BLADENBORO – Senior guard Garrett McRae fired in 17 of his 21 points in the first half to lead Scotland to a 40-17 halftime lead en route to a 67-43 victory over West Bladen Thursday night in the opening round of the Adidas Christmas Tournament.
McRae tossed in a short jumper and a trio of lay-ups as the Scots built a 20-7 first quarter lead then threw in a 3-point basket, 2 free throws and a pair of lay-ups in the second period.
The Scots forced 28 Knight turnovers and held a 40-27 advantage on the boards. Junior Mandrell Johnson finished with 15 points for Scotland, and senior Trey Graham added 9 points.
“It was just a lack of effort and desire on our part,” said Knight Coach Travis Pait. “They are a good team, but for some reason we thought all we had to do was show up and we would win.”
Senior Tyre Boykin sank a free throw and a 3-point shot to pull West Bladen into an early 4-4 tie. Junior Josh Lewis hit a free throw then lobbed an assist to 6-9 Xayvon Davis for a lay-up that accounted for the Knight points during a 16-3 Scotland run.
Junior Shy’Ron Adams drove for a pair of second quarter lay-ups for the Knights. Freshman Gary Parker canned 2 free throws, and junior Jadacus Register drove for a 3-point play and later tacked on a free throw, but the Scots led 40-17 at halftime.
Knight senior Nolan Bryant nailed a 3-point shot to begin the second half, but McRae answered with a pair of lay-ups. Junior Donovan Stone drove for a lay-up, and Register dropped in 2 free throws and delivered an assist to Davis for a lay-up.
Senior Nijeah McKoy put back a rebound to start the final period for West. Parker drove for a lay-up and added 2 free throws. Lewis raced to the basket for a trio of lay-ups, and senior T. J. Smith bombed in a 3-point shot.
Lewis and Register shared scoring honors for the Knights with 7 points each. Parker scored 6 points and grabbed 5 rebounds. Register and Stone collected 4 rebounds each.
The Knights, now 4-4, will play Dillon Christian Friday at 4 p.m. Scotland advances to an 8 p.m. Friday semi-final game against West Brunswick.
Scotland 20 20 17 10 – 67
West Bladen 7 10 9 17 – 43
Scotland (67) – Mandrell Johnson 15, Traishawn Wilson 3, Kris McLean 8, Garrett McRae 21, Bruce Wall 4, Trey Graham 9, Grayson Smith, Ladarius McNeil 2, Drequan Monroe, C. J. Settles 5, Eddie Walker.
West Bladen (43) – Gary Parker 6, Josh Lewis 7, Shy’Ron Adams 4, Tyre Boykin 4, Jadacus Register 7, Donovan Stone 2, T. J. Smith 3, Tra’shawn Ballard 1, Nijeah McKoy 2, Xayvon Davis 4, Nolan Bryant 3.