2014-02-10 / Sports

THE PEAK SHOW

Peak scores 51 as Indians top Wade Hampton
By LARRY HILLIARD
Ledger Sports Editor


Gaffney’s star L.J. Peak draws a crowd of defenders on his way to the basket. He dropped 51 points in the Indians’ win at Wade Hampton on Friday. Peak and the team’s other seniors will be honored prior today’s start of the boys varsity game with Spartanburg. 
(Photo by LARRY HILLIARD) Gaffney’s star L.J. Peak draws a crowd of defenders on his way to the basket. He dropped 51 points in the Indians’ win at Wade Hampton on Friday. Peak and the team’s other seniors will be honored prior today’s start of the boys varsity game with Spartanburg. (Photo by LARRY HILLIARD) The Peak Show made its return in a big way on Friday.

L.J. Peak, who sat out the previous three games on suspension, scored a gamehigh 51 points to lead the fifth-ranked Gaffney Indians to a 96-88 win over Wade Hampton at a packed John Ross Gymnasium Friday night.

Showing no signs of rust, Peak scored 17 of the Indians’ first 19 points, including three 3-pointers to stake Gaffney to a 32-21 lead at the end of the first quarter. He had eight 3-pointers for the game.

“(Peak) looked like his old self,” Gaffney coach Mark Huff said. “It’s the best he’s shot threes all year.”

Makel Noel’s play was a huge bonus. He had a pair of 3-pointers in the first quarter,

“He played extremely well and I’m going to tell him that,” Huff said.

The Indians improve to 17-4 overall and 9-3 in region play. Wade Hampton falls two games behind the Indians in the region standings. Both teams are looking up at Dorman, which is 10-1 in the region after routing Riverside on Friday.

The Indians’ win avenges an earlier overtime loss to the Generals. In that game, Peak had a school record 58 points. But the Indians missed 17 free throws in the game. They shot better on Friday, making 20 of 30 shots at the foul line.

Gaffney also held Preston Parks in check after he exploded for 33 points in the first game. This time, he had only seven points.

“We played a special defense where we shaded toward him,” the Gaffney coach said.

Gaffney’s lead grew as big as 40-25 in the second quarter before the Generals went on a 13-2 run to cut the deficit to 42-38 with 1:36 before halftime. It remained a 4-point Gaffney lead at 46-42 at halftime.

In the third quarter, Wade Hampton closed within a point on three occasions, but could never take the lead. Peak swished a 3-pointer and Noel had a basket to put the Indians up 73-67 after three quarters.

The Generals seemed to lose some steam and their poise in the fourth quarter. Wade Hampton’s Jack Brenegan was hit with a technical and Cameron Allen, who had a team-high 30 points for the Generals, couldn’t get his shots to fall as Peak was 5 of 6 from the free throw line in the final 1:14 to seal the win.

Gaffney will host Spartanburg tonight. It also will be Senior Night with L.J. Peak playing his final regular season home game for the Indians.

Wade Hampton, 45, Lady Indians 40

Emma Winiski’s 3-pointer gave Wade Hampton the lead with 47 seconds remaining. Gaffney had a chance to tie the game in the waning seconds with a three but turned the ball over.

HOOP GAMES RESCHEDULED

The Gaffney-Spartanburg and Chesnee- Blacksburg basketball games scheduled for Tuesday will be played today because of the winter weather in the forecast. The girls games will start at 6; the boys at 7:30 p.m.

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