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The Kingston Yellow Jackets and Lady Jackets traveled to Harriman Friday night and picked up a pair of narrow victories over the Blue Devils and Lady Devils.
The girls’ game went to the wire before Kingston held off the Lady Devils, 53-50. The boys’ game wasn’t quite as close, but it still close throughout with Kingston picking up a 66-53 victory.
Kingston led by as many as 18 points in the first half Friday night and the Lady Jackets would need that big lead as Harriman staged a furious second half rally that fell just short.
The opening minutes of the contest were close with Harriman holding a 9-8 lead midway through the first quarter, but the rest of the period was dominated by the Lady Jackets. Kingston ended the first quarter on an 8-0 run to take a 16-9 lead after eight minutes of play.
Kingston led 27-17 late in the first half when the Lady Jackets put together a run that threatened to put the game away. Kalli Sampson scored five straight points and Lynzee Lunsford added a 3-pointer as the Lady Jackets led 35-17 Harriman’s Jada Johnson scored a basket that made the score 35-19 at halftime.
Sampson had a big first half for Kingston with 13 points. Lunsford, Rachel Layne and Taylor Thurman added six points each for the Lady Jackets in the first two periods of play.
Johnson had a big first half for Harriman, scoring 10 points.
Kingston’s lead stood at 39-25 early in the third quarter, but Harriman would soon chip away at the 14-point deficit. The Lady Devils ended the period on a 9-1 run to close to within 40-34 entering the fourth quarter.
Madison Duncan had four assists for Harriman in the third quarter.
Harriman closed to within 44-40 when Duncan scored with 3:45 left to play, but Kingston answered with two points each from Sampson and Layne to take a seemingly safe 48-40 lead with 2:45 left to play.
Harriman, however, had one run left. A pair of baskets from Duncan sparked an 8-1 run that pulled the Lady Devils to within 49-48 with 1:48 left to play.
Kingston would survive though. Thurman and Sampson hit four free throws in the final 24.5 seconds then Harriman couldn’t get off a potential game-tying three at the end as the Lady Jackets held on for the 53-50 victory.
Sampson (21 points, 4 assists, 4 steals), Layne (11 points, 3 assists) and Thurman (8 points, 6 rebounds) led Kingston in scoring while Duncan (16 points, 8 assists, 6 rebounds, 3 steals, 3 blocks) and Johnson (14 points, 8 rebounds) scored in double figures in defeat.
Kingston (53) Sampson 21, Lunsford 7, L. Baggett 4, Layne 11, Thurman 8, Strahan 2.
Harriman (50) Duncan 16, Franklin 7, Johnson 14, Higgins 7, Boyd 2, Goldston 2, Sells 2.
There wasn’t a big run that proved decisive, but Kingston did win three of the four quarters played Friday night in knocking off the Blue Devils, 66-53.
Three-point shooting played a big part in the early going on Friday.
With Harriman leading 8-4, Kingston’s Tyler Thompson buried three consecutive triples to give the Jackets a 13-8 lead. Harriman answered with 3-pointers from John Johnson and Jalyn Wilkie to take an 18-15 lead after eight minutes of play.
The second period went back and forth for most of the period, but Kingston finished strong. The Jackets scored the final eight points of the period, including a 3-pointer from Tyler Hughes that gave Kingston a 34-38 lead at halftime.
Thompson led Kingston with nine points in the first half while Hughes and Quint Gasque added seven each.
Johnson scored seven points and Jacob Gresham scored six to lead the way for Harriman.
Kingston’s lead grew to as many as 13 points, 49-36, in the third quarter, but Harriman scored six straight points before Aaron Sampson drained a long 3-pointer with two seconds left in the frame to give the Jackets a 52-42 lead entering the final period of play.
Sampson and Thompson scored five points each for Kingston while Johnson led all scorers in the frame with eight points.
Harriman closed to within five points at 54-49 when Kaleb Eleam came up with a steal and layup with 4:05 left to play, but the Blue Devils would get no closer. Kingston used a 12-4 run down the stretch to pull out the 13-point victory.
Thompson (16 points, 7 rebounds), Hughes (14 points, 3 steals), Sampson (13 points, 7 rebounds) and Gasque (12 points, 9 rebounds, 9 assists, 6 steals) all scored in double figures for Kingston in the win.
Johnson (20 points, 8 rebounds) paved the way for Harriman in defeat.
Kingston (66) Gasque 12, Sampson 13, Hughes 14, Thompson 16, Anderson 7, McClure 4.
Harriman (53) Johnson 20, Eleam 5, Williams 4, Gresham 9, Wilkie 7, Cox 2, Nelson 6.