Bengals Drop 2 of 3 in Classic

Trae Churn (34) taps one in against Oldsmar Tuesday. (Photo/Kristy Kimball Massey)

Trae Churn (34) taps one in against Oldsmar Tuesday. (Photo/Kristy Kimball Massey)

COLUMBIA (Dec. 23, 2015) – Ask Blythewood boys’ head basketball coach Ezekiel Washington how his Bengals did in the Chick-Fil-A Classic tournament, and he won’t look too pleased.

It’s not that Blythewood didn’t put forth the effort in a victory over defending 2A state champion Keenan, followed by two losses to Virginia’s Oak Hill Academy and Florida’s Oldsmar Christian School.
“The kids played hard, the effort was there,” Washington said. “We’ve just got to execute better, and that’s my job to make sure they’re executing.”

The Bengals (11-3) opened the tournament at Richland Northeast High School Saturday night with a 56-44 win over the Raiders. Trae Churn led the way with 18 points, with Eli Lake putting up 13 and Khalil Shakir-Harris adding 10.

Against 16-1 Oak Hill Academy, the Bengals rallied to a 6-point deficit by the half, trailing 32-26. The Warriors blasted past Blythewood 63-26 in the second half to complete a 95-52 win.

Five Oak Hill players scored in double digits.

Charles Braxton and Robert Braswell scored 13 points apiece for the Bengals, who were an anemic 20-for-71 from the field, or 28.2 percent.

Blythewood wrapped its tournament appearance up with a 61-48 loss to Oldsmar Christian in the third-place game of the National Division.

The 13-point loss appeared at the outset to be a rout. After Shakir-Harris opened the scoring with a basket, the Eagles burst out on a 21-1 scoring run in the first eight minutes of the half.

With a Lake 3-pointer at the 7:05 mark, the Bengals went on an 18-4 run over the next four minutes.

Blythewood was behind just 25-21 with 2:42 left in the first half before Oldsmar scored 10 unanswered points to go up 35-21. Keith Matthews hit a 3 at the buzzer and the Bengals walked into the locker room trailing 35-24.

Both teams paced each other in the second half, but Oldsmar held its double-digit cushion until the final buzzer.

Shakir-Harris led the Bengals with 13 points. Lake added 11.

Even though Blythewood dropped two out of three games, Washington thinks the team will be on a stronger track for Region IV-4A competition later in the season because of it.

“It was a great tournament,” Washington said. “It helps us to play people we don’t ordinarily see. So it’s certainly going to make us better.”

Blythewood restarts the season at Chester Jan. 5.

Saturday, Dec. 19

BHS 56, Keenan 44

BHS: 24-32 – 56

KHS: 18-26 – 44

B –Trae Churn 18, Eli Lake 13, Khalil Shakir-Harris 10, Womack 6, Braswell 5, Bailey 2, Jackson 2. K – Tariq Simmons 24, Marshall 9, Osborne 3, Jones 2, Haney 2, Poole 2.

Monday Dec. 21

Oak Hill Academy 95, Blythewood 52

OHA: 32-63 – 95

BHS: 26-26 – 52

O – Devontae Shuler 21, Braxton Key 16, Mario Kegler 16, Lindell Wigginton 13,Matt Coleman 10, Alexander 8, Miller 5, Sy 2, Mathis 2, Mwuba 2. B – Robert Braswell 13, Charles Jackson Jr. 13, Shakir-Harris 7, Churn 6, Matthews 4, Riley 4, Johnson 2, Womack 2, Lake 1.

Tuesday, Dec. 22

Oldsmar Christian School 61, Blythewood 48

OCS: 35-26 – 61

BHS: 24-24 – 48

O – Troy Baxter 11, Jerome Merritt 10, Smith 8, Acevedo 7, Bassett 6, Figueroa 5, Jones 5, J. Weaver 4, Thorp 3, Pursley 2. B – Khalil Shakir-Harris 13, Eli Lake 11, Bowers 9, Matthews 6, Churn 2, Bailey 2, Hammond 2, Braswell 2, Jackson 1.


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