Photos by Kenneth Armstrong
DUBLIN – West Bladen unveiled a frenetic brand of basketball Tuesday night that was exhausting to watch much less play, and it almost produced a win over Class 4A Wilmington Hoggard as a frantic Knight rally fell just short 59-55.
“It’s Dave Davis basketball,” said Knight Coach Travis Pait. “He’s won a ton of games at Newberry and Pfeiffer with it. It gave us a chance to win, and I think we wore them down.”
A layman’s description is that the Knights pressured full-court for the entire game and ran fresh groups of five substitutes in every couple of minutes.
“It differs from what (Coach Paul) Westhead ran at Marymount and what Richmond County does in that they try to outscore you,” said Coach Pait. “We are more focused on defense and try to turn you over.”
Jhamir Shaw’s free throw six seconds into the final period matched the Vikings biggest lead of the night at 47-32.
Sophmore Tyre Boykin hit 2 free throws, and senior Jonathan Robinson flipped in a jump-hook to pull the Knights to within 47-36. Junior Drew Harris turned a Keshaun Lewis feed into a lay-up, and senior Jimmy Williams popped in a short jumper to close the gap to 49-40.
Boykin tossed in a floater and hit 2 free throws, and junior Kerron Baldwin-Washington stole the ball and pulled up for a 12-footer that pulled the Knights to within 51-46 with 2:04 on the clock.
Sophmore Trashawn Ballard made a free throw, and Lewis dropped in two more free tosses to narrow the gap to 51-49 with 1:34 remaining. Sabastian Haidera canned 2 free throws for Hoggard, but senior Scott Bowen drilled a 3-point shot with 55 seconds remaining that trimmed the margin to 53-52.
Tyler Matlock’s lay-up, and 2 free throws by Bryce Ahrens pushed the Viking lead to 57-52, but Lewis drained a 3-point shot to pull West to within 57-55 with 11 seconds left. However two more Haidera free throws sealed the verdict 2 seconds later.
“The kids played so hard,” said Coach Pait. “We made some mistakes and we have to get better offensively. We are trying to get easy baskets with our defense.”
The Knights forced 28 Hoggard turnovers – 12 in the fourth quarter- but were charged with 22 turnovers of their own.
Boykin led the Knights with 13 points. Baldwin-Washington followed with 8 points and 4 steals. Robinson finished with 7 points, a team-high 9 rebounds, and 3 steals. Williams added 7 points and 3 steals. Bowen and Gerardo Reyes grabbed 6 rebounds each.
The Vikings raced to an early 9-0 lead before a driving lay-up by Boykin and a steal and a lay-up by Baldwin-Washington. Freshman Shyron Adams dropped in a lay-up to whittle the lead to 9-6.
Hoggard went up 13-6 before Bowen bombed in a 3-pointer. The lead grew to 18-9, but Baldwin-Washington canned a corner jumper, and Robinson turned a rebound into a 3-point play that sliced the lead to 18-14. Hoggard led 21-14 at the quarter break.
Adams tossed in a tear-drop from the left baseline, and Williams hit a foul shot to keep West within 23-17, but the Vikings grew their lead to 33-19. Boykin threw in a 3-point shot to keep West within 33-22 at halftime.
Two Williams free throws and a Robinson jump-hook kept West within 37-26, but Hoggard padded the lead to 41-26. Williams turned a steal into a lay-up, Boykin drove for a lay-up and Adams muscled in a follow to keep the Knights within 46-32 at the period break.
Shaw led Hoggard with 12 points, and Parker Nolan added 11 points. Haidera and Matlock scored 10 points each.
The Knights open Three Rivers Conference play Friday night at Fairmont.
West Bladen (55) – Drew Harris 2, Jaheim Lesane, Kerron Baldwin-Washington 8, Jimmy Williams 7, Keshaun Lewis 5, Eddie Perez-Ortiz, Scott Bowen 6, Tyre Boykin 13, Shyron Adams 6, Trashawn Ballard 1, Gerardo Reyes, Jason Moore, Krist’aun Baldwin, Jackson Norris, Trenton Lyons, Jonathan Robinson 7.Share: