Redhawks Blow By BHP

BLYTHEWOOD – The Westwood boys fell into a hole early on in their game against third-seeded Belton-Honea Path Wednesday night.

Four trips into the lane for the Bears from Tiavion Mack, Eddie Moss and Zy Scott had the Redhawks down 8-1 in the first three minutes of the game.

Westwood stumbled and turned the ball over five times in the first quarter, but didn’t panic.

“Our team is like, even though we were down, we never let anything stop our focus,” Redhawks forward Adam Douglas said. “I’m proud of my boys tonight. Coach’s game plan is to control the tempo, and we just had to lock in and calm down, control our aggression.”

Indeed the second-seeded Redhawks did pull themselves together, and dominated the boards in a 53-35 dismissal of the Bears, the first Westwood boys’ playoff win in the history of the school.

“We started slow, way too many turnovers. We just didn’t seem as focused,” Westwood head coach Jeff DiBattisto said. “I’m proud of how we responded. We turned the ball over less, we controlled the tempo more, we rebounded much better, and we got shots that we could make.”

The Redhawks (16-8) travel to South Aiken Saturday to play the top-seeded Green Hornets, who defeated Union County 75-54 Wednesday.

Douglas led the way for the Redhawks, putting up 12 points. Cameron Wormack and Russell Jones each chipped in 11 points.

Westwood outrebounded Belton-Honea Path 34-16, in addition to making seven steals and generally keeping the ball away from the Bears.

Xavier Dobey, one of Westwood’s starting guards, sat on the bench for Wednesday’s game nursing a knee injury. DiBattisto said Dobey will be ready to start at Aiken.

“He should be ready to go for us on Saturday,” he said. “But we had to do it without him (Wednesday). And you’ve got to get into that bench, your guys gotta perform. They’ve been waiting for that all year, so when they get that opportunity, we want them to have it.”

After falling behind early in the opening minutes against the Bears, Westwood tied the game up at 8 with a putback and a 3-point play from Wormack, and a layup from Russell Jones by the 2:52 mark of the first quarter.

Belton-Honea Path took a 12-10 lead a minute into the second quarter, but that was the last lead the Bears ever held.

Dante Brown found Ellis Hawkins under the net for a game-tying basket, then Adam Douglas put the Redhawks up 14-12 at the 5:37 mark. A Westwood steal and a dish to Jones made it 16-12.

A technical foul called on the Belton-Honea Path bench brought Jones to the foul line, where he sank one of two shots.

Another Douglas steal and layup gave Westwood a 19-12 advantage with 4:00 left in the first half, and the Redhawks never looked back.

Westwood held a 27-17 lead at the half, and stretched the lead to 36-24 going into the fourth quarter.

Most of the fourth quarter action took place at the foul line, where Westwood shooters made 11 of 12 foul shots to seal the victory.

“It’s a neat feeling. It’s one of those feelings that these kids will always be able to have,” DiBattisto said about the playoff win. “It’s awesome for them. We’re proud of them.”

 

Westwood 53, Belton-Honea Path 35

Belton-Honea Path         10           7              7              11           —             35

Westwood         10           17           9              17           —             53

Belton-Honea Path

Tiavion Mack 12, Nance 7, Scott 6, Moss 6, Gary 4.

Westwood

Adam Douglas 12, Cameron Wormack 11, Russell Jones 11, Barnes 8, Hawkins 4, Watson 3, Peachers 2, Brown 2.

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