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Barons rally to defeat Amelia, 58-50 / December 24, 2018
Bluestone used a 28-point second half and some very solid defense on Wednesday night to take down Amelia 58-50 in Skipwith and remain atop the James River District as the Christmas break approaches.

Bluestone led by senior Chris Gregory with 17 points. Nile Atwater and Michael Harris, both juniors, also locked in double figures posting 16 and 12 points on the night, respectively for Bluestone.

The gritty win — propelled by defensive play in the second half — has Bluestone in first place in the JRD with a record of 5-0. The Barons have had two losses this season, both non-conference outings against Brunswick and Park View for a 5-2 overall record. Bluestone went into a rematch with PV on Thursday night with hopes to avoid being swept on the season by their cross-county rivals. (Park View won the game 58-46; see related story.)

Before the game even began, Amelia was at the foul line shooting two for a dunk call on Bluestone during warmups. The Raiders converted one-of-two for the pre-game 1-0 lead.

Bluestone took the opening tip and immediately began to post points for the 8-1 score. Taveion Small opened with a jumper, Harris followed with a couple baskets and Gregory popped a deuce.

After the timeout, Amelia came out and hit their first shot. But Bluestone continued to post points and soon had a 14-3 lead behind the play of Atwater.

Gregory dropped in four more points for what seemed like a comfortable 16-5 score. But Amelia put on quite an offensive display with less than three minutes left in the first, outpacing Bluestone 11-2 and ending the first period down by two points at 18-16.

In the second period Bluestone continue to play well on offense but couldn’t contain Amelia’s offense. The Raiders posted three quick points to move ahead 19-18.

Gregory was fouled on a strong move to the goal but missed both fouls shots. Amelia drained another basket before Atwater swished a trey to tie the game at 21-21 with 6:12 left in the frame.

At the 4:03 mark Amelia pushed ahead 25-23 and raised that score to 30-25 before Small drilled a trey to for the 30-28 Amelia lead. Bluestone had a nice steal and dunk by Atwater as the frame ended. Amelia led at the half 34-30.

Bluestone, which has struggled at the foul line this season, was two-of-six in the first half and would go on to post a dismal nine-of-21 at the stripe for the game. Though this statistic hasn’t jumped up to bite them thus far in conference play, foul shooting may present difficulties when the team enters postseason play if they don’t improve this aspect of their game over the course of the regular season.

When the Barons returned to the court in the third period their defense immediately stepped up from the first half. Bluestone scored 16 points in the third while limiting Amelia to only eight points.

Atwater led his team in the third with seven points in the third. Harris had a great play in the lane in the period. After having one of his shots blocked, Harris retrieved the ball and went up for a for what would be a powerful slam-dunk, which sent the Barons fans over the top. Bluestone was up 46-42 at the end of the period.

The Barons continued their trapping defense and full-court pressure in the fourth period. The defensive pressure keyed a 12-8 final period for Bluestone, with Gregory pacing the team with seven points for the 58-50 win.

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