Bengals Hold Off Blazers

Robert Braswell (20) crashes into defenders on his follow-up. (Photo/Kristy Kimball Massey)

Robert Braswell (20) crashes into defenders on his follow-up. (Photo/Kristy Kimball Massey)

COLUMBIA (Nov. 30, 2016) – Blythewood kicked off the 2016-2017 basketball season with three straight 3-pointers against Ridge View.

Head coach Zeke Washington knew that kind of slick fortune wouldn’t hold out for the Bengals.

Blythewood needed all of Robert Braswell’s 23 points and Tre Jackson’s 17 to hold off the fiery Blazers in a 64-53 season-opening victory at the Ridge View gym.

“They’re a good team,” Washington said of the Blazers. “They have some kids who get there late, who get in the groove late, so we were fortunate enough to come out with a victory.”

Blythewood’s opening shots actually gave it a cushion it held for the first half, going up 19-11 after the first quarter and stretching its lead on the Blazers to 31-17 by intermission.

A pair of Keith Matthews baskets made it 35-17 to open the third quarter, but that’s when the Bengals’ offense dried up. Ridge View went on a 12-0 run over the next five minutes to get back into the game.

Blythewood called a time out at the 2:03 mark of the third, and closed out the quarter on a 6-4 run that gave the Bengals a 42-34 lead going into the fourth quarter.

The Blazers poured it on in the early part of the final stanza, creeping to within 46-42 with 5:02 left on Trakell Fleming’s 3-pointer and a D’Markis Neal-Taylor foul shot.

Later, Darian Johnson’s 3-point play with 3:33 to go cut the Bengals’ lead to 52-47, but Blythewood managed to drain the clock and close out the game on a 12-6 run.

“We’ve got some good players and they have some good players,” Washington said. “We just had the ball last today. The kids showed a lot of poise, they took care of the ball, they made some layups, we took better shots down the stretch, and we’re happy with that.”

BHS: 19-12-11-22 – 64

RV: 11-6-17-21 – 53

BHS: Robert Braswell 23, Tre Jackson 17, Breland 7, Matthews 6, Bowers 5, Harris 4, Manuel 2. RV: Kaiden Rice 14, Darien Johnson 12, Fleming 8, Neal-Taylor 8, Coatie 7, Mack 3, Prior 1.