5 Big Things: Landrum Rallies to Beat 4A Greenville
The Landrum Cardinals found themselves in a tenuous situation in the third quarter of Friday night’s home game against the Greenville Red Raiders. Trailing by close to ten points against a team that made the state semifinals a season ago at the 4A level, the Cardinals created pure havoc on defense and stormed back . A Bennett Edwards score put Landrum ahead, and a Franklin Davis block sealed the 52-50 win over the Red Raiders. Here are my biggest takeaways from the game.
1-The scoreboard might have shown something different with a two point lead after one quarter and a tie game at the half, but Landrum really struggled to keep up with Greenville’s physical play. It was clear that the Cardinals were getting worn down on the interior, and the Red Raiders took advantage on the glass as well as kicking out to open shooters for three. But in the fourth quarter, Head Coach Lyn Smith made the move to switch to an aggressive, trapping style of defense and it was exactly what the doctor ordered. The Cardinals forced turnover after turnover, snagged steal after steal, and got the crowd back in the game as the comeback was on. “We forced some major turnovers under four minutes and got some good baskets going towards the hole,” Smith said after the win. I’d say so.
2-Landrum was getting the stops, but it needed to find the points to complete the comeback. The comeback really got legs a few minutes into the fourth quarter, as Franklin Davis sparked a personal 5-0 run to draw the Cardinals within five of the lead. The highlight was a three pointer off of a handoff, about four feet behind the arc to force a Greenville timeout. This guy just did everything on the floor, finishing with 21 points and multiple huge blocks and steals on the defensive end. He’s quick, long, and explosive to the rim with great touch.
3-After another Davis steal with under 30 seconds to play, he was able to find Bennett Edwards on a wrap-around feed at the block. Edwards, falling away from the rim, dropped it in off the window to give Landrum the lead with just 20 seconds remaining. Out of the ensuing timeout, Greenville had a look at a three-pointer to win it with four seconds to go but couldn’t hit. Roman Cooley gathered under the basket for the Red Raiders, rising up for the game winning lay-up before it was knocked out from behind by, you guessed it, Franklin Davis for the game-winning block.
4-I was really curious to see Landrum tonight, especially after seeing Chesnee earlier in the week ahead of their season long battle in Region 1 of 2A. What I’m not going to do on day number *checks notes* SEVEN of the season is say who’s better. What I will say is when these two play this season you will not want to miss it. It’s obviously easy to compare the two teams being in the same classification and region, as well as playing a lot of the same common opponents in Spartanburg County. But this Landrum team is fast and physical, and if they can get the stamina to play the aggressive trap defense that won them the game last night for an entire 32 minutes it will give opposing coaches headaches trying to prepare for the Cardinals.
5-A quick note on Greenville even though they aren’t in our coverage area. Tucker Scholl hit four three pointers and was probably left all alone at the arc way too often for Lyn Smith’s liking, and he made the Cardinals pay just about every time he pulled up. Scholl led the Red Raiders in scoring with 12 points, and Cooley was right behind him with 11 points. Greenville’s quarterback Bryson Drummond also came off the bench in this game, and played exactly like you would expect a football player to play on the hardwood. Out-physicaled every defender on his way to the rim, but also possessed solid finishing ability to score nine bench points in the loss. He played just about the entire fourth quarter.