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Bluestone boys’ conference title hopes upended by Prince Edward / February 26, 2014
The Bluestone Barons hosted the Prince Edward County Eagles Thursday in the semi-final round of the 2A Quad-Rivers Conference 34 tournament and fell to the visitors from Farmville, 64-49.

The Bluestone loss was the second in the same week to the Eagles, who just days earlier had defeated Bluestone to claim the James River District Tournament championship title.

The teams were ranked one and two the entire regular season, with Bluestone taking the regular season title and the #1 seed entering district tourney play. After losing the district championship game to the Eagles, the Barons were seeded #2 entering the conference playoffs; Prince Edward was the #3 seed.

But just as they did in the district championship game, Prince Edward totally dismantled the Barons. Whether it was on offense or defense, Bluestone had no answer for the Eagles and just played an uninspired game — in total contrast to the play that Barons’ fans had come to expect from the team the entire season.

Despite the loss, the Barons advanced to regional action with the new VHSL playoff format. The Barons were slated to travel to Nandua High School on the Eastern Shore Tuesday night to play in the first round of the Region AA East tournament.

In the conference semi-final game Thursday, Prince Edward held Bluestone to single digit scores for three quarters — something that hadn’t happened to the Barons the entire season. The Barons scored eight points in the first, nine points in the second and eight points in the third. The 24-point final period was just one point shy of the output for the first three periods.

Tre Watson led Bluestone with 16 points. Teammate Damian Winbush was the only other Baron in double figures with 12 points. Ovon Bullock finished with eight points in the game.

In contrast, Prince Edward scored 18 points in the first, 22 points in the second and 16 points in the third period. The Eagles only scored eight points in the final frame, but that was well after the Eagles turned to their bench.

The Eagles had three players in double figures: Malik Dabney had 20 points, and Vilantae Eanes and Teequan Banks had a dozen each.

As the game began, Bluestone got out the gate slowly and Prince Edward wasted no time in getting the Barons down. A score of 6-5, after being knotted at two, was the closest Bluestone got to the Eagles for the rest of the night.

After going up 8-5, Prince Edward went on a 10-3 run to end the first quarter. Banks and Dabney led the Eagles with six and five points, respectively, in the period. Antonio Jones had a trey and Eanes had a basket each.

Bluestone got deuces from Winbush, Bullock and Watson, but Prince Edward was up 18-8 at the end of the first.

A low scoring second quarter didn’t help Bluestone’s cause. Along with a Winbush trey, Bluestone had three other players to contribute a basket — Bullock, Watson and Antwuan Tucker.

Bluestone was zero-of-six at the foul line in the second quarter and two-of-11 for the first half of play.

Prince Edward drained four treys in the second period en route to a 22-point frame. Eanes dropped two treys and a deuce; Dabney and Amonte Vaughan sank three-pointers and had a couple deuces to score five points each in the period.

The Eagles took the 40-17 lead into the half.

Bluestone came out in the third period and continued its sluggish play. The Eagles outscored the Barons 16-8 in the quarter and put any hopes of a Baron comeback out of the picture.

Tre Watson upheld Bluestone in the third, scoring seven of the team’s eight points. Prince Edward got seven points from Dabney. Banks hit a deuce and went two-of-two at the line; Deante Blanton had a trey.

Taking the 56-25 lead into the final frame, Prince Edward looked to finish the Barons off and that’s exactly what they did.

Though the Barons had 24 points in the final frame, it was to no avail. Dashawn Pamplin scored eight points in the quarter. Winbush had seven points; Watson had a trey and a deuce and Bullock added four.

Bluestone collected 39 rebounds, had 11 steals, 12 blocks and nine deflections. The Barons had a season low six assists and committed 20 turnovers. The team was charged with nine fouls — including two technicals.

Though the loss knocked Bluestone out of the conference run, hopefully the team will sync-up and get back to the things that made them the regular season champions as they prepare to start region play.

Bluestone was scheduled to open region tourney play, last night (Tuesday) at Nandua High School (Onley) — Bluestone, the Conference 34 #3 seed, plays Nandua, the Conference 33, #2 seed.

Bluestone 8 9 8 24

Prince Ed 18 22 16 8

Team Scores:

Bluestone: Winbush 12, Pamplin 8, Bullock 8, Roberts 2, Tucker 2, Patrick 1, Watson 16.

Prince Edward: Eanes 12, Jones 3, Watkins 4, Dabney 20, Blanton 3, Vaughan 7, Braxton 3, Banks 12.

Bluestone opened quarterfinal tourney play against the Nottoway Cougars on Tuesday night with a 24-point win, 68-44, to advance to the semifinals.

Bluestone’s Devin Roberts was the only player to score in double figures with 10 points, but the Barons got good offensive support from several players.

Barons Damian Winbush and Keith Patrick scored nine each in the game. Tre Watson and Antwuan Tucker added seven points apiece. Ovon Bullock and Deion Mosley drained six points each.

Nottoway’s S. Brown, with 17 points, led all players on the night.

The Barons played some great ball in the first half of play, holding Nottoway to nine points in the first period and four points in the second frame.

Bluestone put up 17 points in the first and 19 in the second to take a 36-13 lead into the half.

Nottoway played a more competitive game in the second half, outscoring Bluestone by two points in the third, 19-17. The Barons claimed the final period 15-12.

Bluestone gathered 39 rebounds in the contest, had 14 steals, nine blocks and 10 deflections. The team had 14 assists but also 11 turnovers and committed 19 fouls.

Bluestone 17 19 17 15

Nottoway 9 4 19 12

Team Scores:

Bluestone: Winbush 9, Richardson 3, Pamplin 4, Bullock 6, Roberts 10, Tucker 7, Patrick 9, Baskerville 2, Watson 7, Davis 4, Mosley 6, Hilliard 1.

Nottoway: S. Brown 17, Moore 6, B. Brown 2, Roy 2, king 3, Lewis 5, Walker 2, Delcney 7.

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