NEWBERRY — The Newberry High Bulldog boys’ basketball team took the first step Wednesday evening in the Scott Gym in defending its AA Upper-State championship as they never trailed in their 102-63 victory over Blacksburg in the first round of the playoffs.
Newberry has now won 12 straight playoff games in the Scott Gym since the 2005-06 season. Three of these past four home playoff games have seen the Bulldogs score at least 102 points.
After a missed Wildcat shot, the Bulldogs drove down the court, getting the ball in Jaylen Lindsay’s hands. The junior dunked the ball but Blacksburg was unable to get the ball into play before the five-second violation occurred.
Taking the throw-in from Notorious Booker, Lindsay dunked the ball again for the 11-4 score four minutes into the game, forcing the visitors to call a time-out.
After another Wildcat missed shot, Devin Harmon threw up a mid-court shot a second before the buzzer as the ball swished through the net, setting the tone for the Bulldog fans for the duration of the night with their cheering as Newberry led 25-11.
Six different Bulldogs found their way into the scoring books as they edged out the Wildcats on a 16-14 second quarter run to take a 41-25 lead into the locker rooms.
The first 2:30 of the second half saw Newberry go on a 14-2 run as they had a 55-27 advantage at this point.
While a nice contingent of Newberry fans have supported their Bulldogs at every single home and away game this season, one of the loudest cheers they have given yet came with 1:47 left in the contest when Raquon Davenport made a lay-up for the 100-61 score.
Newberry made 42 field shots, including tying a season-high 10 three-pointers.
Blacksburg got all but five of its 22 field shots from inside the three-point arc.
Newberry converted eight-of-11 free-throws. The Wildcats missed only two of their 16 free-throws.
The Bulldogs had a 50-5 advantage on bench-scoring during the evening.
Fifteen Bulldogs scored in the game as they were led by the 16 points of Trey Miller. Kaheem Praylow and Jalin Alexander, who were named earlier in the day to the AA All-State team along with Lady Bulldog Arnasia Boyd, scored 13 points apiece.
Lindsay finished the evening with 10 points.
Trey Gary scored eight points while both Bennett Wilson and Jeremy Summers scored seven points each.
Dominic Gilmore scored six points in the fourth quarter.
Booker finished with five points while Tyon Williams saw four points go in.
Harmon, Jaylen Reeder and Tovaris Cureton each scored three points for Newberry as their scoring ended with the two points of Greely Saddler and Davenport.
The 23-2 Bulldogs, who extended their county winning streak to 34 games during the past two years with the win, will host the Crescent Tigers Saturday in the Scott Gym at 7 p.m.
The team from Iva in Anderson County was one of three Region 1-AA teams to win Wednesday night, ended Saluda’s season with an 84-58 victory.