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Five Big Things: Day 2 Battle at the Border

The Battle at the Border rolled on Friday night from Landrum High School as the boys bracket semifinal round took center stage for the night session. The Woodruff Wolverines made just enough shots in the end to skate past St. Joseph’s 47-42, and Landrum drubbed Broome 68-46. Here are my biggest takeaways from the game 


1-Woodruff had to come from behind again in the semi-final against St. Joseph’s, albeit by a much smaller margin than the night before. After the shots wouldn’t fall in the first quarter and the Wolverines trailed 9-6, they outscored the Knights 19-9 in the second period. The roller coaster shooting night continued as there was a point in the fourth quarter with six minutes left where Woodruff only had four points in the entire second half. On the back of a tough 2-3 zone defense, the Wolverines gritted out the win to grab the first spot in the championship game Saturday night. 

2-The Wolverines closed out another tight game, this time on the back of its defense. The zone scheme that Bryan McConnell had his team running shut down the St. Joseph’s offense for most of the game. It forced the Knights into tough looks and ill-advised three point tries, and kept them to 10 points or less in each of the first three periods. Kory Scott and Hunter West hit big shots in the fourth quarter to pull Woodruff ahead, and while St. Joseph’s Jaylen Townsend nailed clutch three-pointers to make it interesting, Woodruff was able to close out another five-point win. 

3-The Landrum Cardinals met the Broome Centurions in the nightcap of Friday’s action. When you force your opponent to take a timeout less than a minute and a half into the game, you should know what you’re in for. The Cardinals dominated pace and played its high-flying style for the entire game. Bennett Edwards led the way for Landrum with 18 points, Mario Gonzalez followed him up with 17 points in the win.

4-Broome will meet up with St. Joseph’s in the third place game tomorrow, which should be interesting with the Knights playing two tight games against Spartanburg area teams this week. The Centurions only dressed nine players last night, and with the depth that Landrum and St. Joseph’s offer it will be a challenge to keep fresh legs on the floor. 

5-I’ve seen a handful of Cardinals games so far this season, and just about all of their opponents have tried to run with them and play at their pace. Just about all of them couldn’t keep up. Enter a Woodruff team that plays at a little slower pace and wants to play in the half-court, and you have yourself a very intriguing championship game in the Battle at the Border. Should be an exciting one, and a win would be a nice boost into 2024 for both squads.

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