LANDRUM — In Landrum High School’s six years of being in its present gym, it had yet to give up more than 90 points to a single opponent in any game it hosted — until Wednesday evening.
With the win, the Newberry High Bulldogs advance to Saturday’s AA Upper-State Championship against Keenan at Greenville’s Bi-Lo Center. The 3:30 p.m. match-up pits Newberry against one of their former head coaches. Zack Norris led the Bulldogs to the 1998 AAA state appearance against Fairfield Central.
The Bulldogs led for the final 26 minutes of play in the 91-70 victory Wednesday in the quarterfinals against the Cardinals.
With these 91 points combined with Newberry’s previous two playoff games this month, the Bulldogs scored a total of 297 points for an average of 99 points a game.
The last time a playoff team scored more points than this was when Latta High and current NBA player Raymond Felton scored 311 points in the same time frame in 2002.
With over 500 of their extremely vocal and boisterous fans sitting behind them, Newberry jumped out to a 7-0 lead in the game’s first 2:41, which all came from Kaheem Praylow.
Landrum went on a 10-1 run to take the lead twice before giving way to Newberry for the duration of the evening including after the first quarter, 22-21.
Newberry made eight field shots in the second quarter, including two baskets from behind the three point arc.
But the one that seemed to start giving Newberry head coach Chad Cary a welcome 40th birthday present came as the buzzer was about to sound: Praylow’s dunk sent the Bulldogs into the locker rooms with the 45-36 advantage.
Newberry went on a 7-0 run to start the second half forcing Landrum to call the first time out of the game with 6:28 left in the quarter as the Cardinals trailed 52-38 at the time.
The Bulldogs would have the 71-51 lead after three quarters as Landrum fans started heading to the exits instead of staying around to see if the Cardinals could avoid losing their first home game in over two years.
Newberry closed out the game on a 20-19 run as they improve to 25-2 on the season and are still a perfect 14-0 since the start of the 2013 calendar year.
Praylow, who scored 30 points in Newberry College’s Eleazor Arena in December, ended the evening with 29 points, his highest output outside of the county this entire season.
Trey Miller and Jalin Alexander finished with 15 points apiece while Notorious Booker scored 13 points for the evening.
Tovaris Cureton scored 11 points in the final three quarters while Jaylen Lindsay scored four. Jaylen Reeder and Trey Gary rounded out the Newberry scoring with two points apiece.