Back-to-Back Region Losses End Blythewood’s Playoff Hopes

Blythewood’s David Bell (4) goes up from behind the backboard against Lugoff-Elgin.

Last Friday, the Blythewood Bengals basketball team (9-14, 2-7) was defeated by Lugoff-Elgin (9-13, 1-8) on the road 49-40. The 40 point total by the Bengals is their lowest offensive output on the season. Blythewood head coach Zeke Washington was disappointed after the game.

“It was a tough game and we didn’t play well,” he said.

Even with the loss at Lugoff-Elgin, the Bengals were still not mathematically eliminated from the playoffs and had high hopes going into Tuesday night’s game against Richland Northeast (16-7, 5-4). Blythewood would look to use an extra spark of playing on their “Senior Night” to propel them to a win and keep them in the playoff hunt. Before the game Washington talked about what the keys were for a must win game.

“We have to be physical,” he said. “We know what’s at stake and we have to win out to make the playoffs.”

The score teeter-tottered back and forth throughout the game and momentum flirted with each side. There were 11 lead changes and five ties in the game and although Blythewood had a lead in the second, third and fourth quarter they would eventually fall to the Cavaliers 52-45. At the half Richland Northeast led 18-17 but Blythewood netted the first bucket and would build a lead up to five points at two different times in the third quarter. However, the Cavaliers would end the third quarter with five straight points to tie the game 29-29.

Richland Northeast would gain even more momentum to start the fourth quarter as they went on a 10-2 run and would take the final lead of the game. Free throw shooting played an integral part of the momentum shift for the Cavaliers as they were in the double bonus to start the fourth quarter and 14 of their 16 made free throws came in the second half. Richland Northeast senior Quiron Cooke scored a game high 23 points and buried four shots from beyond the arc. David Bell was the only player to score in double digits for Blythewood with 13. Seven Blythewood seniors appeared on the floor for the final time, including Bell, Zack Hamilton, Kevin Crawford, Tyler Bowers, Raheen Jackson, Fred Simmons and Joe Kelly. Even though Washington is in his first season at Blythewood he developed a good relationship with the senior class and is pleased with their success.

“They’ve brought a lot of leadership to this team,” he said. “I’m proud of the effort they’ve given throughout the season.”

With Ridge View’s 77-39 win at Lugoff-Elgin on Tuesday night Blythewood has been mathematically eliminated from the playoffs and will wrap up their regular season at Ridge View (12-10, 4-5) tonight (Feb. 8). The Bengals defeated the Blazers earlier this season 67-65. You can listen to the live broadcast at www.facebook.com/bhathletics.