Redhawks dominate in first round

Westwood honored their basketball and cheerleading seniors at Friday night’s game against Ridge View. | Leroy Howard

BLYTHEWOOD – The Westwood girls basketball team couldn’t have asked for a better start to the Class 4A playoffs than it had Tuesday night.

The Redhawks scored right from the opening tip-off and blew the doors off Region 1-4A’s Belton-Honea Path in a full-throttle 91-13 victory.

“I thought we did a lot of good things in terms of what our measurements are,” Westwood head coach Gregory Bauldrick said. “We understood the opponent, but we wanted to make sure we came out and played to what our standards were.”

Unique Drake (5) pops a shot in her final regular-season game as a Redhawk. | Leroy Howard

Westwood (22-5) plays host to Daniel Friday. The Lions beat Travelers Rest 36-30 Tuesday.

Bauldrick said he doesn’t know much about the Lions, but he does know his Redhawks will be fired up to play.

“You’re preparing for something that’s much bigger,” he said about getting the team ready for postseason play. “Tonight we wanted to control the controllables and we thought we did that.

Five Westwood players scored in double figures Tuesday night. Maliyah Lockett led the way with 20 points, but Malayziah Etheridge came off the bench and scored 16 points.

“I know a lot of people look at me that way,” Etheridge said about her sixth-man threat. “I just feel like me coming off the bench, I gotta help my team, I gotta share the ball, I gotta do what I gotta do to help win the game.”

Whatever she does, Bauldrick said he’s glad to have Etheridge, who made the All-Region team this season.

“She’s come off the bench quite a bit and she’s an all-region player,” he said. “That tells you the caliber of player she is.”

Nyah Leveretter had 11 points and eight rebounds, while Essence Marshall and Unique Drake had 10 points apiece. All but one player on the roster scored at least two points, and everybody on the team got to see some playing time.

Lockett took the opening tip-off and brought it up for a basket, and seconds later the rout was on. Westwood’s defensive effort contributed dozens of points off of 28 steals, while holding the Bears to six points over the second, third, and fourth quarters.

Belton-Honea Path (7-20) had 28 turnovers in the first half and 41 for the game.

Westwood, which clinched a share of the Region 3-4A title with South Pointe last week and earned the top seed in the 4A playoffs because of the points tiebreak,

“I just love it,” Etheridge said about playing with the Redhawks. “No matter who subs in or who has to come in or out, we all play good together.”

Etheridge wasn’t the only player to earn All Region honors. Drake was named Region 3-4A Player of the Year. Leveretter and Lockett were also selected to All Region.

Westwood 91, Belton-Honea Path 13

BHP – 7-3-0-3 – 13

WHS – 24-22 -22-23 –91

BHP: Wooten 4, Holtzclaw 3, Phillips 3, Bobo 2, Scott 1.

WHS: Maliyah Lockett 20, Malayziah Etheridge 16, Nyah Leveretter 11, Essence Marshall 10, Unique Drake 10, Mines 9, McCant 6, Frederick 5, Wade 2, Simon 2.

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