By Lannis Timmons
Tuesday the Aiken Falcons brought their 1-4 conference record and 5-9 overall to Woodward, while the Bulldogs entered the game with a 3-1 conference record and 7-4 overall record. The Bulldogs had lost three games in a row, so they were ready to get back to their winning ways, and they did 58-45.
The Bulldogs struggled in the first half, as they shot 8-29 from the field and 0-6 from the free throw line. Meanwhile, Aiken came ready to play, as they shot the ball well, led by Blake Smith, as the senior scored 8 points and Freshman Jakada Stone scored 4 points as the Falcons led 17-7 after the first quarter.
As the second quarter started, the Bulldogs started to pick up their intensity on both ends of the court as seniors Dre Lewis and Demontez Cooper scored 8 and 5 points respectively to help the Bulldogs cut the lead down to 3 points at 26-19 going into halftime. I was telling some guys in the stands that Woodward was in good shape, because their leading scorer Terry Durham hadn’t scored a point in the first half.
As the third quarter got started, you could feel the momentum changing, as the Bulldogs started going inside to Durham The senior scored 6 points, but he got the Falcons post players in foul trouble. Also Dre Lewis picked up where he finished in the first half, as he scored 6 points including 2 three-point shots. But what really turned the game around was the Bulldogs defense as they held Aiken to 6 points in the quarter. Guards Lewis and Cooper made it hard for Aiken to run their offense as they pressured them with run and jump traps, and with some good old fashioned ball pressure, helping Woodward take the lead 39-32 at the end of the third quarter. Terry Durham was “changing shots” and blocking shots as he controlled the paint.
Then, when the fourth quarter got started, Durham took over the game as he got two monster dunks off a steal and from point guard Demontez Cooper, who did a good job of breaking Aiken’s full court pressure.
Durham finished the game with 20 points and 10 rebounds, while Dre Lewis followed with 17 points with 5-8 from behind the three-point line.
Friday, Woodward traveled to Hughes to take on the Big Red, which is in a three-way tie in the conference with Taft and Woodward, while Aiken will entertain the Taft Senators.