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The Jamestown boys basketball team gave Coach Donovan Bridgeforth an early Christmas present Friday evening.
Heading into one of the toughest gyms in the Bay Rivers District, the Eagles were able to stave off a tough Bruton team for a 64-55 victory.
"It's a great win and a great testament to how hard the administration, the athletic director and coaches are working toward one goal: to make the Jamestown basketball program the best in the area," Bridgeforth said after the game.
Beating Bruton on the road is the biggest win of the season so far for the upstart Eagles team that sits with a 6-1 record heading into its winter break.
With two of the top-four teams in the Bay Rivers District squaring off, the first quarter was as intense and evenly matched as one might expect.
Bruton came out of the gates hot, as Zack Calloway splashed back-to-back 3-pointers to put the Panthers up early. A 3-pointer in response by Evan Wang moments later set the tone for what was a near-even first half.
The Panthers, with taller and more physical guards, were able to use their size advantage in the first quarter to drive the lane and connect on open jump shots.
Meanwhile, the Eagles leaned heavily on the outside shooting of Evan and Mason Wang, who accounted for 13 of Jamestown's 15 first-quarter points.
Outside of a lone 3-pointer from Mason Wang in the second quarter, the Panthers did an impressive job of shutting down the brothers in the second quarter.
With Jamestown's top scoring threats held in check, Bruton was able to control the pace of play and take a narrow 28-26 lead into the break.
During halftime, Bridgeforth encouraged his players to stay the course and not make any sweeping adjustments to how they had been playing in the first half.
"I just told them to keep playing harder and be tough," he said. "I told them to believe in what we do, believe in our rotations and believe in our offense."
The Jamestown players heeded their coach's words as the Eagles came out on fire in the third quarter. Led by inspired play from Mason Wang, who had five points in the quarter, the Eagles opened the quarter on a 9-1 run and took a 35-29 lead over Bruton.
Bruton slowed the bleeding temporarily in the third quarter, but Jamestown responded with an 8-0 run during the final minute of the quarter. Micahel Schmidt proved the catalyst for the run as he scored five points during the quick offensive outburst.
With Jamestown leading 43-34 heading into the fourth quarter, Bruton had just one trick left up its sleeve: free throws. The Panthers were already in the bonus by the end of the third quarter and were able to extend the game significantly in the fourth quarter by earning 13 free throw attempts.
Unfortunately for the Panthers, Jamestown was more efficient getting to the free throw line, especially in the waning moments of the game. The Eagles connected on 12-of-16 fourth quarter free throws to help ice the game.
Jamestown (6-1) has now won four consecutive games and will enjoy a long break until the Eagles play Bayside in the Norfolk Holiday Classic on Dec. 29.
Bruton (4-3) will have a long layoff until the Panthers resume their season at home against Lafayette on Jan. 6.
Jamestown: 15 11 17 21 — 64
Bruton: 14 14 6 21 — 55
Jamestown: M. Wang 18, E. Wang 12, Brown 12, Schmidt 9, Swain 6, Klyman 2, Green 5
Bruton: Calloway 6, Wallace 3, Adkins 10, Jones 12, Carr 10, Taylor 13, Teach 1)
3-point goals: Jamestown 6 (M. Wang 4, E. Wang, Green), Bruton 5 (Calloway 2, Taylor, Carr 2)
Underwood's Career Night Lifts Lafayette Over Poquoson
Lafayette's Devin Underwood posted a career-high 27 points to help give the Rams a much-needed 71-61 road win against Poquoson on Friday night.
With the win, Lafayette (4-4) stays within striking distance of the top half of the Bay Rivers District.
Poquoson stuck to a 2-3 zone throughout the game, which allowed Lafayette to set up from behind the 3-point line and rain shots from deep.
The plan worked to success as Lafayette drained 12 3-pointers in the win, with five coming from Underwood and another four coming from Keyshawn Jefferson, who posted 24 points in the win.
Despite Lafayette's hot shooting, the Rams still got a tough test from Poquoson, which was within single digits for nearly all of the game.
However, a strong fourth quarter from the Rams allowed them to eke out the road win and head into the winter break with some momentum.
Lafayette will have a long layoff before resuming its season on the road against Bruton on Jan. 6.
Lafayette: 11 22 16 22 — 71
Poquoson: 10 17 18 16 — 61
Lafayette: Underwood 27, Jefferson 24, Neville 10, Canady 4, Adderty 4, Edwards 2
Poquoson: Costulis 18, Schuhart 12, McDevitt 18, Taylor 7, Anderson 3, Zalameda 2, Young 1
3-point goals: Lafayette 12 (Jefferson 4, Underwood 5, Neville 2, Adderty), Poquoson 4 (Costulis 2, Schuhart, Anderson)
Tabb Dominates York
Jalin Jordan scored a game-high 20 points to lead Tabb to a commanding 62-39 road win over York on Friday evening.
York played Tabb tough in the first quarter, but a late run by the Tigers stretched their lead to 19-10 by the end of the first stanza.
Bolstered by 11 first-half offensive rebounds, Tabb was able to outmuscle York on the boards and earn points at the rim. By halftime, the Tigers led 35-16.
Tabb continued to stretch its lead in the third quarter before coasting to the finish line in the fourth.
Jesse Kimrey hit a trio of 3-pointers during a 13-point performance for York, while Josh McFadden had a team-high 15 points.
Tabb (3-4) will have some down time before hosting a Dec. 30 tournament, while York (0-6) will travel to play Grafton on Monday.
Tabb: 19 16 18 9 — 62
York: 10 6 12 11 — 39
Tabb: Jackson 2, K. Brown 8, Jansen 5, A. Brown 7, Roth 2, Myatt 1, Pearson 7, Jordan 20, Hunter 8, Smith 2
York: McFadden 15, Patrick 6, Kimrey 13, Simmons 2, Nanartowich 2, Jordan 1
3-point goals: Tabb 3 (Pearson, A. Brown, Jansen), York 5 (Kimrey 3, Patrick, McFadden)
Grafton Rolls Past Warhill
Grafton hit the road Friday evening and put on a defensive clinic during a 64-33 rout of Warhill.
The Clippers, playing lockdown defense, put the game out of reach by the end of the first half as Warhill was able to generate just nine points of offense in the first half.
Offensively, Grafton managed to put up 41 points in the first half behind strong play from Jacob Murillo, who finished with a game-high 19 points. Kiran Durant and Adam King each added 14 points for the Clippers.
Warhill played better in the second half, but was too far behind to make any sort of meaningful run at Grafton, which was able to cruise down the stretch for the win.
Grafton (8-0) will look to enter its winter break on a high note when the Clippers host York on Monday. Meanwhile, Warhill (1-6) is looking to end a five-game losing streak when the Lions host Colonial Heights on Jan. 4.
Grafton: 23 18 13 10 — 64
Warhill: 2 7 10 14 — 33
Grafton: Murillo 19, Durant 14, King 14, Bombay 5, Hawkins 4, Alves 4, Brown 4
Warhill: Belle 15, Davis 9, Brooks 8, James 1
3-point goals: Grafton 7 (King 4, Murillo, Durant, Bombay), Warhill 1 (Davis)