Bengals Burn Blazers in Hard-Court Thriller

Blythewood’s David Bell flies to the basket over Ridge View’s Jarrell Brantley.

Friday night the Blythewood boys’ basketball team (9-10, 2-3) outlasted Ridge View (9-9, 1-4) in a game that saw more twists and turns than a Coney Island roller coaster. The Bengals won the see-saw affair 67-65. It was a game that had ups and downs, including 22 lead changes and 13 ties.

Blythewood scored the first bucket of the game but trailed 9-8 at the end of the first quarter. The two teams battled back and forth during the second quarter with each team taking the lead a multiple of different times. Blythewood junior Sam Lake buried a shot from downtown just before the buzzer and the Bengals trailed by just one at the break 28-27.

Halfway through the third quarter, Blythewood jumped back on top, 38-35, thanks to another 3-ball by Lake. At the end of the third quarter, the Bengals led 44-42, but Ridge View would start the fourth quarter on a 6-0 run and take another momentary lead. The Blythewood defense was pesky in the final minutes and the Bengals were able to create fast breaks and score points off turnovers down the stretch. Blythewood sophomore Dominique Lemon netted eight points in the fourth quarter and finished the game with a season high 12 points.

Senior David Bell scored a game high 16 points for the Bengals, including 14 in the first half. Lake finished the contest in double digits with 11 and has made two baskets from beyond the arc in the past five games (all in region play).

Blythewood is back in action Friday, Jan. 25, when they go on the road to play the number one team in the state, Irmo (19-0, 5-0). The Yellow Jackets are coming off a 70-35 shellacking of Lugoff-Elgin. The Irmo defense forced 17 turnovers and held the Demons to just 24 percent shooting from the floor, including one of 16 from beyond the arc. Alex Quillien and Xavier Hill led the way in scoring for the Yellow Jackets with 12 and 11 respectively. Irmo is outscoring their opponents by an average of 19.6 points per game. They average 66.6 points per outing and give up just 47 and are ranked 23rd in the nation according to USA Today.

The Bengals will be on the hunt to avenge a 79-56 loss to Irmo back on Jan 4. Despite trailing just 32-31 at the half Blythewood fell in their first region game, as Irmo poured in 14 straight points to start the second half. Yellow Jacket’s 6-foot-8 senior Javis Howard scored a game high 19 points while Blythewood junior Kenny McCray put up a team high 18 for the Bengals. Free throws were a huge difference in the game with Irmo going to the line 17 more times than the Bengals. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. and will follow the conclusion of the girls’ game. You can listen to the live broadcast at www.facebook.com/bhathletics.