Abbeville's Anthony Bolden swivels around Ninety Six's defense at Saturday afternoon's game at Ninety Six. Abbeville won 64- 52. (Maddy Jones | Index-Journal)
NINETY SIX — When the Ninety Six High School boys basketball team traveled to Abbeville on Jan. 24, the Wildcats matched the Panthers blow for blow until the fourth quarter, when they faltered and ultimately lost.
In Saturday's rematch, Abbeville decided to take control a bit earlier.
Leading 40-36 with 1:25 remaining in the third quarter, the Panthers used stifling defense and an efficient transition offense to blitz Ninety Six with a 10-0 run to stretch their lead to 14 heading to the fourth quarter. That lead eventually ballooned as large as 19 before Abbeville eventually settled for a 64-52 victory.
The decisive run was a 180-degree turn from the early part of the quarter, as the Wildcats had whittled an 11-point halftime deficit to four on a layup by Malik Montague with 1:40 to play.
But in the final 90 seconds of the quarter, the Panthers allowed no baskets and forced three turnovers. That, combined with two 3-pointers by guard DeMichael Cobb and layups by DeAndre Hurley and Ventray Belton, equaled a momentum swing that put Abbeville firmly in control.
MORE IN TODAY'S INDEX-JOURNAL