Carolina Forest boys, girls sweep past South Florence

The Carolina Forest boys and girls basketball teams scored a home sweep over South Florence on Friday night at The Black Hole.

The Panthers (12-4 overall, 2-0 Region VIII-AAAA) remained unbeaten in region play by beating the Bruins 73-64, while the Lady Panthers (9-8, 1-1) got their first region victory by beating South Florence 46-40.

The Carolina Forest boys used a balanced scoring attack and some clutch free throw shooting down the stretch to hold off a late comeback bid by the Bruins.

“With the way we play, which is based on hustle and effort, you have play a lot of people,” said Carolina Forest coach Brian Brunson, who used virtually his entire bench. “We’ve only got two guys back who saw a lot of playing time last year, so everybody’s having to learn their role and contribute when they get in.”

After scoring the first seven points of the game, the Panthers maintained a comfortable lead for more than three quarters before South Florence came storming back to cut the deficit to 58-56.

But Robert Gray hit a clutch basket, Aaron Williams made a steal and a layup and Gray added a pair of free throws to push the lead back to eight points.

South Florence got as close as 64-60 with 1:43 remaining but the Panthers made nine consecutive foul shots to hold the Bruins at bay. Gray finished with 16 points and Williams and Jarvez Holmes added 15 apiece.

The Lady Panthers also had to hold on tight down the stretch. Holding a slim three-point lead early in the fourth quarter, Carolina Forest got a clutch 3-pointer and a layup by Marisa Runyon on back-to-back possessions to take a 42-34 advantage in the final minutes.

Runyon posted a double-double, leading the Lady Panthers in both categories with 14 points and 10 rebounds, and teammate Jackie Brengle scored 10 points in the big region contest.

Wonder twins Brittney and Whitney Burgess helped hold off South Florence with their defense and ball handling. Brittney had eight points and six assists while Whitney added six points and three steals.

Carolina Forest returns to The Black Hole Tuesday night for another key region showdown with Sumter.

Photo by Rancier Photography

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