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After splitting the regular-season series, Jamestown and Grafton both prepared for a tough win-or-go-home matchup Thursday evening in the Conference 18 semifinals.
Jamestown came out on top thanks to solid defense and an uncharacteristically poor shooting night from Grafton during a 41-34 win at home in front of a raucous crowd.
The Eagles opened the game on fire from the field, jumping out to a quick 7-2 run against the Clippers. With 3:26 left in the first quarter, Evan Wang drilled a 3-pointer that put the Eagles up 12-5 and forced Grafton to take an early timeout.
Three-point shooting paced Jamestown in the opening quarter as Evan Wang and Mason Wang both sank a pair of 3-pointers during a first quarter in which Jamestown outscored Grafton 18-10.
"The kids were riled up to play and be in this situation," Jamestown Coach Donovan Bridgeforth said of Jamestown's first-quarter spark.
The high-scoring pace of the game slowed to a screeching halt in the second quarter as both teams began locking down the other on defense.
While Jamestown tried to limit the touches of Grafton's Kiran Durant, Jacob Murillo and Brent Parker, the Clippers were trying to hold the Wang brothers in check.
Unfortunately for the Clippers, Thursday's game proved to be their worst shooting night of the season. A team that relies heavily on 3-point shooting to pace its offense, Grafton shot 0-of-21 from the 3-point range against Jamestown.
"At the end of the day, we kind of live and die by [the 3-pointer]," Grafton Coach Jeremy Jordan said, his eyes still red and puffy from his final post-game meeting with this group of seniors. "Unfortunately, we came up a little bit short today."
With Jamestown leading 23-13 at halftime, the Eagles had to withstand a final second-half push from Grafton. The Clippers opened the quarter on a 6-2 run that cut Jamestown's lead to 25-19 with 3:21 left to play in the third quarter.
Durant found his only points of the game in the third quarter, hitting one field goal and sinking a pair of free throws during a four-point performance.
Leading by six points at the start of the fourth quarter, Jamestown managed to push its lead out to 11 points thanks to a key steal and score from Mason Wang.
With one final push, Grafton scrapped its way within five points of Jamestown with under a minute to play. However, Jamestown's players calmly sank their free throws to close out the game and end Grafton's season.
Jamestown (17-4) will host Heritage in the Conference 18 finals on Friday and are guaranteed a spot in the Group 4A East tournament.
"Our goal was to win the conference championship, and that's what we're focusing on," Bridgeforth said. "I'm proud of them for tonight, but we've got something for tomorrow night."
Meanwhile, Grafton's season comes to a close with a final record of 18-5.
"You've got to give Jamestown some credit tonight," Jordan said. "It was a tough night for us and it just wasn't meant to be."
Grafton: 10 3 10 11 — 34
Jamestown: 18 5 6 12 — 41
Grafton: Parker 4, Murillo 6, Alves 14, Durant 4, King 2, Hawkins 4
Jamestown: Swain 2, E. Wang 16, M. Wang 12, Schmidt 6, Schmidt 2, Greene, Lansford 2
3-point goals: Jamestown 5 (E. Wang 2, M. Wang 3)
Tabb Season Ends Against I.C. Norcom
Tabb's boys basketball team saw its season come to a close Thursday evening during a 71-47 road loss against I.C. Norcom in the Conference 27 semifinals.
The Tigers, who struggled at times to handle the Bay Rivers District schedule, were overwhelmed by a physical I.C. Norcom team featuring multiple Division I prospects.
I.C. Norcom jumped out on Tabb in the first quarter, building a commanding 20-6 lead through eight minutes of play.
Tabb responded well in the second quarter, increasing defensive pressure and attacking the paint more frequently on offense. These changes resulted in the Tigers outplaying I.C. Norcom in the second quarter and cutting into the Greyhounds' lead by three points.
I.C. Norcom held a 31-20 halftime lead over Tabb, but that lead would only grow in the second half.
A 28-13 third quarter that favored I.C. Norcom essentially put the game out of reach for the Tigers.
As a result, Tabb Coach Doug Baggett gave reserve players, some of whom were seniors in their final game, playing time starting late in the third quarter. The reserve players finished the game through the fourth quarter as Tabb's season (11-12) came to a close.
Tabb: 6 14 13 14 — 47
I.C. Norcom: 20 11 28 12 — 71
Tabb: Jackson 6, K. Brown 6, A. Brown 2, Eleby 3, Ross 5, Jordan 14, Knapp 6, Cooper 3, Smith 2
I.C. Norcom: Davis 22, Pope 6, Fields 16, Gordon 5, Ingram 12, Roberts 2, Allison 2, Jordan 3, Ransom 3
3-point goals: Tabb 3 (Eleby, Knapp 2), I.C. Norcom 7 (Davis 3, Pope 2, Jordan, Ransom)
Park View Ends Warhill's Season
Warhill's basketball season came to a close Thursday evening with a 68-48 road loss to Park-View South Hill in the Conference 25 semifinal round.
The Lions found themselves in a 17-point hole in the first quarter, which put Warhill in a tough position to rebound over the final three quarters of play.
The second quarter was more evenly matched between the two sides, but Warhill still trailed 40-22 at halftime.
Warhill (7-16) struggled to keep pace with Park View in the second half as the Lions fell further behind over the final two quarters during the 20-point loss.
Warhill: 10 12 14 12 — 48
Park View: 27 13 19 9 — 68
Warhill: Ashby 11, Brooks 2, Troy-Wilson 3, Stovall 2, Hunt 1, Belle 6, Davis 15, Rosario 2, Anzola 6
Park View: Johnson 23, Clark 2, Holmes 11, House 4, Petty 2, Cunningham 16, Davis 2, J. Ratliff 2, T. Ratliff 6
3-point goals: Warhill 2 (Troy-Wilson, Davis), Park View 4 (Johnson, Cunningham 3)
Hampton Roads Academy Edges Norfolk Collegiate
Brian Hart dropped 35 points as Hampton Roads Academy defeated Norfolk Collegiate 75-68 at home on Thursday to cap its regular season.
In addition to Hart's scoring output, Anthony Picott also added 22 points for the Navigators.
HRA jumped out to a six-point lead in the first quarter over Norfolk Collegiate, but saw its lead drop by one point in the second quarter. At halftime, the Navigators held a 34-29 lead.
The Navigators saw their lead shrink by one point in the third quarter, but held on for the win after outpacing Norfolk Collegiate 20-17 in the fourth quarter.
HRA (17-6) will now await its opponent in the Tidewater Conference of Independent Schools tournament, which begins next week.
Norfolk Collegiate: 14 15 22 17 — 68
HRA: 20 14 21 20 — 75
Norfolk Collegiate: Robertson 8, Grant 13, McNair 11, Chavis 9, Townes 27
HRA: Humphrey 9, Wingfield 5, Hart 35, Picott 22, Phillips 4
3-point goals: Norfolk Collegiate 4 (Grant 3, Chavis), HRA 6 (Humphrey, Hart 4, Wingfield)
Walsingham Falls on the Road to Bishop Sullivan
Walsingham Academy finished its regular season with a disappointing 59-49 road loss to Bishop Sullivan on Thursday.
The Trojans fell behind early against Bishop Sullivan with a five-point deficit after the first quarter. Walsingham cut into that deficit in the second quarter by two points, trailing 32-29 at halftime.
Bishop Sullivan blew the game open in the second half, outscoring Walsingham 19-6 in the third quarter. Despite Walsingham cutting into that lead by six points in the fourth quarter, the Trojans were still well behind by the time the final buzzer sounded.
Walsingham (18-7) will now await its opponent in the Tidewater Conference of Independent Schools tournament, which begins next week.
Walsingham: 16 13 6 14 — 49
Bishop Sullivan: 21 11 19 8 — 59
Walsingham: Gero 6, Washington 23, West 7, Demonda 2, Stewart 3, Vicentic 8
Bishop Sullivan: Baumgartner 2, Holmes 4, Simpkins 21, Price 2, Tebay 20, Johnson 10
3-point goals: Walsingham 8 (Gero 2, Washington 5, West), Bishop Sullivan 5 (Holmes, L. Tebay 4)