WYDaily.com is your source for free news and information in Williamsburg, James City & York Counties.
With Bruton and Tabb both playing a game less than 24 hours after the conclusion of their games last night, Thursday's showdown came down to which team was better prepared for a grind.
By the end of the night, it was clear Bruton was the team better fit for a grueling, up-tempo game as the Panthers cruised to a 68-49 win at home against the Tigers.
Bruton Coach Brenner Carter said his team works extensively on conditioning toward the end of practices, which he refers to as the "fourth quarter."
Down the stretch of Thursday's game, it was apparent Bruton was more energized than Tabb, which allowed the Panthers to force turnovers and win in transition.
"I'm thinking [our conditioning] is paying off," Carter said. "In the games, a lot of teams are tired or play slower in the third and fourth quarter. We just started picking up our pace."
In an otherwise lopsided game, Tabb's Jalin Jordan kept the Tigers competitive through in the first half. Jordan, who had a game-high 23 points, scored all nine of Tabb's first quarter points.
Jordan opened the game on fire, scoring six consecutive points to give Tabb a 6-0 lead early. Bruton responded with a 9-0 run of its own to retake the lead, which the Panthers did not surrender the rest of the way.
Bruton held an eight-point edge after the first quarter, but saw Tabb close the gap slightly in the second quarter. Aiding the Tigers in this feat was a Bruton foul with .5 seconds left in the half on Tabb's Evan Glass, who was attempting a 3-pointer.
Glass stepped to the line and sank all three free throws, cutting Bruton's lead to 32-26 by halftime.
The third quarter was all Bruton as the Panthers opened the second half on a 9-0 run to stretch their lead to 41-26.
As Tabb fell further behind, the Tigers started attempting to push the pace of the game. This strategy played into the hands of Bruton, which likes to play an up-tempo style.
The Tigers struggled to hang control the ball and get set in their half court offense, which led to turnovers and transition points for Bruton. By the time the dust settled in the third quarter, Bruton held a commanding 51-36 lead over Tabb.
Bruton opened the fourth quarter in a similar manner as the third, starting on a 7-0 run to take a 58-36 lead over the Tigers.
With the game well out of reach, Bruton and Tabb both subbed in reserve players down the stretch as the Panthers coasted for the win.
Bruton (9-5) has now won back-to-back games and will continue its season on the road against York on Jan. 29. Meanwhile, Tabb (8-8) will play a tough road game against Smithfield that same day.
Tabb: 9 17 10 13 — 49
Bruton: 17 15 19 17 — 68
Tabb: Jordan 23, Jansen 2, Pearson 7, Hunter 4, Eleby 4, Glass 3, Ross 2, Myatt 2, A. Brown 2
Bruton: Adkins 10, Calloway 15, Jones 19, Carr 14, Taylor 6, Ashlock 2, Hood 2
3-point goals: Tabb 1 (Pearson), Bruton 2 (Calloway, Taylor)
Grafton Coasts Past New Kent
Grafton overcame a slow first-half performance to earn a 69-57 road win against New Kent on Thursday.
The Clippers were led Thursday by Kiran Durant and Bryce Alves, who scored 19 and 14 points, respectively. Brent Parker added 12 points for Grafton in the win.
Grafton built a solid 10-point advantage after the first quarter, but saw a scrappy New Kent team cut into the Clippers' lead before the half. By halftime, the Clippers led New Kent 32-26.
A strong third quarter helped put the game away for Grafton. The Clippers outscored New Kent 23-10 in the third quarter, which allowed reserve players to enter the game late in the fourth quarter during what proved a relatively comfortable win.
Grafton (14-2) will look to build on a four-game win streak when the Clippers visit Lafayette on Jan. 29.
Grafton: 21 11 23 14 — 69
New Kent: 11 15 10 21 — 57
Grafton: Durant 19, Murillo 4, King 3, Alves 14, Brown 2, Parker 12, Izzard 2, Hawkins 5, Bombay 8
New Kent: Lugg 9, Claytor 13, Brown 11, Cox 5, McCaughan 7, Reeders 6, Downer 4, Amades 2
3-point goals: Grafton 8 (Durant 3, King, Parker 2, Bombay 2), New Kent 6 (Lugg 2, Claytor, Brown, Reeders, Downer)
HRA Routs Nansemond-Suffolk Academy
Hampton Roads Academy had little trouble downing Nansemond-Suffolk Academy during a 92-68 road victory Thursday.
Leading the way for the Navigators was Anthony Hart, who logged a game-high 29 points. Anthony Picott had 24 points, while Devone Humphrey and Patrick Phillips each logged 17 points.
The Navigators held a steady lead throughout the game, starting with a five-point edge after one quarter. By halftime, HRA held a 49-39 advantage over Nansemond-Suffolk Academy.
Things continued in the second half as the Navigators continued to build on their lead during a night in which the Navigators shot nearly 50 percent from the field.
The Navigators outscored Nansemond-Suffolk Academy by six points in the third quarter and eight points in the fourth quarter for the easy win.
HRA (8-6) will continue its season Tuesday with a home game against Bishop Sullivan Catholic.
HRA: 24 25 21 22 — 92
NSA: 19 20 15 14 — 68
HRA: Humphrey 17, Wingfield 1, Hart 29, Picott 24, Mather 2, Phillips 17
NSA: Locke 14, Smith 21, Askew 2, Salmon 3, Ebermine 6, Shiembob 1, Patterson 21
3-point goals: HRA 8 (Humphrey 3, Hart 5), NSA 2 (Locke, Salmon)