Redhawk boys pick up non-region win in MLK Bash

COLUMBIA – Westwood’s boys basketball needed a lift after a rough Region 5-4A start, and they got one at the MLK Bash Monday at Eau Claire High School.

Arden Conyers went 7-for-10 from behind the 3-point arc and scored 28 points on the afternoon in the Redhawks’ 69-35 victory over Cardinal Newman.

“Our defense was disruptive and seemed to cause Cardinal Newman some problems,” Westwood head coach John Combs said. “It was good to see our team play with a lot of energy. Of course when you make shots, you tend to have more energy.”

Conyers, a South Carolina signee, surpassed the 1,000-point mark in his career at Ridge View Friday, joins Russell Jones Jr. as the only players on the boys team to reach that pinnacle.

(Jones, who played for Winthrop in his freshman, sophomore, and junior years, transferred to Western Carolina last spring and averages 10.3 points per game.)

Westwood aiming for Cardinal Newman has some backstory to it. The Cardinals were fresh off a 57-45 win over Augusta Christian Friday night. The Lions had leveled the Redhawks 82-52 before the Christmas break.

“Cardinal Newman is a good team,” Conyers said. “We came in with the mindset like we have to kill from the start. We knew they had just beat Augusta Christian and that put a chip on our shoulders, so we wanted came out really aggressive and get them.”

Jordan Frazer led the Cardinals with 14 points.

From Conyers’ first play of the game, a defensive rebound that T.J. Bell converted to a 3-pointer, Westwood controlled the tempo against Cardinal Newman.
The Redhawks sank five 3s in the opening minutes and took a 19-11 lead with 10 minutes to play in the first half. After Dorian Hart hit a 3 to cut that lead to 19-14, Westwood went on a 22-5 scoring run to go into the locker room at halftime leading 41-19.

Cardinal Newman went 14-for-44 in the first half, a 31.8 percentage, compared to Westwood’s 27-for-49 shooting for 55.1 percent.

Westwood’s effort in the second half was more up-tempo and more defensive. Cardinal Newman missed many shots because of the speed of the game and fell behind 50-26 with 10 minutes to play.

The most stable point for the Cardinals was a 60-minute period in which they outscored the Redhawks 8-6 and cut the lead to 56-34 with 5:43 to play.

From that point on the Redhawks, playing mostly bench players finished the game on a 13-1 scoring run.

“We’ve had our struggles shooting recently,” Combs said. “It was nice coming off a game like this where Arden Conyers had seven threes and could have gotten more.”

Monday afternoon’s run was a good break from a region that may be topped by Irmo (17-2, 3-0), which beat Sumter 59-47 in the Bash after Westwood played. Behind the Yellow Jackets are five teams with similar records, including the Redhawks (9-10).

Westwood fell to A.C. Flora in the region opener Jan. 6, beat Lugoff-Elgin Jan. 10, but lost 72-59 to Ridge View Friday.

The Westwood girls dismissed Ridge View 53-28 Friday to improve to 3-0 in the region. The Redhawks got off to a slow start in their non-region game against Keenan in the MLK Bash Saturday, and fell 68-56.

Korletta Daniels led Westwood with 13 points against the Raiders, and Jessica Woods scored 10.

South Carolina signee Milaysia Fulwiley led all scorers with her dominant performance. She scored 40 points and had 13 rebounds, five assists and four steals.

Westwood gets back into region play Friday at Irmo.

Boys

Cardinal Newman– 19-16 — 35

Westwood – 41-28 — 69

Cardinal Newman: Jordan Frazer 14, Carter 8, White 5, Hart 3, Peeples 3, Smith 2.

Westwood: Arden Conyers 28, Z. Brown 7, Rowan 6, D. Brown 6, Balkman 6, Bell 5, Walker 4, Mickle 3, Hannah 2, Hobbs 2.

Girls

Keenan68

Westwood56

Keenan: Milaysia Fulwiley 40, Tanaja Kennedy13, Tierra Griffin 10, Brown 2, Caughman 2, Johnson 1.

Westwood: Korletta Daniels 13, Jessica Woods 10, Johnson 8, Thompson 8, Omeire 6, Branch 6, Davis 5

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