Byrnes Rolls Over Boiling Springs
The last time the Boiling Springs Bulldogs and Byrnes Rebels got together on the hardwoods, they had an epic showdown. The Bulldogs trailed for much of the game, at one point by as many as 9 points. They managed to rally and take a 52-51 lead with just 7 and a half seconds to play in the game when Byrnes got the ball down the court quickly. Evan Enos took a long pass and quickly threw it over his shoulder to Kayzzin McDowell, who was waiting in the left corner. He put up a 3 right at the horn with the Boiling Springs student section screaming in his face, and drained it in the clutch with ease to win the game 52-51.
With Byrnes looking for consecutive region wins after beating Spartanburg Friday night as well as trying to stay in lock-step with the Vikings for 3rd place in region 2-5A, and the Bulldogs just trying to get back on track after dropping their game Friday night with Dorman, this rivalry rematch had the potential to be really fun.
Unfortunately, there are only so many cliches that I can write that possibly would not even begin to describe just how that potential never came close to being realized. In fact, I have struggled to find any adjectives and analogies to sufficiently describe what occurred in Schofield Gymnasium on Tuesday night. So, hopefully my account of the game will make up for that.
The Runnin’ Rebels came out of the gate playing their characteristic stifling defense, not allowing the Bulldogs’ offense, which thrives on Tre Locklear and Dom Johnson driving the lane and making big plays in the post, to get the ball into the paint. They forced the Bulldogs to pass the ball around the perimeter, and forced them to take 3s. They did not have success with it, and to make matters worse, Boiling Springs turned the ball over a lot – which was one of their pitfalls all night long.
The Dogs didn’t manage to break the goose egg on the scoreboard until the 3:59 mark of the 1st quarter when London Hogan hit a three pointer – part of just 9 points BSHS scored in the opening stanza.
The Bulldogs managed to return the favor on defense – in the first quarter, holding the Rebels to just 15 points. But things quickly turned south in the 2nd. In similar fashion to the 1st frame, the Bulldogs took nearly half of the quarter to find the scoring column – a streak broken by a Jeremiah Favorite long ball at the 4:20 mark. The Rebels all but put the game away, outscoring the Dogs by a pair of touchdowns 21-7 to make for a 36-16 advantage at the intermission.
The Rebs managed to open up as much as a 40 point lead before Boiling Springs’ Reese Walter came off the bench and scored 19 points late in the 4th quarter that ultimately made the scoreboard look less foreboding.
Make no mistake about it – Byrnes played their game. The Rebels have thrived on good shooting and stifling defense. They did not deviate from that. They did everything that Boiling Springs could not do. I say could not rather than did not because to say anything else would be a diminishment of the Rebels’ performance. They dominated the way a good team should when their opponent is struggling.
That is not to speak ill of the Bulldogs. It cannot be denied that what Craig Martin has done with this program in year one has been remarkable. They are still in the mix to be a playoff team and have been competitive in nearly every game, both in region and non, outside of a couple of bad nights where they did not play their best. Undoubtedly, Tuesday night, the Dogs played their worst game of the season. There’s one other thing that I would not doubt – they will bounce back.
They have a good opportunity to do so with their penultimate region game Friday night with a chance to clinch a playoff berth and 4th place in region 2-5A. The Dogs will take on Gaffney, who they defeated 67-55 earlier this month for their lone region win. Tip off is set for 7:30 at “The Burial Ground.”
The Rebels will head to Dorman for round 2 of their rivalry series with tip set for 7:30 PM on Friday.
By the numbers:
Byrnes (17-7, 4-2 region)
Kayzzin McDowell- 17 points
Kobe Staggs and Jacson Walker- 12 pts each
Davon Sheard- 10 pts
Kanife Hill- 8 pts
Kade Caton- 6 pts
Dashawn Byrd- 5 pts
Boiling Springs (11-12, 1-5 region)
Reese Walter- 13 points
Jeremiah Favorite- 5 pts
Dom Johnson, Tre Locklear, Waylon Smith, Jyssiah Foster – 4 pts each