River Bluff Gator basketball falls to Spring Valley, 55-54
Coach Ben Lee Blames RB Defeat on “Waiting Until the Fourth Quarter”
Lexington, SC (James Bowers) - The River Bluff Gators Men’s Varsity Basketball Team is in the midst of its winningest season to date. However, the team suffered a setback Tuesday as it dropped a 55-54 contest to the Spring Valley Vikings. Coach Ben Lee attributed the loss to the Gators “waiting until the fourth quarter” to begin playing with intensity.
The Gators did jump out to a 12-4 lead at the end of the first quarter, but the second period saw Spring Valley take control of the ballgame. The Vikings only allowed the Gators eight points in that period while their own scoring heated up. At halftime, the count was 21-20 in Spring Valley’s favor.
The third quarter saw Spring Valley continue to ride the momentum, building at one point a ten point lead as River Bluff’s offensive production slowed. In the fourth quarter, the Gators made it a game again as the fans sat on the edge of their seats. They came back to within two points on a number of occasions before Spring Valley answered with their own scores. JT Reeves did give the Gators a late 51-50 lead before another Spring Valley bucket put the Vikings back in front. A pair of free throws did not hurt Perry Dozier and company either. Terrell Windom sunk a three-pointer putting the Gators within one, but they could not pick up the winning basket as time expired in “The Swamp."
Coach Ben Lee said that the defeat could have been avoided if the Gators had begun playing harder earlier in the game. “We waited too late to play collectively and bring energy,” Lee said. “Half speed individuals aren’t gonna win a lot of games.”
Lee said he did notice the shift in his team’s style during the fourth quarter. Junior forward Terill Windom led the Gator charge with 15 points, with fellow forward JT Reeves, also a junior, not far behind at 14 points. Lawson Danley also got into double digits for River Bluff with ten points.
The victorious Vikings profited from the play of senior guard Julian Smith, who had 12 Spring Valley points. Senior Rashaad Williams added 11 to SV’s count, while Jamal Williams had ten points.
Ben Lee’s team, now 14-3, will have another home game on Friday as they welcome the Irmo Yellow Jackets. IHS is led by one of Lee’s coaching idols, Tim Whipple, and is also coming off a loss to Spring Valley.
SVHS will look to keep its winning ways intact as the Vikings cap a three game road stand against Dutch Fork. That game is also slated for Friday.