Warriors top Highlanders in York tourney

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By Robert Howey

The Indian Land High School basketball team snapped a five-game skid in a big way Dec. 27 in the opening round of the Wing Bonz Holiday Basketball Tournament at York High School.
The Warriors, ending their slide, opened play in the three-day tourney with a 58-43 win over Heathwood Hall, a Columbia area private school.
The Warriors, who hadn’t played since Dec. 18, got on track early to take a 19-14 lead after one period.
Indian Land stretched its lead to eight, 29-21, at the break.
The Warriors’ defense was tough in the second period, allowing only seven points.
“We knew we had been close in that losing streak, so we went out and played hard for four quarters,” Indian Land High School boys basketball coach Nate Smith said. “Heathwood Hall is one of the better teams in the Columbia area, so we knew we had to come to play and play a complete game.”
Indian Land held a 41-33 lead after three periods and stayed in control for the 15-point win over the Highlanders.
ILHS’s Jerrick Palmer, who led the Warriors with 19, hit five free throws in the final period to help his team stay in command.
“We had a balanced attack, a good team effort,” Smith said.
Palmer scored 19 to lead the Warriors. Douglass Tutt scored 10 points to go with five rebounds and three assists.
Destin Clark netted eight and Tai Gilbert supplied seven.
Tre Thompson and Jared Diemer each had three points. Grayson Barber, Connor Leyland, Gabe Shook and Donovan White each had two points.
Gilbert and Thompson each had four rebounds and Leyland added three boards.
Smith said Leyland’s defense on Heathwood Hall’s top scorer, sophomore guard Isaiah Caldwell, was huge in the game.
Caldwell, one of the top sophomore guards in the Columbia area, was held to 11 points, two below his average.
“Connor played well and we knew if we could take Caldwell away, it would help our chances,” Smith said. “Connor’s cross country training and background played big for us. He was able to stay with him for the duration and hustled and played straight up, tough defense. I was proud of his effort.”