LHS loses narrowly in Battle at the Border

Published 10:44 pm Sunday, January 1, 2012

Cole McDowell dribbles into the Byrnes defense on Friday night. (photo by Joey Millwood)


Landrum roared back in the second half of the Battle at the Border championship.
The showdown with 4A Byrnes started off a little slow for the Cardinals as they fell behind by 10 early on. After a long struggle, Landrum found their stride and with 5.2 seconds left in the fourth quarter, Cole McDowell darted down the court, ditched his defender and hit a layup to tie the game up at 59-59.
After a time out, Byrnes guard Shy Williams took the ball, streaked up the court and as the buzzer sound, the senior released a running jump shot in the paint that sunk the Cardinals hopes of winning their first tournament championship since the very first one 12 years ago with a 61-59 dramatic victory.
“He hit a tough shot,” Landrum coach Lyn Smith said. “I felt like we defended it well.”
For Williams, it all went by so fast that all he could remember was the emotion after.
“I was joyful, happy that we won,” Williams said. Williams finished the game with a team-high ten points.
The last second shot was needed because Landrum had just completed a comeback from ten points down at the half. The Rebels maintained a ten point lead throughout the game before the Cardinals began chipping away at it. The rebels were balanced on offense across the board. Williams was the only Rebel in double-digits. Malik Brewton, Keith Anderson and Syverio Jones all had nine points.
With just under a minute to play, Mark Wilson hit a three-pointer to pull the Cardinals within two points at 59-57. The Rebels missed two free throws on the other end. That set up McDowell’s layup with 5.2 seconds left on the clock. It was a strong run by the Cardinals, but Fowler saw something different in his team on Friday night. The Rebels haven’t had a lot of leads this season, but they protected this one.
“They gave us a good punch in the second half,” Fowler said. “We withstood it.”
For Smith, it was just a matter of his team stepping up and going toe-to-toe with Byrnes.
“They were bigger,” Smith said. “They were more physical. We never folded. We didn’t run from anybody.” The Cardinals were led by McDowell and Daniel Bridges. Both had 14 points.


LHS vs. Chapman

Four quarters. That is all Landrum head coach Lyn Smith has been looking for. Smith has wanted a complete game from his players all season. The Cardinals came very close to giving it to Smith Thursday night.

Landrum's T.J. Fincher goes up for a shot against Chapman on Thursday night.

That answer was clear in the second round of the Battle at the Border tournament on Thursday night as the Cardinals roared to a 75-48 victory over Chapman.
“It was the best effort we’ve given all year long,” Smith said. “That was as close as we’ve gotten to playing four quarters.”
The Cardinals came out aggressive early against the Panthers. On Wednesday, Landrum had to come from behind after a rough first half to beat Broome. That wasn’t the case on Thursday.
Junior guard Daniel Bridges, who had zero points and fouled out against Broome, came out and scored eight points, grabbed five rebounds and had a blocked shot in the first five minutes against Chapman.
“We told Daniel he had to have a short memory,” Smith said. “I was proud of the way he bounced back.”
Bridges finished with 19 points leading all scorers. Another Cardinal who came out aggressive was guard Truston Whiteside. The junior guard finished ten points and attacked the rim all night. Mark Wilson continued his strong start. The junior hit three more 3-pointers on Thursday bringing the tally to 11 3-pointers so far in the tournament. Aaron Bryant was the fourth Cardinal in double-digits with 12 points.
Bryant’s brother, Alex, was the emotional leader on the floor for Landrum. The senior fought hard in the paint and added nine points to the victory. Bryant acknowledged that the Cardinals are on fire and said it all boiled down to one thing.
“It’s momentum,” the senior post player said. “We keep on winning games. We keep playing hard.”
For Chapman, the bright spot of the night was Deebo Samuel. The sophomore point guard led the Panthers with 18 points. C.J. Thompson added 12 points. With Samuel playing lights out, the Panthers closed in on the Cardinals in the third quarter. A Samuel 3-pointer brought Chapman to within three points at 37-34 with 4:46 left in the third. The Cardinals responded with a 12-2 run to close the quarter.
“Everybody was on it,” Smith said. “We played together. We played hard.”