Lady Bengals Bounced from Second Round

SUMMERVILLE/W. FLORENCE – After an impressive turnaround in the second half of the season, the Lady Bengals of Blythewood headed into the playoffs looking to sustain their modus operandi of playing sound defense, turning that sound defense into easy offense, and most importantly, winning games; and in this case, playoff games.

The Lady Bengals were matched up in the first round with Ashley Ridge High School from Summerville. Blythewood trailed 10-6 at the end of the first quarter, but held Ashley Ridge to only two points in the second quarter, taking the lead 14-12 at the half.

In the third quarter, the Lady Bengals kept their foot on the throttle defensively, holding Ashley Ridge to a two-point quarter yet again, while stretching their lead to double digits by the end of the third quarter.

Blythewood continued to dominate offensively, both in the perimeter game and the post game and cruised along to a 39-22 victory.

Breelyn Blanding led the Lady Bengals with 11 points in the win.

The win over Ashley Ridge advanced the Lady Bengals to the second round of the tournament where they faced off against the West Florence Knights. At 21-4 on the year, West Florence was a stout opponent to say the least, but the Lady Bengals showed no intentions of backing down from the challenge.

The Lady Bengals looked focused from the start of the game, sticking to their game plan and not allowed the crowd to interfere. Trailing by only one point at halftime, 24-23, the Lady Bengals once again shut down their opponent in the third quarter.

For a team that had seen little trouble all season scoring the basketball, the Knights were held to nine third quarter points as Blythewood put the clamps on the West Florence shooters and clogged up the lane with the 6-foot-3 Brooke Taylor. The Lady Bengals took over the lead and began to establish dominance in the ball game as the third quarter wound down, setting Blythewood up for a fourth quarter show down holding a 38-33 lead.

But for as well as the Lady Bengals played in the first three quarters, the fourth period was uncharacteristic.

The Blythewood shooters went cold, and West Florence began getting the ball to their spots and making baskets when they needed them. The Knights’ defense adjusted to Blanding and the Bengals and held them to just three points in the final quarter. For West Florence, the team rode on the back of 6-foot-2 senior Maya Jackson, whose double-double performance of 10 points and 11 rebounds helped West Florence seal the 48-41 victory over Blythewood. Blanding finished with 13 points along with Jasrial Thompson who also had 13 points.
After the game, coach Steve Inabinet was proud of the effort his team displayed all season, saying, “They played with heart and effort all season. I’m really proud of these girls and the hard work they’ve put in this year, especially our seniors.”

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