The Spring Valley girls basketball team overcame a seven-point halftime deficit to defeat Blythewood 74-59 and clinch a share of the Region 5-5A title Friday night.
The come-from- behind victory was led by sophomore guard Ashley Williamson, who totaled 27 points – 17 in the second half.
“I told Ashley as soon as the game was over, that we go as she goes, which means when she gets it in her mind that she’s going to score and take it to the basket and make people defend and stop her, she’s a tough player,” Spring Valley coach Megan Assey said. “She’s been that way all season for us. She’s our mentally toughest player.”
With the win, the Vikings will get the No. 1 seed heading into the playoffs after winning a tiebreaker over Irmo. Blythewood will enter the playoffs as the fifth seed.
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Blythewood jumped to an early 12-4 lead four minutes into the first quarter. Junior Makayla Weeks led the Bengals with six first-quarter points and found herself working around defenders in the paint.
By the second quarter, Blythewood senior Camryn Bostick hit her stride with eight points and led the Bengals to a 34-27 halftime lead.
But the momentum swung in Spring Valley’s favor after halftime, as Williamson scored 12 points, including two 3-pointers. Senior guard Baylor Davis capped the third quarter with a steal and layup at the buzzer to even the score at 51.
In the fourth quarter, senior guard Tierney Porter led Spring Valley with nine points and made four crucial free throws in the final minute.
“I thought we did a much better job in the second half of actually trying to execute. We played a better defensive half and knocked down some big free throws down the stretch,” Assey said.
Bostick led Blythewood with 22 points, followed by guard Keayra Jackson and Weeks, who each added 10. But their contributions weren’t enough to counteract the offensive performances from Williamson and sophomore forward Destiny Coleman, who had 16 points.
Assey, who’s in her first year at Spring Valley after replacing Anne Long, said the win marks the first time she’s ever coached a conference champion.
“I’ve only been a part of one conference champion team my whole life, and that was when I was playing (Division I) ball. As a coach, I haven’t been a part of one,” said Assey. “This is a surreal experience and we’re going to enjoy it. We’re looking forward to trying to achieve the overall goal, which is to win the state championship.”
SV: Williamson 27, Coleman 16, Porter 12, Wall 9, Davis 6, Graham 4. B: Bostick 22, Keayra Jackson 10, L. Weeks 10, Mims 5, Shepard 4, M. Weeks 4, Keshunia Jackson 2, Gallman 2.
Spring Valley 68
After trailing by five in the third quarter, Blythewood rallied to earn a share of the Region 5-5A title.
The Bengals were led by sophomore guard Charles Jackson with 21 points, and senior guard Keith Matthews with 18. Spring Valley was led by senior guard Davion Davis, who tallied 19 points, including five 3-pointers.
Blythewood won the coin toss tiebreaker over co-champion Irmo, so it’ll head into the playoffs as the top seed.
SV: Davis 19, Williams 10, Jones 9, Smith 8, Hill 4, Gantt 4, Earle 3, Alicea 2. B: Jackson 21, Matthews 18, Braswell 12, Bailey 7, Dawkins 6, Riley 6, Breeland 2, Shakir-Harris 2.