The Newberry High Bulldogs split a double-header at Abbeville High on Tuesday as the Bulldog boys, ranked second in the state and first in the upstate, improved to 13-2 on the year and 2-0 in regional play as they never trailed in their 69-50 victory.
Playing in a gym that dates perhaps as far back to the decade of the 1950s, the 400 or so largely Abbeville fans seemed to literally be breathing on the players as close to the action as they were.
The Lady Bulldogs forced the defending A upper-state champions to call their second time-out less than four minutes into the game as Newberry had a 14-2 advantage at the time.
Newberry would lead until the 4:25 mark of the third quarter when Abbeville took their first lead of the game at 36-34.
Abbeville’s second half lead ever so slightly kept increasing as the scoreboard showed Abbeville winning by nine points at the final buzzer, 54-45.
Arnasia Byd scored 16 points, including outscoring the entire Abbeville team in the first quarter, 12-8.
Tyshira Bates scored eight points while Octavia Grandy scored seven.
Breanna Mathis and Fatima Sims scored five points apiece while the Newberry scoring ended with the four points of Mya Ruff, as the drop to 3-9 on the season, 1-1 in regional action.
Abbeville did not score their first point in the boys’ game until the 4:51 mark of the first quarter, while Newberry had scored the first seven points of the game.
The Bulldog s went on an 8-0 run as they had a 15-1 advantage when the Panthers got their first field shot of the evening.
Newberry led by at least 10 points from the mid-way point of the second quarter until the final buzzer as the Bulldogs and Batesburg-Leesville are both tied for the lead in the regional standings.
Kaheem Praylow had a game-high 15 points for Newberry.
Jalin Alexander scored 12 points; including giving the fans the only two dunks they would see on the evening.
Notorious Booker ended the night with 10 points but the junior did his damage in the second quarter as his eight points in this time frame, all came on fast breaks directly after an Abbeville missed basket in the paint or a turnover, including three straight possessions.
Trey Miller scored eight points while Jeremy Summers finished with six.
Devin Harmon scored five points in the second half, Jaylen Reeder and Dominic Gallman scored four points apiece, while the Newberry scoring ended with the two points apiece from Bennett Wilson and Jaylen Lindsay
Newberry will play host to Ninety Six on Friday before hosting Fairfield Central on Saturday in a quadruple header with the varsity girls starting around 6:00.