Bulldogs roll by Hartsville, remain unbeaten in region
After a sluggish first quarter, the Marlboro County High boys' basketball team rallied past Hartsville, 65-49 Tuesday night. With the home victory, the Bulldogs remain undefeated in region play and maintain a two-game lead with just four games remaining in the regular season.
"Hartsville is a tough, scrappy team and we withstood and answered their defensive effort. It just shows the maturity of the team and how they have each other’s back on the court," said MCHS head coach LaTroy Brace.
"With this win, we are guaranteed a spot in the playoffs but now we are trying to finish the deal with a region championship," said Brace.
The Bulldogs jumped out to a 4-2 lead in the opening seconds of the contest but would not score again until Skishawn Palmer hit a three-pointer in the final seconds of the first period.
While the Red Foxes were hardly on fire themselves, they did lead 10-7 at the end of the first.
Marlboro finally got the offense in gear in the second period. Dre Scott hit a jump shot and Devonta Oliver nailed a three-pointer to give the Bulldogs a lead they would never relinquish.
Wesley Brown started another run moments later with a short jumper that gave the Bulldogs a 17-12 advantage. Scott and Shawn Lucas added field goals and Jameik McCoy hit a three-pointer that pushed the Marlboro advantage to 24-12.
By the half, the Bulldogs had increased their lead to 33-18.
Marlboro started the second half with a 12-6 run, fueled by back-to-back baskets by senior forward Ryan Dupree and two more buckets by Scott. Now leading 45-24, the Bulldogs hit an offensive lull but Hartsville was never able to cut the lead under 10 points.
The Foxes did get the Marlboro advantage down to 12 with 56 seconds to play but the Bulldogs wrapped up the contest with a pair of free throws by Wesley Brown, a layup by Scott and one by McCoy.
Scott led the offense with 15 points. McCoy was also in double-figures with 14. Brown had 9, Lucas and Oliver 8, Palmer 7 and Dupree 4.
Hartsville's 6'9" forward Cesare Edwards led all scorers with 28 points.
Last Friday night, the Bulldogs overcame one of their toughest road challenges of the region campaign so far, holding off North Myrtle Beach, 58-53.
The Bulldogs again shook off a slow start to outscore the Chiefs 18-7 in the second quarter. The Bulldogs were able to nurse that lead to the final buzzer.
Scott finished with 15 points and Lucas had 14 to lead the offensive production. Oliver had 9, McCoy 8, Dupree and Brown 7 each and Raymond Campbell 2.
"I’m proud of my guys and the growth that they have shown. We need everyone to show up for the last home games of the regular season and for the playoffs. I want the 'Dawg Pound' to be the toughest place to play in the state," said Brace.
The Bulldogs (16-5 overall, 6-0 in Region 6-4A) will host Darlington on Friday. They travel to Myrtle Beach next Tuesday for what might be their toughest remaining test. They will be at Wilson next Friday (Feb. 7), then wrap up the regular season by hosting North Myrtle Beach on February 11.