you.”

“Pickens County recognizes the hard work and exemplary performance of Alexandria Stancell and is appreciative of the fine representation that she and the other competitors from Liberty High School made for all of Pickens County,” the resolution said.

The resolution said Stancell’s “outstanding achievement brings honor to our county, as well Liberty High School.”

 

Daniel girls recognized for 2nd state championship

By Jason Evans
Staff Reporter

jevans@thepccourier.com

PICKENS — The Daniel High School girls’ golf team was recently recognized for its second consecutive Class 4A state championship win.

During its Dec. 16 meeting, Pickens County Council passed a resolution congratulating the team on its win.

Chairman Roy Costner read the resolution aloud following the vote.

The resolution said that under the leadership of principal Shannon Sharkey and athletic director Tommy Plumbee, the school has established “an excellent athletic program, including a girls’ golf team led by coach Andy Swords.”

The team has won five consecutive Class 4A upper state competitions, qualifying them for the Class 4A state championship, the resolution said.

The Class 4A state championship tournament was held at The Shipyard Golf Club on Hilton Head Island in October, the resolution said.

“The Daniel High girls’ golf team won by 52 strokes” at the state tournament, Costner said. “Pickens County recognizes the hard work and exemplary performance of the Daniel High girls’ golf team.”

The team’s achievement makes a fine representation “for all of Pickens County,” the resolution said.

The second consecutive championship win is an “outstanding achievement that bring honor to our county, as well as Daniel High School,” the resolution said.

 


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