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Despite having just six players on its roster, Denbigh's girls basketball team gave Jamestown everything it could handle in the first half of Thursday's Conference 18 semifinal game.
However, depth and foul issues eventually caught up to the Patriots as the Eagles pulled away late during a 78-62 win that sends Jamestown to the Conference 18 championship game.
The short-handed Patriots had an ace up their sleeve in the first half: Angel James.
James, who posted a game-high 33 points, came out of the gates on fire and sank her first four field goals in the first quarter. She accounted for 12 of Denbigh's 18 first-quarter points and logged 24 first-half points for the Patriots.
Behind James' strong play, Denbigh opened the game on an 8-2 run and quieted the Jamestown crowd. The Eagles shifted from man-to-man to a 2-3 zone, which slowed down the Denbigh offense, albeit temporarily.
The defensive intensity allowed Jamestown to claw its way back into the game and take an 18-15 lead. Seemingly hitting every shot she took in the first half, James tied the game at the end of the first quarter with a half-court buzzer beater that banked off the backboard.
Thursday's game could just have easily been mistaken for a track meet in the second quarter, as both teams pushed the pace of play and sought to score in transition.
While James continued carrying the offensive load for Denbigh in the second quarter, Jamestown leaned on balanced scoring from the likes of Jamiyah Johnson and Caroline Boyd to keep the game close.
With Jamestown trailing 39-34 late in the second quarter, Boyd pulled up for a buzzer-beating 3-pointer that brought Jamestown within two points of Denbigh heading into halftime.
The adjustments for Jamestown in the second half were simple: Shut down James.
"We decided to leave the others open and let them beat us," Jamestown Coach Mary Glisan said. "She is so good and consistent. We put more pressure on her. Once she got rid of the ball, we didn't want her to get it back."
The plan worked to near perfection as James, who shot 9-of-13 from the field in the first half, struggled to find her rhythm in the second half, scoring just nine points on 2-of-13 shooting.
Denbigh also made a halftime adjustment to focus more on Johnson, who finished the game with a double-double of 26 points and 21 rebounds.
Jamestown took advantage of this strategy by feeding the ball to Corynthian Williams in the second half and out-rotating the Patriots. Williams logged 13 of her 19 points in the second half.
With both offense and defense clicking, Jamestown strung together a 12-3 run to take a 49-42 lead with 3:03 left in the third quarter. By the end of the quarter, Jamestown led 55-44.
Jamestown, taking advantage of foul trouble on the part of Denbigh, repeatedly attacked the paint in the fourth quarter knowing Denbigh players would have to challenge shots and risk picking up fouls or allow easy buckets.
Denbigh tried its best to slow down Jamestown's post attack, but eventually ran out of bodies. With less than two minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, Denbigh was left with four players on the court and two sitting on the bench after fouling out.
The final buzzer sounded with Jamestown soundly ahead by 16 points, guaranteeing the Eagles a spot in the Group 4A East tournament.
But before Jamestown (14-7) plays a regional game, the Eagles will prepare to host the Conference 18 championship game Friday against Heritage.
Denbigh: 18 21 5 18 — 62
Jamestown: 18 19 18 23 — 78
Denbigh: Scales 11, Grigsby 8, James 33, Langhorne 6, Woods 2, Barnes 2
Jamestown: Johnson 26, Boyd 9, Graves 9, Williams 19, Simmons 9, Peterson 6
3-point goals: Denbigh 5 (James 4, Langhorne), Jamestown 3 (Johnson 2, Boyd)
Tabb Advances to Conference 27 Finals
Tabb will advance to the Conference 27 championship game after blowing out Phoebus 63-26 at home in the semifinal round of the tournament Thursday night.
The Tigers jumped out to an early 7-0 lead in the first quarter, which set the hosts up to control the pace of play throughout the game. By the end of the first quarter, Tabb held a 17-8 advantage.
Phoebus battled back in the second quarter, edging the Tigers by one and sending the game into halftime with Tabb leading 30-22.
Paced by Imani McDowell-Jarmon's double-double of 16 points and 12 rebounds, the Tigers began pulling away in the second half.
Over the final two quarters of play, Tabb outscored Phoebus 33-4 to blow the game open and end Phoebus' season.
Tabb (20-2) will now prepare to host I.C. Norcom at home Friday in the Conference 27 championship game. Regardless of the outcome, the Tigers will advance to the Group 3A East tournament.
Phoebus: 8 14 3 1 — 26
Tabb: 17 13 15 18 — 63
Phoebus: Artis 5, Evans 3, Lance 2, Howard 3, Murphy 2, Korby 11
Tabb: McDowell-Jarmon 16, Clemons 14, Royal 4, Smith 9, Rodgers 1, Williams 7, Macfarlane 2, Dadez 4, Harper 5, Bunting 1
3-point goals: Phoebus 2 (Artis, Howard), Tabb 3 (Clemons, Smith)
Warhill Blows Out Colonial Heights
Warhill dominated Colonial Heights 70-29 at home Thursday evening to advance to the Conference 25 championship game.
With three players scoring in double figures – Olivia Schulz with 16, Jessica Cooke with 13 and Kieran McClure with 12 – the Lions dominated all four quarters during the blowout victory.
The Lions took control of the game in the first quarter, building a 22-7 lead after eight minutes of play. By halftime, Warhill's lead sat at 38-10.
Colonial Heights was unable to slow Warhill's roll in the second half, as the Lions continued pulling away down the stretch for the comfortable win.
Warhill (12-9) will host Park View-South Hill on Friday in the Conference 25 championship game. Win or lose, the Lions will advance to the Group 3A East tournament.
Colonial Heights: 7 3 4 10 — 29
Warhill: 22 16 19 13 — 70
Colonial Heights: Parrish 7, Biermann 2, Tomlinson 2, Reid 6, Laine 3, Peterson 9
Warhill: K. Cooke 8, Doherty 3, Walters 7, Fannin 6, J. Cooke 13, Schulz 16, McClure 12, Ford 2, Brungot 3
3-point goals: Colonial Heights 3 (Parrish, Reid, Laine), Warhill 4 (Doherty, McClure 2, Brungot)
WCA Dominates Isle of Wight
Williamsburg Christian Academy cruised to a comfortable 68-16 win at home against Isle of Wight Academy on Thursday.
The win caps a perfect regular season in-conference for WCA, which went 10-0 in Metro Conference play.
Led by 19 points from Aquazia Jones, the Eagles built an early 15-2 lead after through one quarter of play. By halftime, WCA's lead ballooned to 32-5.
The points kept coming for WCA in the second half as the Eagles pulled away from Isle of Wight for a 52-point victory.
WCA (14-4) will now wait for its opponent in the Metro Conference tournament that begins next week.
Isle of Wight: 2 3 5 6 — 16
WCA: 15 17 21 15 — 68
Isle of Wight: Mullen 1, Blair 2, Terry 2, Petroski 2, Rountree 5, Webb 4
WCA: Davie 3, A. Jones 19, Musfelt 3, Boger 14, Franklin 12, Chillers 17
3-point goals: WCA 5 (Davie, A. Jones, Musfelt, Boger 2)
Walsingham Falls Against Bishop Sullivan
Walsingham Academy closed its regular season with a 48-35 road loss to Bishop Sullivan on Thursday.
Despite 17 points from Christine McBeath and 10 points from Chelsea Marcombe, the Trojans struggled to keep pace offensively against Bishop Sullivan.
Walsingham fell behind by three points in the first quarter, but trailed by nine points entering halftime.
The second half was no better for the Trojans, who fell behind by an additional five points in the third quarter that ultimately put the game out of reach.
Walsingham (6-14) will now wait for its opponent in the Tidewater Conference of Independent Schools tournament, which begins Tuesday.
Walsingham: 10 10 7 8 — 35
Bishop Sullivan: 13 16 12 7 — 48
Walsingham: McBeath 17, Marcombe 10, Williams 4, Mauk 2, Julien 2
Bishop Sullivan: Moran 12, Lundquist 3, Gaughan 6, Malley 7, Mooney 4, Dibuono 16
3-point goals: Walsingham 2 (McBeath 2), Bishop Sullivan 4 (Moran 2, Dibuono 2)
HRA Ends Regular Season With Loss
Hampton Roads Academy ended its regular season with a disappointing 49-23 loss at home against Norfolk Collegiate on Thursday.
The Navigators were limited offensively by a bigger and faster Norfolk Collegiate team. No HRA players were able to reach double-digit scoring during the loss.
Norfolk Collegiate built an 11-4 lead after the first quarter and established a 23-9 halftime advantage.
The second half featured more stellar defense from Norfolk Collegiate, which continued to limit scoring opportunities for the Navigators. With the offense not clicking, HRA fell further behind until the game came to a close.
HRA (3-11) will now await its opponent in the TCIS tournament that begins Tuesday.
Norfolk Collegiate: 11 12 12 14 — 49
HRA: 4 5 8 6 — 23
Norfolk Collegiate: Grinnan 8, Larkin 8, Casper 2, McGurn 4, Tessler 3, Beale 6, Powell 5, Madison 11
HRA: Davis 5, Kingsbury 7, Teagle 6, Arcand 5
3-point goals: Norfolk Collegiate 2 (Grinan, McGurn)