He might have been the smallest player on the floor at 5-foot-4, but Indian Land (S.C.) guard Darnell Rodgers came up big, scoring 31 points Saturday and leading his Warriors to a 78-71 victory over Charlotte Catholic in the semifinals of the Holy Angels Basketball Classic at Charlotte Catholic.
Rodgers effort was matched by Charlotte Catholics Robbie Anderson, who also scored 31 in what turned into tremendous individual efforts.
Indian Land (7-1) trailed 30-29 at the break, but Rodgers scored 13 in the third, with his final 3-pointer of the quarter giving the Warriors a 51-40 lead with 1 minute, 46 seconds left.
Anderson answered, hitting a 3 of his own to key an 8-0 run for Catholic (2-6) to close the lead to 51-48 late in the third, but a basket by Indian Lands Derries Hampton with three seconds left pushed the lead back to five.
In the fourth quarter, Indian Land extended its lead to 71-59 with 1:27 left, but Catholic wasnt done. Anderson scored six points during a 10-second span to close within six. They actually would cut the lead to 74-71 with 27 seconds left after a Zander Gagnon basket.
But Rodgers broke the Cougars press and was able to find Hampton, who scored an uncontested layup with six seconds left, and Indian Land went on to the victory.
I knew this was gonna be a dogfight, Indian Land coach Nate Smith said. Dont let (Catholics) record fool you. Theyre good and well-coached. We had some lapses but stuck together, and Darnell took the game over when we needed it.
Rodgers had three 3-pointers for Indian Land, and he scored his final eight points of the night from the free-throw line. Lee McCall added 13, Michael Webb had 11 and Mark Morton 10. Anderson had four 3s for Catholic, while Gagnon had 10 points and was the only other Cougars player in double figures.
Butler advanced to the title game as Fairen Sutton hit two free throws with 3.6 seconds left in overtime to defeat Charlotte Catholic 56-54. Butler trailed by as many as 10 points in the second half but rallied thanks to Sutton, who scored all 12 of her points after halftime.
Butler was led in scoring by Kobe Leighs 17 points; Catholics Sophie Rossitch had 16 and Stephanie Ferraro 13.
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