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Byrnes Dominate In Win Over Dorman

The James F Byrnes Rebels have been one of the hottest teams in the state – not just on the 5A level – and on Tuesday night, in what was the most highly anticipated game on the schedule this week, the Runnin’ Rebels made a huge statement that cannot be ignored.


Both Dorman and Byrnes were ranked in the top 5 of the latest 5A poll that came out earlier on Tuesday afternoon, with the Cavaliers in 4th and Rebels right behind them in 5th. Both teams were also sitting at 15-4 on the season. In short, this was a battle between 2 good teams with 1 goal in mind – to be the one sitting alone atop the region 2-5A standings when the final buzzer sounds.


“Nobody respects Dorman more than I do. With what they have accomplished as a program and to consistently be one of the best year in and year out commands a lot of respect. We needed to come out and show that we were ready – especially on the road”, said Byrnes Head Coach Layne Fowler.


It did not take until the final horn for this one to be decided. Byrnes came out playing extremely aggressively on the defensive side of the ball, keeping Dorman from being able to find any lanes to get to the basket. The Cavaliers were limited to just 4-10 shooting in the first quarter – 1 for 5 from the field and 3-5 from three point range.


“Our team defense has been solid for a few weeks now. We obviously have to keep improving, but we have been very connected on the defensive end. I think our guys showed we can win in a tough environment and we are good when we can defend, rebound, and share the ball. I also thought Kayzzin {McDowell} and Will {Fowler} did phenomenal jobs setting the tone. Kayzzin had an early steal that led to a layup for the game’s first points and Will was just relentless driving the rim. Those two are our captains for a reason and they have so many intangibles that leaders must possess”, said Fowler.


Will Fowler essentially helped the Rebels put this game away in the first quarter, matching Dorman’s entire team point total in the frame with 11. But, went cold afterwards, going just 3 for his last 5 with a free throw made over the remaining 3 quarters, giving him 18 total points – enough to tie for the team lead.


From the 2nd quarter on, it was Evan Enos that stepped up and helped keep the Rebels’ foot on the gas. Enos went into the half with just 4 points, but exploded in the 2nd half, hitting on 5 of his last 6 shot attempts – 3 for 3 in the paint and 2 for 3 from beyond the arch, giving him 18 as well.


“Evan is learning how to compete every single possession and that is what I am most proud of. He is very skilled at 6 foot 7 and he has had some adversity this year that he has responded to like I had hoped he would. I am super proud of him”, said Coach Fowler.


Colt Fowler also continued to impress with his toughness and physicality. The 5 foot 9 freshman Point Guard was the 3rd of 4 Byrnes players to score in double figures (the other being Kayzzin McDowell, who tallied 12), notching 13 points – most of which came in the 2nd half. He scored 10 over the final 16 minutes, and nearly all of them were on three point plays that he had to earn the hard way. He made 3 contested shots where he sacrificed his body and went to the floor, and was also 2 for 3 on and-1’s in that stretch.


“We are 12-1 since inserting Colt into the starting lineup. That is a testament to his uncanny instincts and competitive spirit. He has to keep learning and working, but he loves making guys better and that is contagious for a team”, said Layne of Colt’s impact and toughness factor.


On the Dorman side of things, the Rebels’ stifling defense forced them to have to try and put the game in the hands of Christian Andrews and Keenan Arcega-Whiteside. Andrews put up the bulk of the Cavaliers’ shot attempts, going 4 of 9 from the field and 5 for 7 from beyond the arch, finishing just 1 off from a 20 point night. Whiteside, despite early foul trouble, logged 13 points on 5 of 7 shooting and 4 for 5 at the free throw line.


The week rolls on for both of these squads as the Rebels will take on Boiling Springs Thursday night at Schofield Gymnasium with tip off set for 7:30 PM. Dorman gets back to action on Friday as they will travel to Gaffney with tip off set for 7:30, tentatively.

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