Volunteers Grab Both Titles in Comporium Christmas Classic

By David Kellin, editor@pantagraph.online

Both Volunteers teams emerged victorious at the Comporium Christmas Classic that took place at Andrew Jackson High School on Saturday the 29th.

The girl’s matchup was between the Lady Vols and the Marlboro County Bulldogs. The Lady Vols came in off an 82-6 win over Lady Cyclones on Friday. The Lady Bulldogs won their match over the Monroe Girls team

The game was a moment by moment contest. The Bulldogs mounted a strong defense. The Lady Vols kept the pressure on when they got and kept the lead for most of the game. Alexis Roberson was sidelined due to injury.

The Lady Vols led the first quarter by 1 point 8-7. At the half, both teams tied at 16. The third quarter saw the Lady Bulldogs pull ahead by 7 points 36 to 29. The Lady Vols rallied and end the match two points ahead. The final score was 47-45. The Lady Vols won the Girls’ Comporium Christmas Classic Championship.

Caroline Wrenn took the leadership of scoring this match with 13 points on 5 goals and 3 of 6 free throws. Osha Black had 11 points and was named as one of the MVPs. Annsley Vick had 8 points. McKenzie Marshall had 6 points. Iesha Williams had 5 points and was named overall Tournament MVP. Oksana Lathan had 4 points

Olivia Gaines, Head Coach for Lady Vols said. “We started off with good defense.” She commented on how they lasted till the 3rd quarter and then slid back. “I want us to come out of a timeout and be able to execute.  When it comes down to the line they have the heart to overcome adversity. At any given moment, we can fight adversity. I am looking forward to regionals.”

The Andrew Jackson Boys did battle with an overwhelmingly fast Chester team on Saturday and walked away with the title.

The main game was the last game of the day between the Vols and Cyclones. The match was a defensive battle. The Cyclones utilized a fast-moving covering full press that the Vols fought hard against. The Vols got the lead and battled to keep it throughout the game.

The Vols had an 8-point lead at the end of the first quarter 21-13. The score at the half was 43 to 39 in favor of the Vols. The third quarter score was 64-59 for the Vols. The final score was 79-70 with the Vols taking the title of Comporium Christmas Classic Champions.

Jamie Hinson the Tournament MVP was the lead scorer with 22 points on 1 goal, 2 treys, and 14 of 18 free throws. DJ Ealy added 14 points. Tyrone Gilford had 11 points. OJ White Was named to All-Tournament team for Vols. He and Joey Walters each had 10 points. Jalen Robinson had 7 points and Jawquinn Black had 5 points.

Danny Wright, Head Coach for Andrew Jackson Volunteers said. “They played hard both games. They were relentless on both offense and defense. They believe in each other and work as a team. They left everything on the court.”

The Vols travel to Lewisville on January 8th for an away game.

What is Joy?

Joy, it is not the emotion that one expected after two massive losses on the basketball court. The Chester Lady Cyclones faced two different oppoents during the Comporium Christmas Classic that happened on Friday and Saturday of this week. Their first game was a loss at 82-6 and the second game was not as bad, but pretty bad.

And yet the scenes above were indicitive of the joy at the Chester bench just after the second game. So here as Paul Harvey would say is the rest of the story.

The score of the game was 58-9 when the ball landed out of bounds with 0.7 seconds left on the clock and it was the Lady Cyclones ball. seven tenths of a second is a terribly short time. a half step and it is gone. The player takes the position on the side of the court, ready to pass the ball in. The shout from the bench is to trow it up when you get it. Keyanna Wilmore took the ball into play and turned around and lofted it towards the goal. In what seemed like a single fluid motion the ball arched and dropped into the basket as the buzzer sounded. Keyanna was standing outside of the thrre point line. This basket was her only score of the whole game. The Chester bench erupted in cheers and shouts. It sounded and looked like they had won the game.

I would argue that they did win. Not the contest with the other team, but a small victory of self respect. A feeling that yes we can. Joy comes when we have opportunity, ability and hope combined with action. I doubt the talk on the bus will be how they did not do, but the seven tenths of a second that mattered most to them.

The coach named Keyanna as all tournament player for the Chester Team. Don’t feel sad that they lost, rejoice in the moment that they share as a team. Feel the hug of the coach as you know you did something great. Feel the warmth of friends and teammates inspired by the deed. No don’t get all maudlin and think they are not up to the challenge, for they just might suprise you the next time you meet. Be careful of Keyanna and the three point range. For today, Joy is a three point score with seven tenth of a second left on the clock. Great Shot Keyanna!

Comporium Christmas Invitational Day One

Round one of the Comporium Christmas Invitational began on Friday night featuring teams from Andrew Jackson, Monroe, Chester and Marlboro County, and Eau Claire.

The Marlboro County Girls won their match 53 to 51. The lead scorer for the Monroe team was Jasimine Reddick with 20 points on 8 goals and 4 of 5 free throws. The lead scorer for Marlboro County team was Jasmine Norman with 31 points on 5 goals, 5 treys and 5 of 5 free throws.  

The Andrew Jackson Lady Volunteers faced off against the Lady Cyclones from Chester in the early evening game. The Lady Vols won handily with a score of 82 to 6. AJ took the lead early in the first quarter with a 27-point lead 29 to 2. The Lady Vols ran the floor for two more quarters racking up 27 more points by halftime, and 17 unanswered points in the third quarter. The final quarter was the lowest for points with the Lady Vols outscoring the Lady Cyclones by just 5 points during the quarter. The Game ended with a score of 82 to 6 in favor of Lady Vols.

For the Lady Vols, Osha Black scored a total of 21 points on 10 goals and one of 2 free throws. Iesha Williams added 17 more points. Annsley Vick scored 14 points. Caroline Wrenn added 12 points. Haleigh Payne added 8 points. Oksana Lathan had 6 points. Anna Hinson and Makenzie Marshal each had 2 points.

 Zanyiah Sanders from the Lady Cyclones was the lead scorer with 3 points. Chester Girls will match up with Monroe girls in the first Saturday afternoon game. The Lady Vols will play for championship against Marlboro County.

The Boys brackets feature teams from Eau Claire, Marlboro County and Chester High School. The first match up for the boys was Marlboro County vs Chester High School. The AJ Vols played in the late game against Eau Claire.

The Chester Cyclones won their match against the Marlboro County Bulldogs by a score of 86 to 58. The Cyclones took an early lead of 12 points and never gave the lead back. Quay Carter was lead scorer for the Cyclones with 27 points. Damien Bruce and Wesley Brown for the Bulldogs each had 14 points

AJ took an early lead against the Shamrocks with a score of 17 to 13 at the end of the first quarter. At the half it was AJ 37 to Eau Claire 28. The margin of about 10 points continued through the third quarter when the score was 60-50 for AJ and the start of the fourth Quarter. The final score 83 to 59 in favor of AJ.

Jamie Hinson took the scoring lead this game with 31 points on 6 goals, 3 treys and 10 of 12 free throws. DJ Ealey and Joey Walters each had 14 points. Tyrone Gilford and O J White each added 8 points. Jyleik Elder had 3 points. Josh Adams and Daymon Cunningham each had 2 points and MiKeem McClain had one point.

Robert Johnson was lead scorer for Eau Claire with 14 points.  The Chester Boys will face the Vols on Saturday evening’s game for the Championship. In the afternoon consolation bracket Marlboro County will face off against the Eau Claire Team.

Volunteers Press Past Rams for Dual Victories

The Andrew Jackson won both games against Chesterfield on Tuesday Night. The effective use of the full court and half court press has added much to their game.

Using teammates to get the best shot is part of Coach Wright’s philosophy of “right pass and right shot.”  The 5-1, 2-1 Andrew Jackson Volunteers played “a complete game” according to head coach Danny Wright. “They played the entire game and worked together as a team.” The Vols were able to close off the inside shooting game for the 1-9, 0-4 Chesterfield Rams throughout the entire game.  

The Vols dove into the Rams’ boards and rebounded the ball consistently. The Rams could not defend  the Vols’ basket effectively and the Vols used that advantage for points adding layups.

The Vols advanced out to an early 7 point lead at the end of one quarter. The Vols lead grew to 21 at the half, with the score 36-15. At the end of three quarters, the Vols led by 29 points and the advantage lasted to the end of the game with a margin of 31 points, Volunteers win 71-40.

Jalen Robinson led the Volunteers in scoring with 15 points on  4 goals, 1 trey, and 4 of 4 free throws. OJ White had 13 points on 5 goals and one trey. Joey Walters had 9 points. Tyrone Gilford and Jamie Hinson each had 8 points. Josh Adams had 6 points. DJ Ealey added 5 points Jyleik Elder and Shiheme Ricks each had 3 points, and Daymond Cunningham had one point.

The Lady Vols found a defense that stopped the 4-6, 1-3 Lady Rams starting in the second quarter. They employed a zone strategy that kept the Lady Rams from the basket. Defensive pressure has been a strong part of the Lady Vols 6-2, 3-0 success this season.

Lady Vols was led in scoring by Alexis Roberson with 11 points on 4 goals and 3 of 5 free throws. Caroline Wrenn and Osha Black each had 9 points. Ieasha Williams added 6 points. Oksana Lathan had 3 points. Annsley Vick and Mackenzie Marshall each had 2 points.  

AJ Lady Vols head coach Olivia Gaines was not pleased with the 17 points given up in the first quarter. “That can’t happen. Once we got going, they (Lady Rams) did not score much more. They can’t shoot in a zone”.

The Volunteers will come back after Christmas Break for the Comporium Classic tourney on December 28th and 29th.

Unfulfilled Christmas Wishes

Editorial by David Kellin, editor@pantagraph.online

They fly across the social media streams, and my heart hurts a bit more. The smiling pictures of the children in Christmas and holiday plays. College kids sharing the successful completion of the semester and headed for home. Ugly sweater and holiday parties. They serve as the reminder of the unfulfilled Christmas wishes.

I wish I could have rocked my babies to sleep to a lullaby beside the tree.

I wish I could have spent all night assembling the bike or dollhouse.

I wish I could have sat recording the clumsy lines at the school play.

I wish I could have decorated cookies, and eaten half before they were ready.

I wish I could have taken them out to eat with their “Christmas” dates.

I wish I could have stood at the window to watch them drive home for the holidays.

I wish we all could have fallen asleep on the couch stuffed and watching Christmas movies.

No, doing those things now with other people does not feel the same. Watching other children in a school play is not the same as watching yours.

“The Bereaved”? I am not sure what to call us. Parents who have lost children? Through many situations, parents will have to experience a child’s death. The experience becomes a new reality. Things and thoughts that were once commonplace, now have added meaning. Meanings that take years to process and adapt to.

Chandler would have been 19 this year. Born at 20 weeks, he was born still. Sara would be 18 this year. A senior in High School and getting ready for all the dances and proms.

Every so often, when the mood strikes, I write about them, and my reactions as a grieving father. My hope is that by sharing my thoughts and story, several things will happen.

  1. Parents who still have their children will cherish then more and love each and every moment shared.
  2. Bereaved will know they are not alone, and that there are many of us who shared the challenges.
  3. To be able to say my children’s names once again and honor their memories.

I don’t want you to get all sad and depressed. I have you to recognize the extremely positive blessing to have your children close this year. Put down the phones and read a book together, or mess up the kitchen making cookies. Don’t look back and wish you could have… Do it now while you have this time and moment.

AJ Dancers

By David Kellin, Editor@pantagraph.online

The Dance Focus students will perform tonight at 6:30 pm at Andrew Jackson High School Auditorium. The performance showcases the talents from a variety of styles and groups.

The students work hard throughout the school year not only learning the dance steps, but coordinating with others as a group. This was evident during practice on Monday afternoon. The routines were captivating.

As the Arts Focus school of Lancaster County, there is much to be proud in the schools’ focus programs and the efforts of the students. Please attend tonight and show the students that AJ Pride is alive and well in the Arts.

Vols Completed A Sweep of Buford Rivals On Friday Night

By David Kellin, editor@pantagraph.online

The Vols dominated the boards the entire game against their rivals the Buford Yellow Jackets. The Vols scored consistently. The Yellow Jackets’ shooting game came up lacking. The Vols pressured the Jackets with a strong defense and kept them off their game.

Jamie Hinson was the lead scorer for the Vols with 10 points on 2 goals, and 2 treys. Josh Adams scored 8 points. DJ Ealey added 7 points. Jyleik Elder had 6 points. OJ White and Jalen Robinson each had 5 points. Tyrone Gilford and Joey Walters each had 4 points. Shieme Ricks had 3 points.

Jo Barrino  was lead scorer for the Yellow Jackets with 5 goals. Glenn Collins scored 6 points. Dwayne Bufford had 5 points. De De Massey had 4 points. Tyson Miller, Javon Nicholson, and Shawn Williams each scored 2 points. Marcus Bronson and Jonathan Ellis each had 1 point.

The Vols took the lead early and ended the first quarter 21-9. At the half, AJ led 31 to 19. At the end of three quarters, the score was 42 to 27. The final score was 52 to 33.

The Vols travel to Chesterfield on Tuesday to face the Rams. Buford will face the Indian Land Warriors on Tuesday.

Lady Vols Pull Off Upset Of Undefeated Lady Jackets 46-36

By David Kellin, editor@pantagraph.online

Andrew Jackson Volunteers dominated both home games with the Buford Yellow Jackets on Friday night. The undefeated Lady Jackets lost to the Lady Vols by 10 points with a score 46-36.

The Lady Jackets had a height advantage over the Lady Vols and used it to get the ball during passing. The Buford team had difficulty with making the shots count. The Lady Vols used a half-court press most of the game to a strong advantage. by keeping constant pressure on the Lady Jackets, it kept the Lady Jackets constantly battling to get in close enough to make the shots. Hunter Allen had an off night, missing many of her shots.

Osha Black was lead scorer for the Lady Vols with 11 points on 4 goals and 3 of 5 free throws. Caroline Wrenn Had 9 points on 4 goals and 1of 1 free throws. Annsley Vick and Ieasha Williams each scored 7 points.Mackenzie Marshall had 5. Alexis Robinson added 3 points. Oksana Lathan andAnna Hinson each had 2 points.

Hunter Allen of the Lady Jackets was the lead scorer with 13 points on 5 goals and 3 of 8 free throws and 6 steals. Paige Davis had 10 points. Aliyah Vincent and Sydney Rabon each had 4 points. Avery Plyler had 3 points. Sophie Rabon had 2 points.

The Lady Vols led the first quarter 9-5. They also led at the half 16 to 11. The third quarter was the Lady Vols with the score 35 to 20. The Lady Jackets outscored the Lady Vols by 5 points, but not enough to win. Lady Vols took the game by 10 points 46-36.

The Lady Yellow Jackets put their first loss of the season on their record, which stands at 6-1, 1-1 They will face off against 0-10 Indian Land on Tuesday. The Lady Vols’ record will advance to 5-1, 2-0 and will trqavel to Chesterfield on Tueday to face the 4-4 Lady Rams.

Christmas On The Ridge

By David Kellin, editor@panatagraph.online

Out of Heath Springs, SC and down Flint Ridge Road stands Flint Ridge Baptist Church. Near the intersections of Flint Ridge road and Rob Neal road, the church is a beacon of compassion each Christmas season.

A wall of bikes awaiting new owners

Throughout the year, the members of the church collect donations of bikes, clothes, and toys to be distributed to needy families during the Christmas On The Ridge event.

The activity buildingmain room is filled wall to wall with gifts. Tables laden with toys and clothes dominate the main portion of the space. Two walls are lined with a total of 75 bikes. The bikes range from the smallest starters to full-sized mountain. On the raised stage four tables are covered with gift wrap, scissors, and tape. Volunteers are ready at each to wrap gifts and place tags on the gifts.

Volunteers arrive starting at 7:00am and sit down for a warm breakfast from volunteers who arrived even earlier. The pastor Kelvin Hinson gathers everyone for a morning pre-start pep talk. He explains that starting at 9:00am, families will begin to arrive. Two families at a time will be served every 15 minutes. One adult volunteer and youth runners will accompany each family. One young boy interrupts to ask a question “Pastor, will the runners have to be fast?”

As the person picks out an object, one of the youth will run it to one of the four wrapping tables. As the gifts are wrapped they are taken into a hall with four tables to await loading into the family’s vehicle. If the family can’t accommodate the bike in the vehicle, and a fleet of trucks are waiting to follow them home to deliver the bike.

The process flows seamlessly. Many of the volunteers have served in this ministry for years. New volunteers from Mount Calvary Outreach in Kershaw are guided by those who have done it for years. There are no breaks or stopping in the flow of families. Pastor Hinson acknowledges that there may be more families tha those registered. The community has been hit hard in the past decade with the closing of the Springs Mill in Kershaw, and more recently the closing of Duracell in Lancaster. The international strife has impacted the Soybean growers in the area, as China had slowed down purchases recently, and they have not been restarted. All of this has led to a greater need in this rural community family.

Bags of food await the coming families

The food pantry is sporting empty shelves as bags upon bags of food are made for the coming families. What was not seen, that might have been at so many other events like this, is a flurry of church literature. This church family is giving for the sole sake of giving. 

No doubt prayers are offered and given. The atmosphere is one of love. At the end of the day, it could be argued that the volunteers may have benefited from the love shared as well.

The purpose is apparent in the interactions with the families. We care about you.

Flint Ridge Baptist Church 
Flint Ridge Baptist Facebook 


By David Kellin, Editor@pantagraph.online

504 Veterans lie in the Kershaw Cemetery. 504 Wreathes lie on the grave as Kershaw gathered to honor those Veterans who have died, and living Veterans everywhere.

On December 15th, Arlington Cemetery places wreaths on the graves of Veterans. Across America, in over 1400 other locations a coordinated effort is made to place wreaths on Veterans’ graves. Kershaw is one of those site, and we have 504 service members to remember and honor. 

As a wreath is placed, the name of the veteran is said out loud and the veteran is remembered. In Kershaw, a special wreath is placed at the flag of each branch of service, and the POW/MIA flag.

The North Central JROTC serves as the Honor Guard. and stands a post at the flags. At the end of the event, Taps is played, and the haunting notes settle over the loved ones.

Some of the veterans had yet to be honored. It allowed me to participate to honor a Brother in Arms. I laid a wreathe on the grave of William D. Cook a TEC 5 who served in World War II.

For our 504 this is a day of remembrance, and for those of us attending, it is an education and a way to share honor with them. This Year TEC 5 Cook is my one of the 504. Who is yours?