Redhawk girls secure region, boys fall to Irmo

BLYTHEWOOD – Going into Tuesday night’s game against Irmo at the Castle, the Westwood boys basketball team had lost the last three games by a total of 10 points. Three Redhawks’ last five Region 5-4A games went to overtime.

The Yellow Jackets were in no mood to keep Westwood close. The duo of Madden Collins and 6-9 senior Brandon Crawford combined for 40 points and 14 rebounds, and Irmo cruised past Westwood 69-46.

“You’ve got to give Irmo credit, Collins and Crawford both did a fantastic job,” Westwood head coach John Combs said. “Collins was good offensively but even much more so defensively. He causes problems down there.”

USC signee Arden Conyers scored just 11 points and led the team. K.J. Rowan and Dontae Walters had 10 points apiece.

The Redhawks were just 11-for-35 in shooting, while Irmo was 27-for-48 from the field.

“Irmo made shots tonight, we didn’t make shots tonight,” Combs said. “We did fight and we got to within five points in the third quarter. We didn’t give up, but Irmo did what they needed to do.”

Irmo got off to a 12-9 lead after the first quarter and held an18-16 lead on the Redhawks with 1:49 left before the half. That was when Crawford got a basket and Collins followed up with one of his own and a 4-point play as the Yellow Jackets went on a 10-0 run to close out the first half.

With Irmo up 28-16 to start the third quarter, Conyers got a quick basket to open the scoring, Dontae Walters added a shot, and Conyers then made four foul shots on a player foul and a technical foul charged to Irmo head coach Tim Whipple.

At that point Irmo led 34-29 and it seemed like Westwood would be able to keep the game tight until the Redhawks could break out a scoring run to turn the tables, as they have in previous region games.

That outcome was not to be, as Irmo went into lights-out mode the rest of the way.

The Yellow Jackets finished off the third quarter with a 13-0 scoring run and started the final eight minutes with a 47-29 lead. Then Irmo went on a 12-3 run in the first four minutes to take a commanding 59-32 led.

Both teams played their benches down the final stretch.

After Tuesday’s games the region standings are about as tight as they could be. Irmo (20-5) and A.C. Flora (13-11) are at the top with 6-3 region records. The Falcons held off Lugoff-Elgin (3-6, 12-13) Tuesday night. Ridge View (13-12, 5-4) is one game behind the Yellow Jackets and Falcons at 5-4 after falling to Richland Northeast (12-12, 4-5) Tuesday.

Tuesday’s court action puts Westwood (3-6, 11-14) at the bottom of the standings with Lugoff-Elgin.

The Redhawks, which lost 70-66 at Ridge View Friday, can keep their fourth-place hopes alive with a win over the Cavaliers in the season finale Friday night. They beat RNE 50-45 Jan. 24, and a Westwood win Friday on Senior Night would give them the tiebreak. The teams that don’t make the top-four playoff spots are still eligible for at-large spots in the 4A lower state bracket.

“It’s a great opportunity for us to honor K.J. Rowan and Arden Conyers, and it’s a very important game,” Combs said. “We’re going to be battling for a spot in the playoffs against a quality opponent. It’s going to be a challenge for us.”

The look of the region standings on the girls side is considerably different. The Redhawks (21-4, 9-0) have already secured their sixth straight region championship, and shut down the Irmo girls 63-36.

“We didn’t want to have any letdowns,” head coach Gregory Bauldrick said. “We wanted to utilize this opportunity to really do some things that we wanted to do in the playoffs. We didn’t want to get complacent with the win we had on Friday. Our players knew where that put us in the playoffs in terms of playoff positioning.”

Westwood, which beat second-place Ridge View 53-39 Friday, got 21 points from 1,000-point scorer Jessica Woods against Irmo. Makiah Thompson and Destiny Omiere had 11 points apiece.

The Westwood girls, a No.1 seed going into the lower state playoffs, close out the regular season playing host to Richland Northeast Friday.

After that game, Westwood will enjoy home court advantage through the first three rounds, and will be in the lower-state bracket for a change.

“If you want to talk about stars being aligned, I guess they can’t be any more aligned than they are for us,” Bauldrick said. “We understand the moment. We like where we are and we’re gelling at the right time, defending the way we want to defend, we’re communicating in the way we want to communicate, and we’re scoring the basketball.”


Irmo – 12-16-19-22 — 69                  

Westwood – 9-7-13-17 — 46

Irmo: Madden Colins 23, Brandon Crawford 17, Je’Andre Collins 10, White 8, Brand 5, McLaughlin 4, Hopkins 2.

Westwood: Arden Conyers 11, K.J. Rowan 10, Dontae Walters 10, Bell 7, Roberts 6, Hudson 2.


Irmo  – 6-12-7-11 — 36                      

Westwood – 22-25-17-9 — 63

Irmo: Collins 9, Anderson 8, Livingston 5, Bryson-Wells 4, Howard 4, Lewis 3, Fletcher 3.

Westwood: Jessica Woods 21, Makiah Thompson 11, Destiny Omiere 11, Daniels 9, Davis 6, Curry 2, Branch 2,  Entzminger 1.

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