Marlboro County rode a strong first quarter to a huge lead, enroute to blowing out Central of Pageland Monday night at home. The Bulldogs cruised to a 78-37 victory.
Ryan Dupree opened the game with a short jump shot, blocked an Eagle shot, then raced for a layup to get the Bulldogs off to a quick start. Devonta Oliver nailed a three-pointer, then senior Wesley Brown scored on back-to-back possessions as the Bulldogs raced to a 13-4 advantage.
By the end of the first quarter, the Bulldogs led 20-5 and the reserves were on the court for Marlboro County.
The Bulldogs continued to pull away in the second period, led by a three-pointer from Shawn Lucas, a layup by Kieran Leviner and a jumper by Jameik McCoy.
Marlboro led 40-14 at intermission. After a sluggish third quarter, the Bulldogs reignited the offense in the fourth, outscoring their guests 25-11.
Shamar Morris led the offense with 14 points. Senior forward Wesley Brown also had 14. Dre Scott added 12, Dupree 8, Leviner 8, Lucas 6, McCoy 6, Oliver 5, Skishawn Palmer 4 and Ephraim Dupree 1.
The Bulldogs were 1-1 in the Comporium Christmas Tournament played last weekend at Andrew Jackson High School in Kershaw.
The Bulldogs defeated Chester in the opening game, 81-68. Marlboro jumped to an early lead and continued to add to their advantage throughout the contest.
The Bulldogs' senior frontcourt of Dupree and Brown paced the scoring, with 19 and 16 points, respectively.
Scott added 13, as did McCoy. Lucas had 8, Oliver 7, Tyler Thomas 3 and Palmer 2.
In the championship game, points were hard to come by for both the Bulldogs and the host Andrew Jackson Volunteers.
A three-pointer by Oliver and shot by Scott accounted for all the Bulldogs' first quarter scoring. Marlboro trailed but one at the end of the quarter and were behind 15-13 at half.
Andrew Jackson led by three entering the final period. The Bulldogs were unable to get the clutch shot down the stretch and fell by a final of 39-38.
Dupree and Scott both had 11 to lead the scoring. Lucas added 7, Oliver 5 and Brown 4.
The Bulldogs (7-4) will play one more non-region tune-up game next Wednesday at Dillon.
They will host Wilson, which is in a rebuilding season to open region play next Friday evening.