Warhorses circle wagons for win

  • Barnwell High Ziran Williams, #20, scored the winning baskets in Thursday’s win over in-county rival Blackville-Hilda High.

The Blackville-Hilda High and Barnwell High boys varsity basketball game turned into a barnburner Thursday night in Barnwell.

Through the first 16 minutes of the game, Barnwell High looked completely overwhelmed by Blackville-Hilda High.

However, Barnwell High coach Michael Highsmith made halftime adjustments and the Warhorses circled the wagons in the second half to come away with a 41-39 win.

Ziran Williams was the hero of the night for the Warhorses. Williams scored the winning bucket with less than a minute left to play.

Highsmith said the team was a little flat coming off a tough loss two nights earlier to Bamberg-Ehrhardt High.

“We came in off an emotional loss. In the first half, we didn’t execute offensively and never got back in transition defense,” Highsmith said. “We made some changes at halftime. We were more patient offensively and on defense, we guarded everything more aggressively.”

Blackville-Hilda High coach Ryan Moody said the team didn’t finish what they started.

“When you start as well as we did, you have to be able to finish. We had every opportunity to win this game, but didn’t put the ball in the basket when it counted the most,” Moody said.

Blackville-Hilda High caught Barnwell High flat footed to start the game.

For Blackville-Hilda High, point guard Adonis Davis fueled the offense with six points as the team Hawks soared to a 14-5 lead.

Early in the second quarter, the Hawks continued to have their way with the Warhorses. Kuwaun Odom took over the scoring for the team. Odom hit the offensive boards, scoring eight points off putbacks. Odom’s presence in the paint allowed open looks for Denzel Saxon, who drained two jumpers to increase the lead 20-11 with 1:56 left in the first half.

After a frustrating first half performance, the Warhorses played inspired basketball in the second half.

It started in the third quarter with the Warhorses using a 16-8 run to narrow the lead at 31-29.

For the Warhorses in the quarter, Ziran Williams, Russell Branch, Pete Elmore, Jordan Jackson, Brashawn Spann, James Mingo and Markel Corley scored buckets in transition.

In the fourth quarter, Dallyon Creech came up big off the bench and scored two crucial baskets as the Warhorses outscored the Hawks 12-9 to end the game.

For the game, Odom led the Hawks with 16 points and 13 rebounds. Davis had 11 points and nine assists.

The Warhorses were led by Russell Branch, Jacoby Bailey and Markel Corley with seven points each. Brashawn Spann had six points and 10 rebounds.