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Barons regroup for conference playoffs
SoVaNow.com / February 19, 2014After winning the James River District regular season championship, the Bluestone Baron boys turned in a lackluster outing in the tournament championship on Sunday, losing to Prince Edward, 63-47.
The game, which was originally scheduled for Friday, was postponed two days due to the snowstorm and winter weather that blanketed Virginia and the southeast last week.
Bluestone and Prince Edward were neck-and-neck for most, if not all, of the regular season — with Bluestone edging Prince Edward by one game to take the regular season crown and the one-seed entering the tournament.
With Sunday’s loss, Bluestone was assigned a #2 seed entering conference tourney play this week. Prince Edward grabbed the #3 seed in the conference. The Quad-Rivers 34 Conference tournament was scheduled to begin last night (Tuesday).
Bluestone will host #7 seed Nottoway at Bluestone on Tuesday night in first-round play. Brunswick, the reigning 2A state champions, is also part of the Quad-River 34 Conference field (the new VHSL conference system matches up schools of similar size). Brunswick is the top seed in the postseason tournament and earned the opening night bye.
On Sunday, fans got to see some good basketball from both teams, but the Barons weren’t consistent enough to turn back a very good Prince Edward team, which was playing before a home crowd in Farmville. Unfortunately, the things that have made Bluestone winners the entire season — offensive energy, all-out hustle and a strangling defense — came in spurts.
Prince Edward played a well balanced game, and once the Eagles got the Barons down they refused to let them get back up. The Eagles scored 27 points from three-point land and had only one quarter where their output was shy of 14 points — in the second period, when Bluestone held PE to eight points.
Devin Roberts earned a double-double on the night, leading Bluestone with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Roberts was the only Baron in double figures. Bluestone’s highest point production came in the second and fourth periods, when they scored 13 in each.
The Eagles’ Malik Dabney paced all scorers with 19 points. Teammate Vilontae Eanes added 17.
Both teams opened the game playing to their strengths. Dabney hit a three-pointer to get the Prince Edward offense going. Bluestone’s Ovon Bullock responded with a nice power move on the baseline to bring the score to 3-2.
Keith Patrick put Bluestone ahead 4-3 when he hit a basket in the lane. The teams knotted the score at six after Antwuan Tucker drilled a basket and the Eagles put up three more points.
From this point on, Prince Edward owned the quarter, outpacing Bluestone 14-3. Dabney knocked down nine points in the frame; Teequan Banks also played a good quarter for Prince Edward, scoring seven points off the blocks.
The Eagles took a 20-9 score into the second quarter.
Bluestone started to play like the number-one seed as the second period began. Roberts got active in the paint and the team started hitting some outside jumpers.
The Barons scored 13 points in the quarter and held Prince Edward to eight. Roberts and Dashawn Pamplin had four points each to take the Barons into halftime down only by six, 28-22.
Prince Edward had its highest point production in the third quarter, scoring 21 points. Bluestone was held to12 points, with Roberts scoring eight of those.
Prince Edward was led by Dabney and Eanes, who combined for 13 points in the third. The Eagles led 49-34 at the close of the quarter.
Both teams played each other fairly close in the final frame, with the Eagles edging Bluestone 14-13. Bluestone tried to slow the game down by fouling their opponents beginning at the 3:17 mark and the scheme may have worked — but Prince Edward went nine-of-16 from the line.
Tre Watson had six points for the Barons in the fourth. Eanes led his team in the final period with seven points, en route to the 63-47 Eagles’ win.
Bluestone 9 13 12 13
Pr. Edward 20 8 21 14
Bluestone: Winbush 6, Pamplin 6, Bullock 4, Roberts 14, Tucker 4, Patrick 5, Watson 6, Mosley 2.
Prince Edward: Eanes 17, Watkins 8, Dabney 19, Hurt 2, Vaughan 5, Williams 1, Banks 11.
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