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On Wednesday, Bruton's boys basketball team did something only one other team had managed to accomplish this year: Find a way to knock off Jamestown.
Led by a game-high 23 points from Jalen Carr, Bruton sprung the upset over Jamestown on the road by a final of 71-63.
With teams approaching the end of the regular season, Bruton Coach Brenner Carter was quick to point out the significance of taking down Jamestown late in the year.
"Right now we're peaking probably at the right time," he said. "This win means we can play with anybody in the league."
The game plan for Bruton was simple heading into Wednesday's game: Shut down Evan and Mason Wang by pushing them off the 3-point line. The plan worked to perfection as Evan scored eight points, while Mason logged just seven points.
Jamestown began the game dominating from inside the paint and sinking shots from post moves. Michael Schmidt opened the game with seven first-quarter points, while Connor Swain added seven of his team-high 18 points in the opening quarter.
While the Eagles looked good early, Bruton's smothering man-to-man defense completely shut Jamestown down toward the end of the first quarter and throughout the second quarter.
Bruton trailed 21-17 following the first quarter, but reeled off a 20-0 run that began late in the opening quarter and lasted until there was 2:13 remaining in the first half.
During Bruton's offensive explosion, the Panthers drained a trio of 3-pointers and earned free throws while attacking the lane. On the other end of the court, Jamestown's shots simply stopped falling, whether contested or open.
The Eagles made just one field goal in the second quarter and connected on 3-of-6 free throw attempts.
"The feeling was electric," Carr said of the 20-0 run. "Bucket after bucket, we gained more energy. We just used [that momentum] and kept running with it."
Thanks to Bruton's scoring run, the Panthers found themselves with a 39-26 halftime advantage over the Eagles.
Bruton maintained its lead through most of the third quarter before Jamestown put together a critical 9-0 run that brought the Eagles within six points.
With Jamestown challenging Bruton, the pace of play picked up significantly as both teams began pushing the ball up the court, often sacrificing ball security in the process.
Both teams committed turnovers that led to points in transition for the other, which benefited Jamestown as Diamontae Brown scored eight of his 17 points in the quarter, most of which came during the final three minutes of the third quarter.
Bruton opened the fourth quarter on a 4-0 run, which prompted Jamestown to burn a quick timeout trailing 58-45 with about seven minutes left to play.
The Eagles slowly clawed their way back into the game as shots began falling. With 3:45 left, Jamestown trailed by 10 points. By the 2:25 mark, the Eagles were down six points. And with roughly two minutes to play, Jamestown had come back within four points of Bruton.
With Bruton leading 69-63 and 20 seconds on the clock, the Panthers ran a perfectly timed inbounds play that found Carr streaking alone down the court. The ball hit Carr in stride and he laid the ball up uncontested to put the Panthers up eight points, essentially securing the win for Bruton.
Bruton (11-5) has now won four consecutive games, including Wednesday's win that easily goes down as the biggest win for the program this season. The Panthers will look to continue that momentum at home against Poquoson on Friday.
Meanwhile, Jamestown (14-2) will try to rebound from its first loss since Dec. 7 against Smithfield. The Eagles will have a chance to avenge that loss when they host Smithfield on Friday.
Bruton: 17 22 15 17 — 71
Jamestown: 21 5 19 18 — 63
Bruton: Adkins 14, Calloway 12, Taylor 7, Jones 12, Carr 23, Danek 4
Jamestown: Brown 17, Schmidt 9, E. Wang 8, Swain 18, M. Wang 7, Klyman 2, Devine 2
3-point goals: Bruton 8 (Adkins 2, Calloway, Taylor, Carr 4), Jamestown 1 (Brown)
Lafayette Rains 3-pointers Against Poquoson
Lafayette worked its way back to a .500 record Wednesday evening as the Rams defeated Poquoson 67-53 at home behind a barrage of 3-pointers.
The Rams connected on 14 3-pointers, with five coming from Keyshawn Jefferson and Jason Adderty.
Lafayette attacked the lane often, but instead of finishing at the rim opted to kick the ball into the corner. With open looks, Lafayette's shooters drilled 3-pointers with regularity Wednesday – something Lafayette Coach Bobby Woollum said was not part of the game plan.
As the Rams jumped out to a 21-10 first-quarter lead, Woollum pulled back a bit in the second quarter and brought in some reserve players. During this stretch, Lafayette lost its momentum and was outpaced 20-11 in the second quarter by Poquoson.
By halftime, Lafayette had watched its lead dwindle to 32-30.
The Rams got back into their groove following halftime as players resumed hitting 3-pointers and simply outplaying the Islanders. After outscoring Poquoson 19-12 in the third quarter, the Rams outpaced them 16-11 in the final quarter to secure the 14-point win.
Lafayette (8-8) will look to extend a three-game win streak Friday when the Rams travel to play Tabb.
Poquoson: 10 20 12 11 — 53
Lafayette: 21 11 19 16 — 67
Poquoson: Costulis 16, Schuhart 3, Calloway 5, Taylor 11, McDevitt 6, Young 12
Lafayette: Jefferson 21, Woollum 8, Edwards 4, Adderty 15, Canaday 2, Perozek 3, Neville 14
3-point goals: Poquoson 4 (Costulis, Taylor, Schuhart, Calloway), Lafayette 14 (Jefferson 5, Woollum 2, Adderty 5. Perozek, Neville)
Tabb Trumps York at Home
Tabb made quick work of York at home Wednesday, downing the Falcons by a final score of 71-41.
While the Tigers put together a solid offensive performance, York had its share of struggles both from the field and from the free throw line. With York's players not connecting on shots, Wednesday's game got out of hand fast.
The Tigers built a quick 20-9 lead after the opening quarter and extended that lead by five points in the second quarter. By halftime, Tabb led York 35-19.
Balanced scoring by Tabb — Jalin Jordan was the only player to score in double figures with 13 points — helped the Tigers maintain their lead in the second half when substitute players began entering the game.
York was powerless to stop Tabb from extending its lead over the final two quarters; Tabb outscored York by four points in the third quarter and 11 points in the fourth quarter.
The win comes at a good time for Tabb (9-9), which had lost three consecutive games and five of its last six before Wednesday. The Tigers will host Lafayette on Friday.
Conversely, York (0-18) is still looking for its first win of the season. The Falcons will host Grafton on Friday.
York: 9 10 14 8 — 41
Tabb: 20 15 18 19 — 71
York: McFadden 8, Patrick 12, Kimrey 7, Bert 4, Dahl 4, Christian 6
Tabb: Jackson 2, K. Brown 2, Jansen 9, Glass 2, A. Brown 9, Eleby 5, Ross 4, Myatt 5, Pearson 2, Jordan 13, Knapp 3, Hunter 8, Smith 5
3-point goals: Tabb 5 (Jansen, A. Brown, Eleby, Myatt, Knapp)