Bengal boys top Nation Ford

BLYTHEWOOD – The Blythewood boys basketball team, coming off a disappointing loss at Fort Mill Friday, needed a victory to take back some momentum in Region 3-5A play.

Nation Ford, with only one region victory on the year, was ready to make the Bengals work Tuesday night.

The Falcons took Blythewood down to the final shots in a back-and-forth battle on the court that took both teams going into double bonus in the final stretch to determine who would chalk up a win.

Will Olden and the rest of the foul-shooting Bengals cleared the way for a 69-65 victory over the Falcons.

Olden’s two free throws with eight seconds left closed out the win, as Blythewood (16-7, 5-2) went 18-for-26 from the free-throw line. The Falcons (8-15, 1-6) finished the night going 12-for-21 behind the charity stripe.

“I always thought they were a good team,” head coach Zeke Washington said. “Their record is not indicative of what they can do,”

Blythewood got points from 11 players. Jaiden Haltiwanger led the Bengals with 13 points and Josiah Pack had 12.

Nation Ford had three scorers in double figures. J.J. Rembert scored 20 of his 26 points in the fourth quarter. Nick Chuttey’s 18 points came from five 3-pointers and a 3-point play. Center Caden Chiles had 12 points.

Both teams scored 10 points in the first quarter, but Blythewood’s 9-3 scoring run in the last three minutes of the second quarter was enough to give the Bengals a 24-19 lead going into intermission.

The explosive second half was a non-stop flurry of action—excepting both team’s 22 stops at the free-throw line.

From the foul shots to inside shots to 3-pointers, Blythewood and Nation Ford battled through six lead changes in the third quarter. Shelden Joseph’s two free throws at the 1:05 mark of the third cut Blythewood’s lead to 40-39, but the Bengals got a free throw from Pack followed by Olden’s 3-point play with eight seconds left to finish the quarter with a 44-39 lead on the Falcons.

Blythewood opened up that lead to as many as 10 points with 4:51 left in the game, but the Bengals could not contain a surging Rembert, who scored 17 points from that point to the game’s end.

“He’s hard to cover,” Washington said of the 6-0 junior point guard. “You know he’s going to the lane, and our kids were trying, last game (a 74-57 win at Nation Ford Jan. 13) we wore him down a little bit and got him to foul out. But this game he found his way to catch his breath or something. We just couldn’t wear him down.”

For as prolific Rembert was down the stretch, Blythewood scored just enough to stay ahead of the Falcons. The Bengals were 9-for-12 in free-throw shooting in the final 2:27.

“We did some good things. We had some new people do some different things, and we’re fighting with things,” Washington said. “But we found a way to win it. Anytime we do that I’m happy with the guys. They made more good decisions than they did bad ones.”

Blythewood hits the road again to play at Clover Friday. On Tuesday Rock Hill comes to town, and the following Friday the Bengals wrap up region play at Spring Valley.

“I think the community appreciates them playing hard,” Washington said. “They are playing hard. Our main focus now is to go to Clover. We’ve just got to try to stay focused.”

In the girls game, the Bengals (14-11, 3-4) let a double-digit lead get away, and Nation Ford’s Kayla Wilmore put up a layup at the buzzer that fell and gave the Falcons a 47-46 win.

Blythewood held a 28-18 halftime lead and led 34-18 midway through the third quarter before Nation Ford (12-10, 3-4) began to rally. The Falcons ended the third quarter on a 14-5 scoring run to cut the Bengals lead to 39-32 going into the fourth quarter. They tied the game at 39 with Camille Kerridge’s shot with 4:26 left.

Hayley Hightower answered that shot with a 3, and Chase Thomas and Hightower each hit a foul shot to make it 44-39 with 2:25 remaining.

Kerridge struck again, first with a basket at the 1:23 mark and a steal and layup with less than a minute to go to make it 44-43.

Hightower’s bucket seconds later once again gave Blythewood a 3-point lead, but a Wilmore basket put the Falcons back within one point with 26 seconds left.

Jasmine Young took the foul line for a 1-and-1 opportunity for the Bengals with 16 seconds to go, but she missed the first shot and Nation Ford got the rebound.

The Falcons put the ball up three times in the final seconds, but the ball didn’t go in. They kept possession when the ball went out of bounds at the baseline with 1.2 seconds left.

Wilmore took the inbound past and promptly put it up against the backboard. Her shot fell and sent the Bengals, who beat Fort Mill 46-40 Friday, down to defeat.

Blythewood is at Clover Friday and at home against Rock Hill Tuesday.


Nation Ford – 10-9-20-26 — 65  

Blythewood – 10-14-20-25 — 69

Nation Ford: J.J. Rembert 26,  Nick Chuttey 18, Caden Giles 12, Falkner 5, Joseph 4.

Blythewood: Jaiden Haltiwanger 13, Josiah Pack 12, Lewis 9, Olden 8, Jackson 8, Coker 6, Mazyck 5, Washington 2, Jones 2, Stephens 2, Williams 2.


Nation Ford – 8-10-14-15 — 47  

Blythewood – 14-14-11-7 — 46

Nation Ford: Camille Kerridge 13, Jalyn Bennett 12, Wilmore 7, Barhorst 6, Barney 5, Drakeford 2, Sharpless 2.

Blythewood: Chase Thomas 16, Hayley Hightower 12, Williams 9, Simmons 3, Young 2, Fluker 2, Brown 2.

Contact us: (803) 767-5711 | P.O. Box 675, Blythewood, SC 29016 | [email protected]