Redhawks Dominate Crosstown Rivalry

Westwood’s Adonus Lee (34) goes for the tap-in over Blythewood’s Eli Lake. (Photo/Ross Burton)

BLYTHEWOOD – The Blythewood Bengals welcomed the Redhawks of Westwood for a crosstown throw-down on Tuesday night, resulting in a 52-45 victory for the Redhawks. The victory improves Westwood’s record to 10-2 on the year, while the Bengals of Blythewood drop to 5-10.

The win gives the ‘Hawks local hard-court bragging rights, as Westwood also took game one of the rivalry on Dec. 10, 56-42.

The game was very much a battle in the paint, as each team tried to score early from the inside out. Westwood worked the ball down to their big man in Adonus Lee, which opened the perimeter for Jasun Williams to knock down a deep three-pointer, giving the Redhawks an early 3-2 lead and setting the tone for the game.

Blythewood shot well from the outside, as senior wingman Kenny McCray nailed a jumper from the extended wing followed by a cutting floater from guard Camron Womack. The first quarter ended with one collective sigh of exhaustion as Blythewood went up 7-5 on the Redhawks.

The second quarter began with Westwood missing on a few open looks at the basket. Blythewood reeled off a transition layup by Dayquan Day followed by a deep three ball from McCray. The next time down the floor, McCray was fouled on a three-point attempt and made two of three freebies, stretching the Bengal lead to 20-11 in the waning moments of the first half. Westwood was able to break the Bengal press and get a bucket in just before the halftime buzzer, which set them only seven points down to start the second half.

The Redhawks would take the opening possession of the third quarter and shred the Bengals’ 2-3 zone, working the ball to the foul line and short-corner, then dumping the rock down quickly to Lee for a few three-point plays the hard way.

Complementing Lee’s post presence was the deadeye shooting of Williams and fellow guard Napoleon Goodson in the second half. Goodson tied the game at 24 with 4:20 remaining in the third quarter as whatever momentum the Bengals had generated in the first half melted away.

Goodson scored the go-ahead bucket on a nice up-and-under move and with that, the Redhawks never looked back.

By the end of the third period, Westwood was up 38-28 and in command of the game. Blythewood scored quickly to start the fourth, but the Westwood offense methodically picked apart the Bengal zone for easy buckets. Quick ball movement and cross-court passes created opportunities to penetrate the lane from the Redhawks’ perimeter.

Blythewood’s McCray and Co. kept the game interesting, closing the gap to within six points with just under three minutes remaining in the game, but a few key Westwood offensive rebounds and a late-game steal by Lee sealed the victory for the Redhawks, who came away with the 52-45 victory.

For Westwood, Lee scored 15 points. Goodson followed closely with 14 points, including multiple clutch free throws down the stretch.

Leading the Bengals was McCray with 12 points, Trae Churn with eight points and Keiwan Hammond with six.

Westwood hosts Ridge View High School Wednesday night and travels to Camden Friday (Jan. 10) for their region opener. Blythewood, meanwhile, opens their region schedule Friday at Irmo.