Late Run Drops Lady Bengals

Lauren Harley tips one in. (Photo/Kristy Kimball Massey)

BLYTHEWOOD – Spring Valley’s Christian Hithe poured in a game-high 30 points Tuesday night to escape Blythewood with a 51-40 victory. After the game Blythewood head coach Steve Inabinet said he was forced to alter his team’s game plan during Hithe’s scoring run.

“We started to focus a lot of attention on her and we knew coming in she would have to be a focal point,” he said. “We had a thin bench so we waited to put special attention on her.”

The Lady Bengals were two players short with Dominique Huff awaiting the MRI results after an initial diagnosis of a chipped bone in her right ankle after Friday’s loss against Dutch Fork and Alyna Kelly was out with a concussion.

The first quarter saw seven lead changes between the two squads. Blythewood’s Lauren Harley netted eight first-quarter points to keep pace with the fast paced Lady Vikings. With the scored knotted at 10, Hithe buried a 14-footer at the buzzer to give Spring Valley a two-point edge.

Blythewood began the second quarter with a 5-0 run to go back on top 15-12, but Spring Valley countered with a 10-0 scoring run that included two buckets beyond the arc from Hithe and Akia Dunlap. With Blythewood trailing by seven, Jasrial Thompson answered with a 3-pointer of her own and Aubria Greene sank two free throws just before the half to cut the deficit to 22-20.

Green gave the Lady Bengals a jolt to start the second half when she hit a 3-pointer. The two Region IV-4A rivals battled back and forth in the third quarter as they exchanged the lead eight times. With the scored tied at 30, Hithe scored the final eight points for Spring Valley as she fueled the Lady Vikings burst to a 38-34 lead heading into the final frame.

Blythewood was outscored 13-6 in the fourth quarter and fell 51-40, dropping the Lady Bengals to 4-11 overall and 0-2 in region play.

“We knew that the run was coming and tried to prepare our players for the first part of the fourth quarter,” Inabinet said. “We did all we could to fight it off but it was just too much for us to overcome tonight.”

Harley scored a team-high 18 points and every Lady Bengal player that saw action scored at least one point. Despite the loss, Inabinet said he was proud of him team for hanging in there with a good Spring Valley (12-4, 2-0) team.

“We’re proud of our team for their effort, but a loss is a loss,” he stated. “This was our best effort all year and we let them know that.”

Inabinet emphasized the need to build of a strong showing against a quality team to secure wins in the future.

“We told our kids that if we keep that intensity up and that energy and chemistry then things will turn around at some point and we hope that is very soon,” he said. “You can only ask a person or team to do the best they can and tonight I think we got that.”

Blythewood will travel to Lugoff-Elgin on Friday.

Spring Valley 51, Blythewood 40

SV: 12-10-16-13 – 51

BH: 10-10-14-6 – 40

Individual Scoring – Blythewood: Keayra Jackson 2, Aubria Greene 7, Jasrial Thompson 5, Lauren Harley 18, Ajane Williams 1, Keanna Ray 2, Amari Lott 5. Spring Valley: Akia Dunlap 9, Christian Hithe 30, Joi Jones 2, Megan Davis 2, Dominique Hill 1, Shantay Taylor 7.