BOILING SPRINGS — The Boiling Springs boys might be shaking off some rust at the start of the season, but the Bulldogs got off to a good start with a hard-fought 61-57 home win over Northwestern on Tuesday.
Junior Mason Sanders scored a game-high 24 points and the Bulldogs (1-0) held of a late surge by the Trojans (3-1).
Boiling Springs, up by three at halftime, scored the first eight points in the third quarter and led by as many as 12 in the period.
The Trojans whittled the lead in the fourth quarter to two with just over two minutes remaining. But Jason Hill got a layup and Sanders converted a three-point play to push it to five. Northwestern missed a free throw two plays later with a chance to cut it to two, and an off-balance three to tie with three seconds remaining bounced off the glass.
“We were able to withstand some of their pressure late, even with some rust under our belt, with so many players finishing the football season,” Boiling Springs coach Ashley Browning said. “Our experienced guys – particularly our seniors – helped in handling the pressure late.”
Senior point guard Jared Wallace scored 13 points for the Bulldogs. William Chitwood led the Trojans with 13 points. Northwestern made just 17-of-32 free throws.
Northwestern coach Larry Davis, a former South Carolina standout in the late 90s, is in his first year with the Trojans after taking over for longtime coach Mike Gossett. Davis led Lewisville to a state title last year.
“(Boiling Springs) was more together mentally than we were,” Davis said. “That’s really all there is to it.”
Sanders scored 13 points in the third quarter--including a pair of three pointers--as the Bulldogs led 42-34 after three quarters.
“(Sanders) got hot from the outside and can go inside tough too and really helped control the boards. Our size inside forced some of their guys to take difficult shots.”
Northwestern 65, Boiling Springs 32: Ieshia Love had 11 points and Aubriana Thompson scored 10 for the Trojans, who led 30-17 at halftime. Brianna Briggs led Boiling Springs with 12 points, including two three pointers.