Bengals hold off late Rock Hill charge

BLYTHEWOOD – The Blythewood boys basketball team nearly let Rock Hill off the hook Friday night.

The Bengals saw their 12-point fourth-quarter lead melt down to one in the closing minutes as Maliq Ashe led the Bearcats on a 13-2 scoring run. Rock Hill got to within one point of the Bengals before Will Olden, Tyler Stephens, and Austin Coker hit some clutch baskets and free throws to escape with a 53-47 victory.

Ashe scored 11 of his 14 points on the night in that fourth-quarter run. For at least three minutes, the Blythewood defense was unable to stop him.

“That’s just not good. That’s just stuff we have to … our defense is what’s going to give us the ball, but our offense has been sporadic,” a frustrated Zeke Washington said about the Bengals after the game. “We get into spots where we have to put people who can score into positions where they can score. And then we’ve got to move the ball, and we just didn’t do it.”

Blythewood (15-5, 3-1 Region 3-5A) did manage some offense to build an early lead, but as Washington pointed out, there wasn’t enough offensive coordination on the floor to build on that cushion.

The Bengals jumped to a 14-2 lead in the first quarter and had a 14-5 advantage going into the second. But Rock Hill (6-14, 1-3) stiffened in that quarter, matching Blythewood’s production. The Bengals led 28-19 at halftime.

The Bearcats fell behind 40-27 late in the third quarter, and it appeared then that Blythewood could use the fourth quarter to run the floor and close out a big win.

That was when Ashe came off the bench. He sank a foul shot before the third quarter buzzer, then opened the fourth quarter with a 4-point play to cut the Bengals’ lead to 40-32.

Coker hit a shot and was fouled but missed the free throw to make it a double-digit game again, but that was when Ashe sank a basket and drained a 3-pointer to make it 42-37 Bengals.

Nigel Lightner added a basket and Ashe sank two more free throws to make it 42-41 with 4:58 to play.

The Bearcats rally merited Coach Washington taking a time out to get the team in order. When play resumed Blythewood got a basket from Mujahid Jones—but a Deshawn Anderson bucket afterwards made it 44-43 Blythewood with 3:23 left.

Fortunately for the Bengals, there was enough tiger in their tank to deliver some clutch shots and timely defense.

Olden drew a 3-shot foul but sank only one of three shots at the 3:14 mark, but less than a minute later he hit a big 3-pointer to give the Bengals a 48-43 lead.

Another Anderson basket cut the lead to 48-45, and after Stephens scored for the Bengals, Zacarious McKinney hit a shot that made it 50-47 Blythewood with 1:37 to go.

The Bengals drained the clock for nearly a minute. Major hit a foul shot and Coker made two in the final 30 seconds to give the team the win.

T.J. Lewis led the Bengals with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Coker had 12 points.

Besides Ashe’s 14 points, Anderson finished the night with 10 points for the Bearcats.

Washington credits his team’s defensive ability under the nets, which comes into play whenever the shooting is less than stellar.

“One of the things that we do is that we rebound well, and that’s something that’s a staple for us,” Washington said. “It keeps us in games when we don’t shoot extremely well. We limit their shots in a possession and it gives us multiple shots in our possession. We’ve got bigs who can fight for the ball, and we have to bring that every night.”

In the girls game Blythewood (9-6, 2-2) overcame a slow start, but couldn’t overcome Rock Hill’s three big scorers, De’Asaj Crawford, Chloe Hutchinson, and Aubrey Stevenson. Crawford led the way with 14 points and Hutchinson and Stevenson both scored 13 as the Bearcats (17-3, 4-0) topped the Bengals 50-36.

Chase Thomas scored 11 points, India Williams added 10 to lead Blythewood.

Blythewood Spring Valley score.

Blythewood played at Spring Valley Tuesday night.

The Bengals play host to Fort Mill Friday and is at Nation Ford Tuesday.


Rock Hill – 5-14-9-19 — 53

Blythewood – 14-14-12-13 — 47

Rock Hill

Maliq Ashe 14, Dashaun Anderson 10, Lightner 7, Reid 5, Dickens 4, McKinney 4, Neely 3.


T.J. Lewis 15, Austin Coker 12, Stephens 6, Olden 6, Little 4, Sims 4, Chung 3, Jones 2, Washington 1. 


Rock Hill – 21-6-12-11 — 50

Blythewood – 9-3-13-11 — 36

Rock Hill

De’Asaj Crawford 14, Chloe Hutchinson 13, Aubrey Stevenson 13, Anderson-Wildy 4, Jones 2, Hollis 2, Sterling 2.


Chase Thomas 11, India Williams 10, Hightower 6, Spain 5, Fluker 4.

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