Spring Valley coach Anne Long wishes Christian Hithe would be a little more aggressive and selfish at times on the court.
On Saturday, Hithe heeded her coach’s instruction. The senior was aggressive on both ends of the court, as she tied a career high with 35 points in the Vikings’ 66-60 win over Lower Richland at the inaugural Crescent Construction MLK Bash.
“She can take a game over, but she is such an unselfish person and I needed to pull that out of her,” Long said. “But, she definitely was determined tonight and showed the competitor she is.”
The Vikings-Diamond Hornets matchup was the marquee game in the first-year event. The game featured two of the state’s top girls basketball coaches in Long and LR’s Debbie Stroman, who have combined to win 14 state championships.
Hithe delivered a performance worthy of the billing between the two powerhouse programs. The Central Florida signee said she came into the game with a little extra motivation after the way she played in Vikings’ 50-41 loss to Ridge View on Thursday.
Hithe called the loss “horrible” and “disappointing,” and was determined to make the Spring Valley’s losing skid a short one. With the score tied at 48 in the second half, she scored 11 consecutive points as the Vikings went on an 11-2 run to lead 59-50 with 2:51 left.
“All I kept thinking about was we needed to bounce back from that loss,” Hithe said. “I needed to play my game, and I needed to do whatever I could to help my teammates. And we all came together. We followed coach Long’s plan and we came through.”
Hithe, who also had seven rebounds, scored 20 of her 35 in the second half in tying the career high she set last season against Orangeburg-Wilkinson on Jan. 7, 2015. It was the first time this season she scored more the 30 points in a game after doing it three times last season.
Point guard Dominique Hill added 12 points for the Vikings (14-2).
Kameron Roach and Cailah Hicklin led Lower Richland (9-8) with 13 points apiece. Roach scored four straight during a 6-0 run as the Diamond Hornets tied the game at 48.
Former Keenan girls coach Van McCloud was honored before the game.
SV: Matthews 3, Lewis 7, Christian Hithe 35, Jones 4, Dominique Hill 12, Taylor 6. LR: S. Washington 2, Dejah Williford 11, Bolton 1, Nuttry 2, Kameron Roach 13, Cailah Hicklin 13, Aiyasia Washington 10, Archie 8.
Dreher 56, Sumter 34
After going for 30 points Friday against Chapin, senior Jhileya Dunlap followed that with a 28-point effort as the Blue Devils, the No. 1 team in Class 3A, defeated the Gamecocks.
It was Dreher’s 12th straight victory, all of them coming by at least 16 points.
“She had a stellar performance coming off her 30-point game last night,” Dreher coach Teresa Jones said. “I didn’t know if she would be as focused as she was last night against Chapin. But she came out, led the team, rebounded, stole the ball and was pretty much unstoppable.”
Dunlap started strong as she scored 13 of the team’s 28 points in the first half, and the Blue Devils led 28-16 at the break. Dreher’s lead never was less than 10 in the second half.
Jaelynn Murray added 12 points for the Blue Devils (16-1).
S: Hamilton 5, Wilson 8, Banzon 1, McBride 2, Jones 4, Jessica Harris 10, Taylor 2, Cooper 2. D: Brown 2, Wilson 2, Hires 4, Jaelynn Murray 12, Lemon 9, Jhileya Dunlap 28
Ridge View 54, O.-Wilkinson 52
Lauren Ajukwa and Erica Tisdale each scored 14 points as the Blazers defeated a ranked opponent for the second straight game.
The Blazers defeated Spring Valley, No. 3 in Class 4A, on Thursday. O-W was ranked eighth in the latest Class 3A South Carolina Coaches poll.
No team led by more than five points in the second half, and the game was tied at 48 with 2:03 remaining. Destiny Gainey broke the tie with a layup with 1:21 left, and the Blazers never trailed after that.
RV: Lauren Ajukwa 14, Erica Tisdale 14, Armanii Grice 11, Addison 8, Gainey 6, Harts 1. OW: Williams 9, Houser 9, Grevous 5, Autheria Dantzler 11, Shay Jackson 14, Rivers 4.