Bengals battle with Demons, Vikings

Barry Hardy (21) goes to the goal against Spring Valley. | Photos: Anthony Montgomery

BLYTHEWOOD – After a first half where Spring Valley dominated the boards 25-9, Blythewood head coach Zeke Washington had only one answer as to what the halftime talk was.

“We got together and we prayed,” he said. “They did a good job of out-physicaling us, if that is a word. They pushed us around, I tip my hat off to them. We prayed for a better effort.”

The Bengals, who had a 16-14 lead going into intermission Friday at the Blythewood gym, put prayer—and the spark of Julian Phillips—to good use.

Phillips scored 10 points and scooped up four rebounds in a pivotal fourth quarter, and the Bengals were able to cushion their lead and finish with a 51-38 Region 4-5A victory over the Vikings.

Phillips led all scorers with 22 points and had 11 rebounds to push the Bengals to their third straight region victory. The agile 6-7 sophomore racked up 35 points in his team’s 71-57 win at Lugoff-Elgin Friday, but the Bengals needed his agility under the nets Tuesday night.

“There’s a lot of rebounds that he gets that keeps us afloat,” Washington said. “A lot of people don’t see it but I see it. Some of the rebounds that this child gets, a lot of high school kids just can’t do. He’s a marvelous player.”

Phillips’ spark under the boards calmed things down defensively for the Bengals (14-8, 3-1). Blythewood outrebounded the Vikings 19-7 in the third and fourth quarters.

After Randy Kelly hit a foul shot and Brice Cohen sank a basket to make it 19-14 early in the third, Phillips went straight to work. He hit three of his four field goals in the quarter to make it 25-16 by the 5-minute mark.

Blythewood outscored the Vikings 12-6 the rest of the way to take a 37-27 lead going into the fourth.

Emmanuel Richards scored all seven of his points on the night in the first four minutes of the final quarter as Blythewood took a commanding 46-31 lead.

Spring Valley got 3-pointers from Terrence Williamson and Justice Henderson to cut into that lead, but the Bengals went 5-for-6 from the free-throw line in the final two minutes to seal the win.

Blythewood is off Friday, but will begin the backstretch of region play with a home game against Irmo Tuesday.

“These kids are so young, and they’ve faced so much pressure, I don’t exactly know what to do,” Washington said about the off date. “I know we have a big game on Tuesday, but we’ve got a lot of work to do to get ready to play them. They’re physical too.”

Emrya Dallman (40) shoots a jumper under Spring Valley pressure.

In the girls game, Blythewood (5-14, 1-2) kept close with Spring Valley through three quarters until the Vikings pulled away for a 62-44 win over the Bengals.

Michaela Boseman had 14 points and Makayla Jones added 11 to lead the Bengals.

Blythewood picked up their first region win Friday night, trouncing Lugoff-Elgin 56-23.

Nylah Terry led the way with 16 points. Nymetria Wooten had 11 and Morgan Kelly had 10.

Girls

Friday: Blythewood 56, Lugoff-Elgin 23

Blythewood – 24-16-8-8 – 56

Lugoff-Elgin – 5-5-7-6 – 23

Blythewood: Nylah Terry 16, Nymetria Wooten 11, Morgan Kelly 10, Boseman 8, Gallman 4, Pinckney 4, Jones 3.

Lugoff-Elgin: Grant 12, McCall 4, Anderson 3, Brown 3, Moore 1.

Tuesday: Spring Valley 62, Blythewood 44

Spring Valley – 14-17-16-15 – 62

Blythewood  – 8-13-15-8 – 44

Spring Valley: Wilkes 16, Entzminger 9, Taylor 9, Lance 9, Mitchell 6, McNally 4.

Blythewood: Michaela Boseman 14, Makayla Jones 11, Terry 9, Kelly 8, Wooten 2.

Boys

Friday: Blythewood 71, Lugoff-Elgin 57                       

Blythewood  – 16-14-24-16 – 71

Lugoff-Elgin – 8-9-21-19 – 57

Blythewood: Julian Phillips 36, Emmanuel Richards 12, Williams 8, Wright 4, Rogers 4, Cohen 2, Hardy 2, Kelly 2, Brown 2.

Lugoff-Elgin: Johnson 20, Hayman 19, Williams 6, Nelson 6, Anderson 4, Pagan 2. 

Tuesday: Blythewood 51, Spring Valley 38

Spring Valley – 6-8-13-11 – 38

Blythewood  – 10-6-21-14 – 51

Spring Valley: Justice Henderson 13, Williamson 7, Osby 4, Wilson 4, Cooke 2, Williams 2, Shell 2, Moore 2, Hutto 2.

Blythewood: Julian Phillips 22, Richards 7, Cohen 7, Rogers 5, Williams 2, Hardy 2, Kelly 2, Wright 2, Knox 2.