BARNWELL, S.C. -- The roller coaster ride that has been Danny Green's high school basketball career is finally on an upswing.
The Silver Bluff High School senior has played for three coaches the last four years but he propelled the Bulldogs to a 59-49 first-round victory Wednesday over Allendale-Fairfax in the Region 6-AA tournament. Green had eight of his 10 points in the second half includes 3-of-4 shooting from the foul line in the final 1:40.
Coach Sam Lilly, a former Butler High, Georgia Tech and NFL football player, has rejuvenated the Bulldogs (11-8). He guided Curtis Baptist's girls to a state title three years ago.
"It was a tough transition with three different coaches," Green said. "Coach Lilly is very enthusiastic and we carry that onto the court."
The Tigers (5-23) ran out to a 29-22 halftime lead with a 19-7 run to end the first half. The Bulldogs played better defense which led to transition buckets to start the third quarter on an 8-0 run.
Green's basket with 5:01 remaining in the third quarter gave Silver Bluff a 30-29 advantage. The lead would switch hands eight more times. Leroy Walker's steal, layup and foul shot at the 3:57 mark of the fourth quarter gave the Bulldogs a 47-45 lead, one they would never relinquish.
Silver Bluff faces Barnwell (23-3) today at 8:30 p.m., in the second round.
Lilly said his team was confused defensively in the first half but corrected itself after the intermission.
"Once we got in a groove we were fine," Lilly said.
In girls action, Sara Buxton outscored Bamberg-Ehrhardt 14-12 in the first half as Barnwell easily disposed of the Lady Red Raiders 65-24. Buxton finished with 24 points while Chanda Brooker added 13 for the Lady Warhorses (15-8).
Bamberg-Ehrhardt (0-19) turned the ball over six consecutive possessions over the course of a three-minute span covering the end of the first quarter and the beginning of the second. Barnwell turned those turnovers into five baskets and held a 24-8 lead at the 7:40 mark of the second quarter.
Lady Warhorses coach Carol Massengale emptied her bench in the second half but tried to prepare her squad for today's 7 p.m. meeting with Silver Bluff.
"In order to beat Silver Bluff (today) we have to get inside shots," Massengale said. "We won't beat them with outside shots. We tried to emphasize areas we needed to work on."