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Dorman Cruises in City Rivalry

The City Rivalry is “Must See TV” (or must-listen radio, if that is a thing) no matter the sport. But, this first game of the 2022-2023 basketball series between Spartanburg and Dorman had something much more on the line than just the pride and bragging rights that come with notching a win over your cross-town rival. The resurgent Vikings and Cavaliers were both undefeated in region play coming into Tuesday night’s duel on the hardwoods of Dorman Cavalier Arena tied at the top of the standings. The winner would be walking away with something that in region 2-5A is more than coveted – sole possession of first place heading into the home stretch of the regular season. 


Thomas Ryan’s Cavaliers were 18-2 with their 2 losses coming at the hands of juggernauts Christ School (Arden, NC) and Roman Catholic (Pennsylvania). On their road to starting 3-0 in region,the Cavs have faced every sort of adversity possible. Boiling Springs came to Cavalier Arena and hung in for 3 and a half quarters before the Cavs’ depth and talent took over and they pulled away for a 60-45 win. A week ago on the road at Byrnes, the Rebels outplayed Dorman in every facet of the game in the first half. They had as large a lead as 12 in the 3rd quarter before the Cavaliers found a way to overcome their mistakes and get back to the basics, storming back to tie the game heading to the 4th quarter and then ending on an 11-2 run to pull away for the 72-66 win. 


They managed to take care of business with relative ease against Gaffney last Friday, defeating them 89-51 to set up this showdown with the Vikes. 


Spartanburg’s road has been rocky as well, but more so in their non-region schedule. The Vikings were 8-11 overall entering Tuesday night. They started out with losses to South Pointe, Laurens, Rock Hill (twice), Northwestern, Westwood (twice), Collins Hill (Ga), Gray Collegiate, and Union before getting hot and ripping off 5 in a row – now 6 of their last 7 with that lone loss being a non region game with Wade Hampton. To say the Vikings have played a tough schedule would be an understatement, and it has helped them as they have gotten into this all-too-crucial region slate. 


No doubt, both of these teams are talented. Both have plenty of speed. Both can score quickly and shoot from anywhere on the floor. The Vikings, in particular, are dangerous when they are confident in their 3 point shooting. Top to bottom, they have guys that are capable of hurting opponents from distance. One other thing cannot be doubted about both sides – they’re both battle hardened. The rivalry showdown with so much on the line had fun written all over it. 


The Vikings got off to a slow start in similar fashion to their game with Boiling Springs this past Friday night. Spartanburg only got 2 shots off in the first few minutes of the game and turned the ball over 4 times. Turnovers would be a black plague on the Vikings all game long, and against a team with the quick scoring ability of Dorman, that comes back to bite you. The Cavaliers took full advantage of the Vikes’ early struggles, opening the game on a 9-0 run, which forced a Spartanburg timeout. 


The Vikings found some positive momentum out of the timeout, going on a 7-4 run to make it 13-7 in favor of Dorman. But, then things took a wrong turn at Albuquerque for Spartanburg. The Vikings went on their first of 2 long scoreless droughts that really did them in. This one spanned a little over 5 minutes, allowing the Cavs to go on a 11-0 run to make it 24-9 after a quarter. 


The 2nd quarter was a bit of a back and forth, with neither team going on an extended run. Up until after Dorman took their first timeout with 5:36 to play in the half through to around the 1:18  mark, Spartanburg was on a 10-9 “run”, but trailed 37-24. That 13 point deficit was as  close as the game ever got. 


Dorman closed out the first half on a 5-0 run to lead 42-24, and proceeded to pile it on in the 3rd quarter as the Vikings just could not possess the ball nor could they get any shots to fall. The Cavaliers opened the 2nd half on a 13-2 run, which all but made it to where the Vikings had to rush to try and get any looks and points they could find. Spartanburg ended up going on another long scoreless streak, this one spanning just over 6:00 to salt the game away for the Cavaliers. Dyllan Harris finally helped break the skid with a 5-0 run completely on his own, but after 3 quarters, it was well out of hand with Dorman leading by 30. 


Dorman outscored the Vikings 16-14 in the 4th quarter to go on and win 79-47. 


Dorman was led by Terry Leonard with 20 points. Jamarcus Wilkins tallied 15. Sean Lindsay logged 11, while Christian Andrews and Jordan Miller combined for 16. 


Spartanburg’s leading scorer was Zeke Bell-Boyd with 12 points. Dyllan Harris was also in double figures with 10. Brailun Thomas just missed out on that mark with 9, whole Tony Webb logged 8 points. 


With the win, Dorman upped their records to 19-2 and 4-0 in region 2-5A, taking sole possession of 1st. They will now turn their focus towards their final tilt with the Boiling Springs Bulldogs, who upset the #7 ranked TL Hanna Yellow Jackets in their last non-region game 62-59 Tuesday night, this Friday on the road. Tip off is set for 7:30 PM. 


Spartanburg falls to 8-12 overall, and 3-1 in region play, dropping them to sole possession of 2nd place. The Vikings’ next matchup will be at Byrnes Friday night with a 7:30 tip.

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