Lancaster knocks out Green Wave

EASLEY — After an opening-round playoff win last Wednesday, the Easley Green Wave’s 2011 season came to an abrupt end Saturday night at McKelvey gymnasium with a flurry of breakaway baskets from the Lancaster Bruins.

The Bruins advanced in the State AAAA playoffs to meet Dorman, while Easley closed out a successful 20-6 campaign.

On Wednesday night, the Green Wave picked up win No. 20 with an 83-77 first-round victory over the Mauldin Mavericks.

The game was tight throughout, with Easley surging to double-digit leads only to see the long-range shooting Mavericks close the gap.

Late in the third quarter, Easley held a comfortable 12-point lead before the Mavericks rallied to knot the score at 66-66 with four minutes to play in the game.

The Green Wave sealed the deal with excellent free-throw shooting in the fourth quarter, hitting on 13 of 17 attempts. Leading scorer Tim Pickel was 4-for-4 in the closing minutes. For the game, Easley was 24-of-32 (75 percent) from the charity stripe.

Easley played without the services of senior leader McKenzie Blandin due to an injury at practice on Tuesday. Without Blandin’s rebounding, Spencer Collins picked up 10 boards, supported by Pickel with nine.
Pickel led Easley in scoring with 24, followed by Collins with 21, Troy McGowens with 15, Trevin Franklin with 12 and Shykil Chandler with seven.

In the second round, the Green Wave ran into another hot-shooting three-point barrage from the Lancaster Bruins.
Easley jumped quickly to a 14-6 lead, but the Bruins would have no part of fading away.
Collins scored the first five Easley points, and sophomore guard Matt Preston hit a trio of three pointers to push Easley to the early lead.
But the Bruins came back, with their own sophomore guard Sindarius Thormwell bombing away from the three-point line.
Thornwell led all scorers with 28 points. The game was tied 10 times and had 19 lead changes before Lancaster put together a late third quarter run to enter the fourth quarter with a nine-point lead at 54-45.
The Green Wave closed the gap to four at 66-62 but could get no closer.
Leading the scoring for the Easley team was Collins with 27, Preston with 12, Pickel with 10 and McGowens with 10.
The Green Wave’s 2011 campaign included a Region 1-AAAA championship, an 11-game winning streak and coach Grant Stallard being selected Region Coach of the Year.