Bengals Hold Off Dorman, Advance to Round 2

The rebound is just off the fingertips of Trae Churn (34) as the Bengals and Cavaliers mix it up under the basket. (Photo/Kristy Kimball Massey)

The rebound is just off the fingertips of Trae Churn (34) as the Bengals and Cavaliers mix it up under the basket. (Photo/Kristy Kimball Massey)

BLYTHEWOOD (Feb. 18, 2016) – Dorman put everything it had in slowing down the Blythewood boys’ basketball team Wednesday night.

The Top-seeded Bengals themselves were missing shots, and went 0-for-9 behind the 3-point line. What pushed them to their 42-33 victory over the No.4 Cavaliers in the opening round of the Class 4A playoffs was the simple fact that the team didn’t want an early exit.

“It was all the kids. The kids just didn’t want to lose,” Blythewood head coach Zeke Washington said. “I wish it was something that I could tell you, something that I did so I could take credit, but they dug in. They didn’t want to go out like that. They worked too hard.”

Blythewood plays host to Gaffney Saturday in the second round. The third-seeded Indians defeated No.2 Laurens 79-57 Wednesday.

Trae Churn led all scorers with 10 points, but baskets for any Blythewood player were hard to come by. Dorman took an 11-3 lead at the three-minute mark of the first quarter, and Washington saw up close what he saw on film.

“They slowed the game down, they were real patient on offense, they were good,” Washington said. “They’re good at running that stuff, and our guys just dug in really well defensively. That’s a good team.”

The Bengals trailed 15-9 to start the second quarter, but held the Cavaliers to Diquan Green’s basket that opened the second and Harris Finley’s 3-pointer soon afterward. Blythewood scored 12 points, eking out a 21-20 halftime lead on a pair of Charles Jackson free throws.

“We felt like that was really the only opportunity we had,” Dorman head coach Thomas Ryan said about slowing down Blythewood. “Blythewood really presented us with a lot of problems if they got out of transition with their length, and we felt like we needed to make it a low-possession game.”

Dorman started the second half much like the first half. They took a 31-25 lead late into the third, cut down by a Jackson basket to close out the scoring in that period with 1:07 to go.

Eight minutes from elimination, Blythewood finally woke up, defensively at least. Tyson McCain’s layup with 4:35 left, which made it 33-31 Dorman, was the last basket of the game for the Cavaliers.

From that point to the end, Churn, Ramel Johnson and Josh Bowers scooped up loose balls under the net and kept Dorman from scoring opportunities.

Churn put in the game-tying basket inside the 4-minute mark, and added a go-ahead score with 3:05 left to make it 35-33. Bowers followed up with a steal and a basket with over two minutes left.

Two free throws apiece from Churn and Eli Lake made it 41-33, and Bower’s foul shot with 23 seconds closed out the win.

“For the most part I think our guys did that,” Ryan said about the Cavaliers keeping the Bengals from running the floor. “I was really proud of the way our guys played. But I give Blythewood a ton of credit, they keep coming at you. Coach Washington does such a great job. They’re going to be a tough out for anybody.”


Blythewood 42, Dorman 33

DHS: 15-5-11-2 – 33

BHS: 9-12-6-15 – 42

D – James 6, McFadden 6, Green 6, McClain 5, Woodruff 5, Finley 3, Tate 2. B – Trae Churn 10, Matthews 7, Bowers 6, Jackson 6, Lake 3, Womack 2, Riley 2, Johnson 2, Shakir-Harris 2, Emmanuel 2. REC: Dorman 11-12, Blythewood 20-6.

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