MULLINS, S.C. — The Lake Marion Gators pulled away late in the second half for a 92-59 victory over the Mullins Auctioneers on Wednesday night to advance to Saturday’s Class 2A lower state final.
Senior guard Clarence Sellers scored 23 points for Lake Marion, the defending Class 2A state champion.
“ We did what we had to do as one team,” Sellers said. “We came together as a team and now we just have to come harder and do what we have to do.”
Nizohn Powell helped Mullins get off to a hot start with three shots from behind the arc. Jalek Felton’s 3-pointer gave the Aucs a 16-12 lead. A lob from Felton to Alex Brown for a dunk ended the first half with Mullins trailing 36-32.
Felton nailed another 3 midway through the third quarter to pull Mullins within 45-42. However, Lake Marion’s size advantage forced 15 turnovers and led to a 16-6 run to close out the third quarter.
“ I think their height wore us down,” said Mullins coach Mark Gerald. “We stayed in the zone as long as we could to keep it close, and when we finally broke out man-to-man, we were just too tired and kept breaking down.”
Brown finished with a game-high 28 points for Mullins, 19 in the second half.
“ I’m proud of the kids,” Gerald said. “We stayed focused. Had a good year. I’m disappointed because we fell short right here, but we lost to a good team.”
Lake Marion improves to 26-1.
“ Tonight was a big win for us,” said Lake Marion coach Roy Brown. “With this group right here, sometimes it gets very hard and other times they come through and do what we expected from them.”
Michael Rhodes added 20 points for the Gators, while Austin Lawton had 15.
Powell finished with 15 points and Felton finished with 13 for Mullins, which ends its season at 20-8.