Dorman Sweeps Spartanburg in City Rivalry
Rivalry renewed! There is no better way to wrap up the regular season than with another edition of one of the best rivalries in high school sports in this state – the “City Rivalry” between the Dorman Cavaliers and the Spartanburg Vikings.
Two weeks ago, Dorman was in a tough spot, having lost 3 straight games and back-to-back region games for the first time in nearly a decade. They needed a road win over a resurgent Spartanburg to get back on track and truthfully, with not only Spartanburg but also Gaffney experiencing a renaissance of their programs this season, Coach Thomas Ryan’s squad needed the win in the worst way.
The Cavs got the exact prescription they needed to overcome their ails in that game, but it did not come easily. Last time out, Dorman jumped out to a double digit lead that they saw slip away as the game went into the home stretch. They went into overtime, eventually pulling away to a 58-49 victory as the Vikings went cold in the extra period.
After snapping the losing skid, the Cavaliers turned it into a winning streak and created a familiar storyline that would later repeat itself by knocking off Boiling Springs in dominant fashion – unlike the first meeting back when region play first started. In the first tilt between the Bulldogs and Cavs, Boiling Springs led heading to the 4th quarter and was ahead with around 2 minutes to play before the Cavs finally got hot. Boiling Springs, on the flipside, went ice cold in the waning moments, allowing Dorman to escape with a 60-58 win. Round 2, on the Cavs’ home court, was much more lopsided in an 85-44 rout.
“We just stayed the course and kept fighting through it”, said Thomas Ryan of the mid-season skid.
‘We had a couple of close losses where we didn’t execute in one-possession games. We watched a lot of film because most of these guys have so little experience in big games and we stayed positive, which I am proud of. We tried to take things one day at a time”, he later added.
So, what was the deja vu storyline that repeated itself? The Cavaliers absolutely blew Spartanburg out of the water in Friday night’s battle. They did not lead it wire-to-wire since the game’s first points came on a three from Viking Senior Forward Dylan Riddlespurger, who would go back-to-back to help the Vikes stay on top after Dorman broke their goose egg on a Christian Andrews layup. From there, both sides traded baskets – perhaps the biggest of which came at the horn to end the 1st quarter when Dyllan Harris drained a three to tie it at 18.
That was the last time the game would be tied or even close. Spartanburg would not have a single player reach double figures, led by Riddlespurger and Brailun Thomas with 9 each. Behind a team-high 20 points out of Christian Andrews, 16 from Christian Gentry, and 15 from Keenan Arcega-Whiteside, Dorman outscored Spartanburg 63-31 over the final three quarters en route to the 81-49 victory, which courtesy of Byrnes’ win over Gaffney Friday night, put them in a tie for 2nd in the region.
“I was very pleased with our team tonight. Defensively, after the 1st quarter, we were really good. We gave up 31 points over the last three quarters. Seniors Christian Andrews and Christian Gentry played well, which makes me happy for them. It is always great to have a big game on senior night. But, the biggest takeaway is that Keenan Arcega-Whiteside continues to really be a problem for other teams. He is just relentless”, said Coach Ryan after the win.
Dorman has a knack for being a team that is always hot when it comes time for the playoffs, and this year is no exception. The Cavaliers finished the regular season by winning 3 of their last 4 in convincing fashion, which once again, put them in a tie for the 2 seed with Gaffney, which was broken via points scored in region play. Dorman’s blowout wins over Boiling Springs and Spartanburg were enough to push them to the 2 seed, and a first round home game, which combined with this week as a whole, has Thomas Ryan beyond excited.
“I am looking forward to being at home in the first round. I don’t know what to expect from White Knoll – we will be diving into them deeply over the weekend, but I do know that playoff basketball comes down to execution and paying attention to every little detail. I feel like we are playing our best basketball right now. It was really nice to wrap up the regular season by getting momentum with two good wins over Gaffney and Spartanburg this week, and even nicer to head into next week with some positive mindsets.”
Tip off for the playoff opener between Dorman and White Knoll is set for 7:00 PM this coming Wednesday night.