BATESBURG-LEESVILLE — When the Newberry High Bulldog boys’ basketball team unloaded their bus Tuesday night at Batesburg-Leesville High, they knew that to attain their rank as high as first but no lower than second in AA in recent polls, they would have to pull out a victory over the eighth ranked Panthers.
That they did as the Bulldogs never trailed in their 78-57 victory to improve to 16-2 on the season and are in sole possession of first place in the region with a 4-0 record.
Seven different Bulldogs scored at least two points in the first quarter as Newberry would have a 10 point lead after the first quarter, 21-11.
But Newberry only led by five points at the half with the score 38-33.
Trey Miller helped the cause in the third quarter as his seven points extended Newberry’s lead to 54-41 heading into the final quarter.
After Newberry was called for a technical foul to start the quarter, head coach Chad Cary called his team together into a huddle and told them that the technical was “exactly what we needed as this is going to fire us up now.”
After the Panthers got a lone free throw from that opportunity, Newberry went on an 11-0 run as they had a 75-55 advantage before the Panthers got their first field shot of the final stanza.
Kaheem Praylow had an evening high 21 points as he converted five of his seven free throws.
Miller finished with 17 points while Notorious Booker scored 14.
Jaylen Lindsay saw nine points go in while Bennett Wilson finished with eight.
Jalin Alexander scored five points while the Bulldog scoring ended with the two points apiece of Jeremy Summers and Jimmy Willingham.
A victory Friday at Mid-Carolina would give the Bulldog boys their second straight season with being undefeated in the first half of regional play.
It will also give the team their 31st straight win inside the county.