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Boys Basketball

West Bladen 59, Wallace-Rose Hill 52

Senior guard Rahu Purdie bombed in six 3-point shots, and backcourt mates Malcolm Vaught and Stephon McDonald keyed second-half spurts that carried West Bladen to a 59-52 Four County Conference boys’ basketball victory over visiting Wallace-Rose Hill Saturday night.

Purdie topped all scorers with 25 points. Vaught fired in 11 of his 13 points in the second half, and McDonald scored all 9 of his points in the second half.

“Those three guards that we have are tough,” said Knight Coach Travis Pait. “They’ve been together for 3 years, and they have really matured and gotten better.”

The Knights trailed 27-25 at halftime, but Vaught flipped in a floater to begin the second half. Sophmore Sayaun Dent muscled in a rebound, McDonald hit a free throw, and Purdie drilled a 3-pointer for a 33-29 West Bladen lead.

Two baskets by Keyshawn Canady pulled the Bulldogs even at 33-33, before Vaught tossed in a runner, then pumped in a 15-foot fade-away to ignite a 9-0 Knight spurt.

“Malcolm was huge for us in the second half,” said Coach Pait. “When Stephon got in foul trouble, he guarded No. 10 (Johnnie Glaspie) their best player.” Glaspie only scored 6 points in the game.

McDonald lobbed in a floater, and Purdie nailed another 3-ball to push the West Bladen lead to 42-33 with 1:15 left in the third period.

Senior Wallker Imwalle, a 6-4 center, banked in a hook shot, tacked on a free throw, then powered in a follow shot to slice the Knight lead to 42-38 at the quarter break.

Tremaine Washington dropped in a lay-up and banked in a runner to trim the West lead to 43-42 with 6:16 remaining to play.

McDonald darted down the lane for a lay-up, then drilled a 17-foot jumper. Purdie buried another 3-pointer to push the lead up to 50-42.

“Stephon has gotten much better in recent games of learning to take what the defense gives him,” said Coach Pait.

Purdie canned a 16-footer from the right elbow, then added a free throw to stretch the West lead to 53-44 with 2:17 on the clock. Vaught sank 4 straight free throws, and McDonald stole the ball and raced for a lay-up to widen the gap to 59-46 with 1:10 left.

McDonald led the Knight defense with 6 steals. Dent finished with 7 points and a team-high 11 rebounds. Senior center Brandon Council pulled down 6 rebounds.

“We didn’t have it tonight,” said Pait. “But these kids, scratched, and fought and clawed their way through it. I really got into them at halftime, and they responded.”

We really got a lift from Jonathan Robinson and Joseph Miller,” continued Coach Pait. “Joseph came up with 2 big steals in the first half.”

Imwalle led the Bulldog scoring with 13 points.

Purdie started the game with a pair of 3-point baskets and hit 4 of 4 free throws to keep West even at 10-10. Council grabbed a rebound and flipped a reverse lay-up back over his head and turned it into a 3-point play and a 13-10 lead.

Vaught banked in a runner, and Dent popped in a 10-footer for a 17-16 lead, and Council’s basket staked the Knights to a 19-18 lead at the quarter break.

Purdie drained a 3-point shot, and Dent turned a rebound into a 3-point play to put West up 25-23 in the second quarter, but a Canady follow-shot and a pair of Jhonta Wilson free throws edged Wallace in front 27-25 at halftime.

West Bladen improves to 5-3 in the Four County and 14-3 overall. The Knights will travel to Wallace Tuesday night.

WB (59) – Justin Ruffin, Joseph Miller, Rahu Purdie 25, Malcolm Vaught 13, Stephon  McDonald 9, Brian Floyd, Sayaun Dent 7, Jonathan Robinson, Brandon Council 5.

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