City Rivalry Round One
By: Jordan Ferrell
No matter what sport, it is in, the “City Rivalry” between the Vikings and Cavaliers is always worth circling on the calendar. This chapter in the basketball rivalry wasn’t any different. There was a buzz about it.
Both teams were playing very well coming in, with Spartanburg averaging 56.3 points per game and shooting 44% from the field. Dorman, while not as dominant this year, is still a very talented team with lots of size and speed. They may be missing PJ Hall and Myles Tate this year, but they still have a combined 13’ 5” of height and between 2 of their best players. To top it all off, Dorman was coming into this game on a hot streak, having won 4 in a row (5 of their last 7), averaging 66.3 points per game over that 4-game stretch. Lastly, we had to wait longer for this one, as the game was postponed due last night due to Covid.
It lived up to the buzz, as both teams played fast and physical, especially on the defensive side of the ball. But, the difference in this one was exactly what you’d expect from seeing how much of a size advantage Dorman had. Coach Ryan exploited that advantage well, as the Cavaliers’ offense relied largely on using fast breaks and getting their big men inside the post for layups in the 2nd half, which wore the Vikings down and opened it up for Dorman to go on a 14-4 run that ultimately would put this one away in the 4th. But aside from that, Dorman also executed where it counted, taking advantage of fouls and shooting over 50% from the stripe. The Cavs also were able to win the turnover battle and out rebound the Vikings.
Spartanburg did a great job of limiting Dorman from being able to get good looks in the first half, as they played excellent defense inside. They forced Dorman to take a few bad shots from the perimeter early on. But, with the size disadvantage they had, they were also forced to defend by fouling and trying to out rebound them as the Cavs adjusted and started going inside, which they were unable to do. They ended up with nearly double the fouls Dorman had, which of course means they gave them a lot of free points. But, the biggest thing that hurt Spartanburg is that they simply just did not shoot very well.
I had heard a lot about Spartanburg’s leading scorer Khalid Wannamaker (and he definitely lived up to the bill) but Dorman did a good job of limiting him. He still led all Spartanburg scorers with 13 points. But, I was more thoroughly impressed with Viking senior Forward Davis Mobley. Davis didn’t have the biggest impact in the game, with only 9 points, but he showed a lot of poise and patience every time he had the ball in his hands. He showed good awareness, not taking bad shots, and he found ways to get open when he needed to.
With Dorman, I was most impressed with Clowney. No, not Jadeveon. Noah Clowney, the 6’ 9” Junior. Clowney led all Dorman scorers with 21 points. Spartanburg did a good job of limiting him to just 7 points in the first half, but in the second half, the Cavs made a point to use his imposing figure to get points in the paint, and he went off. Noah Clowney is one of those players that if you’re assigned to guard him, you wonder what you did to deserve the punishment. It’s almost unfair to have to guard him or go against him for a rebound.
With the win, Dorman improved to 8-4 on the season and 4-1 in region II 5A, while Spartanburg fell to 6-2 overall (1-2 in II 5A). Dorman will face a couple of tough tests in Wade Hampton and Riverside before rematching with the Vikings on the 22nd. Spartanburg takes on Byrnes twice as well as Wade Hampton before meeting Dorman again.