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Lake City High School

Lake City basketball looking to get better each day

By Neill Kirkpatrick

Staff Writer

Goose Creek – The Lake City Panthers have made the class AAA state basketball tournament for the last three years but a slow start to the season has that streak in jeopardy unless coach Mike Manning’s cagers can turn it around in the second half of the region schedule.

Currently sitting at 3-9 overall with two of their wins coming against region VII AA leading East Clarendon and against AAAAA South Florence. They are 0-2 in region play which is why Friday nights visit from Aynor is a must win situation for the Panthers.

Defensively the Panthers have been good allowing only 51 points a night, but it is on the offensive end where they have had the most trouble only scoring 47 points per game. They have lost three games by three points and two others by less than 7 points so with little better finishes they could have a better record heading into the stretch run.

Senior point guard Malik Haley and senior center Justin Johnson lead the Panthers.

Haley (5-11,150) averages 10 points a night while Johnson uses his 6-6, 225lbs frame to haul down 7 rebounds a night and block three shots per game. The Panthers need more offensive production in the low block from Johnson.

Junior forward Hilshon Bailey (6,175) is also scoring 10 points a night while also leading the team in rebounds with 7.3 a game.

Junior wing E.J. McCalm is pulling down 6.2 boards a game. He had a team high 19 points in the loss to Marion Wednesday night.

After Aynor on Friday night the Panther will play three of their final five region contest on the road which is why they need a home win bad.

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