Columbia Star

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Late comeback lifts Redhawks over Spring Valley

Westwood’s Korletta Daniels tries to get a shot over Spring Valley’s Ariana Wilkes.

Westwood’s Korletta Daniels tries to get a shot over Spring Valley’s Ariana Wilkes.

Westwood’s Korletta Daniels scored a game-high 14 points and Jessica Woods added 13 to help the visiting Redhawks overcome an 8-point fourth quarter deficit and defeat the Spring Valley Vikings 54-50 Friday, December 10.

“It was resilient effort by our team,” said Westwood head coach Gregory Bauldrick. “They really dominated that first quarter. Their post players were pretty dominant, but it just shows the character and maturity and the growth in our young team, and we’re pretty proud of them tonight.”

Other scorers for Westwood included Mikiah Thompson with nine, Destiny Omeire and Raven Johnson with six each, Thamia Davis with four, and Jessica Bumpers with two.

Ariana Wilkes led Spring Valley with 13 points. Imari Humphrey and Zie’l Ratchford added nine each, and Madison Entzminger had seven. Other scorers included JaiDah Liebert with five, Jillian McNally with three, and Jordan Mitchell and Gabby Hollis with two each.

The Vikings did dominate early with four steals and a block by Wilkes to build a 17-5 lead four-anda half minutes into the game. Entzminger led the way with five points, and Humphrey and Wilkes added four each.

Westwood fought back with a three from Thompson and a layup from Omeire, but Wilkes added a bucket off an inbounds play to give the Vikings a 19-10 advantage at the end of the first quarter.

The Redhawks chipped away at the Spring Valley lead in the second getting six points from Woods, four of which came from the free throw line. Much of the second quarter was spent at the charity stripe as the Vikings went 5-for-8, and Westwood was 7-for-10. A rare field goal, a put-back by Omeire for the Redhawks, cut the Spring Valley lead to 26-25 going into the break.

The Vikings got a 3-pointer from Liebert to start the third quarter, but Woods sank a couple of free throws and Johnson converted a drive to tie the game at 29-29. Spring Valley responded with Ratchford who came off the bench to score five straight points. Westwood got a drive from Daniels and another three from Thompson to lock the contest at 34-34, but Ratchford added a free throw and then got a steal and fast break to put the Vikings up by three. Then Hollis got a layup, and Humphrey sank a 3-pointer to give Spring Valley a 42-34 lead going into the final eight minutes.

Westwood battled back with five points from Daniels, and then Woods hit a three and Johnson got a follow for the Redhawks’ first lead of the night at 46-45 with 2:06 to play.

Spring Valley tied it at 46-46 with a Ratchford free throw and again at 48-48 with a drive from Wilkes. However, Johnson got another follow, and then Daniels and Woods sank a pair of free throws each to ice the game.

Westwood had lost four-of-five coming into the contest with Spring Valley facing nationally ranked teams in the Queens of the Castle tournament and then three straight 5A South Carolina teams, including No. 1 ranked Sumter.

“ We’ve really been in a meat grinder lately,” said Bauldrick. “We wanted to measure ourselves against the very best. We’re starting to cut our teeth at the right time.”

The Vikings bounced back to down River Bluff 45-34 the next day.

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