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Bluestone defense leads way in win over Lunenburg

South Boston News
Da’Trione Shearin played a good defensive game vs. Lunenburg and was the game’s high scorer with 18 points (Mike Moseley photo) / December 11, 2019

The Bluestone Barons varsity basketball team matched stifling defense with more than adequate offensive play to defeat Central Lunenburg 64-26 on Tuesday to open the James River District season.

Bluestone’s Da’Trione Shearin paced all scorers on the night with 18 points. Michael Harris added 10 points, and Tywen Hatcher and Larry Bullock each had eight.

T. Wilkerson led Lunenburg (0-2) on the offensive end with 11 points.

The Barons (1-0) limited Lunenburg to six points in the first quarter, and eight in the second. Lunenburg scored 12 second half points, ten of those in the third period.

Harris and Bullock each said after the game that the Baron offense got most its points due to the defense. Yet as a team, Bluestone can still improve on “D,” both said.

“I feel like we can still work on our defense,” Harris said. “We have a good team and everybody is working together. I really liked how we played defense on getting back on fast breaks.”

Several times, fast break opportunities by Lunenburg were quashed due to the Barons moving quickly to defend the goal and shut down passing lanes. Harris said his offensive output was a product of the defense. Harris had two powerful dunks in the first half of play, which were direct results of solid defense.

“Defense creates offense but I do feel like as a team we need to be moving our feet more,” Bullock said. “We played good defense tonight but we can be a lot better.”

That may be a comment opposing teams would not want to hear. Bluestone jumped out to a 12-0 score to start the game. It was at the 3:02 mark in the opening period before Lunenburg posted its first basket.

Bullock ran the point guard position well on Tuesday and several of the Barons baskets came off of good decision-making by Bullock. After coming off the bench last season to run the point, Bullock said he’s right at home in the starting position this season.

“It felt good running the point tonight,” Bullock said. “Actually I’ve run the point in starting positions before so it just felt natural getting back to what I know.”

Bluestone ended the first quarter leading 18-6. Harris posted eight of his 10 points in the frame. Shearin and Bullock chipped in four each and Xavier Sturdifen added a deuce.

The Barons saw their best offensive output in the second period where they scored 23 points. Shearin knocked down eight of the 23. Tywen Hatcher, Victor Small and Petey Jones had six, four and three points, in that order.

Hatcher, a senior, has really improved his game this season. Small and Jones are both sophomores. Baron head coach George Lancaster said he was impressed with the play of the younger guys on the team who saw court time.

“I was real pleased with the young kids tonight,” Lancaster said. “Michael is who he is. Larry is who he is. Tywen really came on for us.

“Victor, Petey, Kwamel, the kids are getting better and they’re young and open to suggestions from the coach. When you’re open to suggestion from a leadership role, you can get better and you will get better.”

Bluestone had a dominating 41- 14 lead at halftime. That domination would continue in the second half.

The Barons’ 15-point third was led by Shearin with six. Bullock, Sturdifen and Small rounded out the scoring with four, three and two points, respectively.

Hatcher, Harris and Mayo were joined in scoring by Chris Bagley in the final period of the game, with each player getting a deuce to secure the 64-26 final.

Lancaster said he appreciates the spunk that this group of players brings to the basketball court.

They’re energized and I kind of like them,” Lancaster said with a smile and look of pride. “We’ve got to get better of course.”

Lancaster noted the Barons’ next game versus Buckingham would help him and the players get a better idea of where Bluestone stacks up in the JRD. The coach said that Buckingham has several players returning from last season and the Knights have a solid squad this season.

Bluestone was scheduled to play Buckingham last night (Tuesday) on the road. The team goes back-to-back as they take on Cumberland tonight in Skipwith to close out the week.

“We’ll see how we measure up and I’m looking forward to it,” Lancaster concluded.

Barons scoring: X. Sturdifen 5, L. Bullock 8, V. Small 6, D. Edmonds 2, D. Shearin 18, C. Bagby 2, T. Hatcher 8, M. Harris 10, P. Jones 3, K. Mayo 2.

Lunenburg: McGrath 3, Morrison 5, Wilkerson 11, Taylor 1, Warren 2, Sellers 4.

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