2013-12-16 / Sports

At the Peak of his game

Peak brings crowd to its feet with aerial acrobatics vs. Jackets
By LARRY HILLIARD
Ledger Sports Editor


Gaffney’s L.J. Peak slams over a Union County defender during first-quarter action on Friday. Peak had a gamehigh 35 points to help the Indians to an easy 80-40 win at The Burial Ground. 
(Ledger photo/ LARRY HILLIARD) Gaffney’s L.J. Peak slams over a Union County defender during first-quarter action on Friday. Peak had a gamehigh 35 points to help the Indians to an easy 80-40 win at The Burial Ground. (Ledger photo/ LARRY HILLIARD) The L.J. Peak Show continued Friday at The Burial Ground.

Peak scored 35 points on an assortment of dazzling moves and high-flying dunks as the Gaffney Indians drubbed the visiting Union County Yellow Jackets 80-40.

“L.J. turned the atmosphere around with one dunk,” Gaffney coach Mark Huff said.

Actually five dunks.

His aerial acrobatics included a nasty, posterizing one-hander over a Union County defender, a 360, two one-hand tomahawks and a baseline slam.

When he wasn’t dunking, he was swishing jumpers or dribbling and driving to the hoop.

His three-point play keyed a 14-0 spurt that put the Indians up 20-5 after a quarter.

“That’s a good basketball team and Peak is a great player,” Union County coach Will Hickson said. “We were just talking that he may be one of the best players in years to come through. He ranks up there.”

Union County pulled within 10 on a Franklin Thompson 3-pointer midway through the second quarter.

It was all downhill from there, though.

Peak sent the crowd into a frenzy with consecutive slams that increased the Indians’ advantage to 36-16.

“He’s special,” said Huff of Peak. “I don’t know what else to say. He’s an athlete and he can do it.”

It was a tribute to Peak and his wondrous skills that most of the fans were still present for the third and fourth quarters even though the game was long decided.

The lead was 21 at the half when the Indians opened the third on a 3-point play by Peak. The lead ballooned to 52-21 on a hoop by big man Jordan Destaffino who had a nice game with 15 points.

“Jordan is scoring well,” Huff said. “He’s showing improvement.”

ShaqDavidsondrilleda3toruntheadvantage to 61-23 after three quarters. Davidson finished with nine points for the 5-0 Indians, who begin region play on Tuesday against visiting Boiling Springs. On Thursday, the Indians welcome another region opponent, Mauldin.

Despite the undefeated record, Huff said the Indians still have areas of improvement.

“We have to cut down on turnovers and be consistent on our defensive boards,” he said. “We have to get better because a good Boiling Springs team is coming in.”

Scoring: Choice 2, Davidson 9, Peak 35, Noel 1, Ellis 2, Destaffino 15, Shippy 8, Burris 2, Tate 2 Mullinax 4.

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