Redhawks sweep Blythewood

BLYTHEWOOD – In the first game of their 2-date season series, the Blythewood boys basketball team stayed tight with arch rival Westwood through three quarters.

But with a small scoring run with three minutes to go, the Redhawks got the cushion it needed to hold off the Bengals 64-57 Thursday night at The Castle.

Blythewood made good on eight 3-pointers that kept them close, and Lamont Jackson led the way with four of them and 17 points on the night.

Arden Conyers, a South Carolina signee who came off a Chapin game in which he led all scorers but was 0-for-7 from the 3-point arc that night, delivered three 3s and 26 points. 

T.J. Bell had 16 points, and the Redhawks (6-5) used a hot transition game—to the tune of 14 steals and 16 defensive rebounds—that kept the Bengals (5-5) off balance at key moments.

“Blythewood plays extremely hard, extremely aggressive,” Westwood head coach John Combs said. “It’s been a tough week and I was a little concerned about that coming into the game, but give our guys credit, they were ready to play and play against a tough, physical team.”

Blythewood and Westwood pretty much exchanged shot for shot until the final minute of the second quarter. After Tray Mazyck got a basket for the Bengals to tie the game at 27 with 55 seconds left in the half, Bell scored and Conyers drained a 3 with 15 seconds left to put Westwood ahead 32-27. Jackson’s 3 attempt missed at the buzzer.

Conyers opened the scoring in the third quarter with a basket and Westwood went on a 9-3 run to go up 41-30, but Jayden Guess’ 3 sparked a small 9-3 run that got Blythewood back within 44-39.

Another Bell basket put Westwood up 46-39, but Guess’s and Jackson’s back-to-back 3s closed out the third and got Blythewood within one point, 46-45.

Just as the Bengals looked to make a move to start the fourth quarter though, Westwood got three foul shots from Conyers and a 3 from Nate Thompson to go up 51-45 at the 6:26 mark.

Blythewood and Westwood drained four minutes off the clock when the Redhawks K.J. Rowan scored a basket and later made two foul shots. Combined with Bell’s basket at the 1:20 mark, Westwood led 60-51.

Guess got his second 3 of the night and Jackson followed up with a 3 of his own to cut Westwood’s lead to 62-57, but Bell went to the foul line and sank both of his free throws with 21 seconds left to make it 64-57, the final score.

“Blythewood’s had some success this year,” Combs said. “I credit our mental toughness to making enough big plays in the third and the fourth quarters to give us the win.”

Since beating Blythewood, Westwood fell 82-52 to Augusta Christian Saturday in the Bojangles Bash at Ridge View, and is playing in the Cayce Roundball Classic at Brookland-Cayce High School that tipped off Wednesday and plays through Friday.

“It is a loaded field,” Combs said of the Roundball Classic. “You look at all the teams and you say to yourself, where are we getting our wins from? We could win them all, but we could lose them all if we’re not prepared.”

The Bengals played in the Lemon Street Classic in Marietta, Ga., falling Saturday 62-60 to Albany (N.Y.) Academy for Boys and losing 56-53 Monday to Peachtree Ridge. They play in a tournament at Hammond Dec. 27-29.

In the girls game, the Westwood starting five jumped out to a 38-11 lead on the Bengals by halftime, and while the Redhawks (9-3) played most of its bench in the second half, Blythewood (6-3) matched their opponent in scoring. Westwood closed out a 65-35 victory having played nearly everyone on the roster.

“We knew they were coming in with three very tough freshman backcourt talent, and their day will come,” Gregory Bauldrick said of the Bengals, specifically Hayley Hightower, Chase Thomas, and India Williams. “We knew they were playing well, with quality wins over White Knoll, Ridge View, Fairfield Central. We weren’t quite sure what they were, but we knew that that backcourt they have is very talented. They would be a good test.”

Koreletta Daniels led all scorers with 16 points. Raven Johnson added 10.

Thomas led Blythewood with 11 points. Hightower had nine and Williams had 5.

Blythewood played Chambers (Charlotte, NC) Wednesday, plays Marvin Ridge today and Butler Friday in the Y.C. Winborn Classic in Rock Hill. The Bengals also and take part in the District Nine Officials Tournament in Manning, with games against the host-team Monarchs Dec. 27, West Florence Dec. 28, and Darlington Dec. 29.

Westwood looks to get healthy over the holiday break, as well as to build on some young talent that played in the team’s 69-11 win over Chapin as well as the Blythewood game.

“Our bench is very deep, but we’re short on the roster because of injuries from the Queens of the Castle,” Bauldrick said, “but we have some talented JV players and we’ve given them opportunities to play this week (three against Chapin, three against Blythewood). All six of those kids really contributed this week.”

Westwood fell 45-25 to nationally ranked Miami (Fla.) Monday, but beat Peachtree Ridge (Ga.) 51-40 in the Beach Ball Classic Dec. 19-21. The Redhawks also played Wednesday.

Westwood’s boys and girls start the year off with a rematch at Blythewood Jan. 3.

Boys

Blythewood – 17-10-18-12 — 57

Westwood  – 17-15-14-18 — 64

Blythewood

Lamont Jackson 17, Austin Coker 12, Guess 8, Olden 8, Mazyck 5, Pack 4, Haltiwanger 3.

Westwood

Arden Conyers 26, T.J. Bell 16, Rowan 9, Thompson 5, Roberts 2, Brown 2, Balkman 2, Mack 2.

Girls

Blythewood – 8-3-12-12 — 35

Westwood – 20-18-15-12 — 65

Blythewood

Chase Thomas 11, Hightower 9, Williams 5, Cross 4, Thomas 3, Simmons 3

Westwood

Korletta Daniels 16, Raven Johnson 10, Woods 9, Thompson 8, Butler 7, Omeire 5, Pope 4, Davis 2, William 2, Ridgeway 2.

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