Lady Bengals Rattle Off Third Straight

Blythewood’s Brooke Taylor (23) fights for a good look under the basket at Ridge View. (Photo/DeAnna Robinson)

COLUMBIA – The Lady Bengals basketball team (9-8, 3-2) won their third game in a row Friday night with a 49-42 victory over their district rival, Ridge View. Blythewood was spurred by the scoring of just four players, which was fueled by a game-high 21 points from Breelyn Blanding and a 17-point effort by Lauren Harley. Brooke Taylor and Jasrial Thompson chipped in eight and three points respectively.

For Blanding it was the fourth time she has scored at least 21 points this season. She is averaging a team high 15.4 points per game.

Down 37-36 in the fourth quarter, Blythewood used a 9-0 run from the four-minute mark to the three-minute mark to take the lead for good. Down the stretch both Blanding and Harley were perfect on their trips to the free-throw line to seal the game.
Blythewood head coach Steve Inabinet was pleased with his team’s execution at the end of the game.

“Execution was perfect,” he said. “I told the girls to just go back to doing what they do, which they did and we won the game.”

The game started off slowly, with Ridge View’s Cierra Goodwin scoring the first bucket three minutes deep into the game. Those would be the only points for Ridge View in the first quarter, as Blythewood countered with a 9-0 run to lead 9-2 after the first eight minutes.
Brooke Taylor netted the first four points for the Lady Bengals, with two of those points coming off a perfect play from an inbound pass where Taylor buried a catch-and-shoot jumper from 10 feet straight away.

“It is a play designed just for her and we felt confident that it would work again tonight,” Inabinet said after the game.

At the half, Blythewood held onto a seven point lead by a score of 23-16. In the second half, Inabinet was happy with his team’s defensive effort.

“I thought we played pretty good defensively,” Inabinet said. “We did a much better job in the second half with help-side defense.”

The Lady Bengal defense held Ridge View to just 32-percent shooting from the floor.
During the fourth quarter, Blythewood began to find their rhythm offensively and outscored Ridge View 18-8 in the final frame. Blanding and Harley led the charge scoring all 18 points.

“During the third quarter and the fourth quarter, (Blanding) knows and we all know that she is our go-to player,” Inabinet said after the game. “We depend on her for offense, defense and to run the team and she really stepped up in the second half.”

Blanding went scoreless in the first quarter, but scored 13 of her 21 points in the second half.
The one-two combo of Blanding and Harley proved to be too much for the Lady Blazers (6-11, 2-3).
Harley, who also tallied three rebounds and two blocks, did a little bit of everything for Blythewood and is a player that Inabinet is looking forward to coaching for the next two seasons.

“(Harley) has really come along well and we’re working on her to be a great asset for our team,” he said.

Blythewood had an open date on Tuesday and will host Irmo Friday. Irmo (18-1, 5-0) defeated the Lady Bengals earlier this season 49-33.

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