Lady Bengals Sweep Out Westwood

Blythewood’s Lauren Harley (22) goes up for the block on the shot by Westwood’s Danielle Owens (42). (Photo/Ross Burton)

BLYTHEWOOD – The Blythewood Lady Bengals played host to Westwood’s Lady Redhawks Tuesday night, turning up the heat in the second half on the way to a decisive 47-24 victory. The win brings the Lady Bengals back to .500 on the season and drops Westwood to 3-8 on the year.

The win also gives the Lady Bengals the season sweep of their cross-town rivals, having knocked off the Lady ‘Hawks 44-33 back on Dec. 10.

Breelyn Blanding led the Lady Bengals with 17 points and connected on one clutch three-pointer after another in the second half.

The game got off to a slow start, as both teams settled in and acclimated themselves to the opposing defense. Westwood alternated between man-to-man and a 1-3-1 zone defensive scheme, which took the Blythewood shooters out of rhythm.

Blythewood ran an extended 2-3 zone that trapped the ball handler at half court, forcing many early turnovers from the Lady Redhawks.

Both teams fought extremely hard in the first quarter, with players careening across the floor for loose balls.

After the Lady Bengals jumped out to a 4-2 lead, Westwood charged right back to take a 5-4 lead with three minutes remaining in the first quarter. The aggressive defensive play of Blythewood led to some early foul trouble for their post players.

Westwood sought to take advantage of the foul situation by working the ball into the post area and initiating the offense through junior forward Kayla Atkins. The Lady Bengals began working harder on the offensive glass as well and with 3:50 remaining in the second quarter, Westwood’s Meagan Young converted a layup in transition to give Westwood a 13-11 lead. The Lady Redhawks would take a 15-14 lead into the halftime break, but the Lady Bengals certainly had no plans of giving this game away.

Blythewood had possession of the ball to start the second half and connected on back-to-back three’s from Jasrial Thompson. Just like that, the Lady Bengals had won back the momentum.

Blanding grabbed an offensive rebound and scored on the stick-back and dumped off a nice pass to Brooke Taylor for the lay-in, stretching the Blythewood lead to double digits at 29-18.

Westwood continued playing hard, but with a fourth quarter deficit and time running against their favor, the Lady Redhawks could not reel in the Lady Bengals.

Lauren Harley turned up the defense in the fourth quarter, challenging the Westwood shots when it mattered, and ultimately finishing the game with four steals and two blocks.

Playing keep-away for much of the fourth quarter, the Bengals stretched their lead to 20 points with a three pointer from the corner by Aubria Greene with 2:31 remaining in the game.

Blythewood converted their free throws down the stretch and staved off any Westwood advances to earn the 47-24 victory.

Along with the 17 points, Blanding had two steals and two assists. Thompson kicked in 10 points, five rebounds and four steals.

Taylor chipped in four points, grabbed eight rebounds and blocked two shots.

The Lady Bengals’ next contest is at Irmo High School Friday (Jan. 10), their 4A Region IV opener. The Lady ‘Hawks, meanwhile, open 3A Region IV play Friday at Camden. Both games tip at 6 p.m.