Redhawks Treat Bengals to Upset

Westwood’s Adam Douglas (35) lifts the rebound from Trae Churn (34) as Jalen Robinson (20) makes a grab. (Photo/DeAnna Robinson)

Westwood’s Adam Douglas (35) lifts the rebound from Trae Churn (34) as Jalen Robinson (20) makes a grab. (Photo/DeAnna Robinson)

BLYTHEWOOD (Feb. 10, 2016) – The Westwood boys basketball team limped into Tuesday night’s matchup at home against Region IV-4A rival Blythewood.

The Redhawks came out feeling refreshed with a 44-41 upset over the Bengals.

“A wounded dog is a dangerous one, baby, and that’s what I told our kids from the get-go,” Westwood head coach Terry Dozier said. “When we’re at home, we play with more confidence.”

The Redhawks needed confidence, considering starters Xavier Davis, Todd Corley and Caleb Major were out with injuries. The three were sitting on the bench but not dressed.

Jordan Watson led Westwood (11-10, 4-5) with 13 points with the entire team seeing playing time. Adam Douglas had 10 rebounds to go with eight points.

Keith Matthews led Blythewood (18-5, 6-2) with 15 points. Bengals coach Zeke Washington made ample substitutions throughout the game and every one of the 14 players on the roster saw court time.

No matter what the Bengals lineup was on the court, the Redhawks kept the region leader off balance.

“Defensively we had a strategy to front their posts because they’re big, and switch on all springs,” Dozier said. “It worked because they couldn’t get their shooters open. We learned from the last game (a 60-48 loss at Blythewood), when they got their shooters free, so we executed our game plan well.”

Westwood took a 12-8 lead to start the second quarter, with Blythewood playing mostly non-starters. The Bengals did change out the lineup early in the second quarter, going with more familiar players.

With 6:53 left in the second and the Redhawks up 13-8, Matthews, Josh Bowers, Eli Lake, Jacobi Bailey and Trae Churn took the court. Within 90 seconds the game was tied.

With Blythewood playing with its more familiar fast tempo, Churn made good on a 3-point play at the 6:36 mark. A minute later Bailey dished a pass inside to Lake, who put it in the net.

From that point on, both teams battled almost shot for shot. But at the halftime buzzer, Matthews drained a 3-pointer that gave Blythewood a 26-23 lead going into intermission.

Throughout the game it seemed like the Bengals could have taken over at any time, but they were poised for a strong run in the third quarter. After Watson came off the free-throw line with two shots to make it 26-25, Lake and Bailey sank baskets to take a 30-25 lead.

Throughout the quarter Blythewood kept the advantage, but could not break away. The Redhawks were down by just four points at the end of the third.

Up 36-32 going into the fourth, Blythewood needed to control the ball in a game in which both teams struggled with shooting. The Bengals did so until the final 3:15.

Russell Jones dropped a 3-pointer in the net at that mark to tie the game at 41. Ten seconds later Watson scooped up a loose ball and fired to Jaylen Robinson, who put it in to make it 43-41.

That quick lead change set the table for a Blythewood comeback in the last seconds, but it was not to be.

Bailey could have tied the game at 43 with 2;27 to go, but was 0-for-2 at the foul line. A minute later, the Bengals got a turnover and both Matthews and Churn tried to go for a game-tying basket.

Douglas came down with the ball on Churn’s shot with a minute to go, and the Redhawks drained the clock down to 22 seconds, when Churn fouled Xavier Dobey to stop the clock.

Dobey made one of two shots from the foul line to close out the scoring.

The Bengals had one last move. Kameron Riley inbounded the ball to Matthews with five seconds to go. Matthews, who made two 3s earlier in the game, set up just outside the 3-point stripe and got the shot off with one tick on the clock. It careened off the backboard just as the buzzer sounded.

Washington, notably disappointed with the outcome, had little comment on the game.

After the Bengals filed out of the locker room, a sullen Washington looked out onto the court as the crowd was filing out.

“I’ve just got to do a better job coaching,” he said.

The Bengals will wrap up region play with back-to-back games against Ridge View. They will play at Ridge View Thursday and play host to the Blazers Friday.

Westwood plays host to Spring Valley Friday.

“That’s going to be huge, because we need to win that in order to have our (playoff) opportunities,” Dozier said. “I’m not sure if we’re going to get any of our players back, but it’s just the next man up.”

Westwood 44, Blythewood 41

BHS: 8-18-10-5 – 41

WHS: 12-11-9-12 – 44

B – Keith Matthews 15, Churn 7, Lake 6, Bailey 5, Braswell 4, Riley 2, Hammond 2. W – Jordan Watson 13, Douglas 8, Barnes 7, Robinson 6, Jones 5, Crosby 4, Dobey 1. REC: Westwood 11-10, 4-5, Blythewood 18-5, 6-2.

 

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