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Bluestone falls to 4-3 in JRD with losses to Statesmen, Dukes

South Boston News
Bluestone’s Kwali Hester drains the deuce against Randolph-Henry. (Mike Moseley photo)
SoVaNow.com / January 17, 2018
Bluestone varsity boys basketball team returned to action last week and dropped two James River District contests, losing to Randolph-Henry 67-56 on Friday and 76-73 to Cumberland the previous Tuesday.

The Barons fell from a battle for second place in league play with a record of 4-3 in the James River District, 5-7 overall. Goochland (7-0), Cumberland (7-2) and R-H (6-1) hold the top three spots, in that order. Buckingham and Nottoway are right behind Bluestone, tied at 3-4.

Bluestone was scheduled to play Prince Edward (3-7) last night on the road, and the Barons have a make-up game with Goochland on Thursday. They are set to finish out the week at home versus Amelia on Friday.

Bluestone also played a non-conference game Saturday against Martinsville in the Bluestone Basketball Classic. The Barons lost, 37-33, but for anyone that loves a good defensive matchup, this was it.

Friday night versus Randolph-Henry, Bluestone’s Chris Gregory scored 22 points to lead all players, but it still wasn’t enough as a very good Statesmen team handed Bluestone its third conference loss of the season.

The Barons have a decent team but they have had trouble putting together four solid quarters of play. And so it was again on Friday.

Bluestone opened with a strong first quarter, scoring 15 points. Gregory led the Barons with six points and Jordan Hill had a trey in the frame.

R-H answered with 21 points in the first. The Statesmen were good at pushing the ball and attacking the rim and did so for most of the night.

Statesmen senior-forward Billy Brantley, Jr. led R-H with six points. Nasheim Pettus and Treymon Roberts had four each. R-H led at the end of one, 21-15.

The Barons outpaced R-H in the second quarter, 15-14. Gregory had eight points and was six-of-six at the stripe. Teammate Michael Harris had a deuce and hit both of his foul shots for four points.

Trying to open up their three-point scoring, Bluestone went two-of-15 in the first half and two-of-eight on trey attempts in the second half.

R-H’s Kevon Boyd dropped in six points to lead his team in the second. The Statesmen went to halftime ahead, 35-30.

The third period was where Bluestone faltered on offense and R-H took full advantage. The Barons had a nine-point third stanza. In contrast, R-H lit up the cords for 18 points.

A Devin Pettus three-pointer was the highlight for the Barons in this period. Tremaine Pugh, who led the Statesmen with with 18 points on the night, had a big third quarter, scoring 10 points as R-H took a 53-39 lead into the final period.

The Statesmen opened the fourth strong and stretched their lead to 19 points, 58-39. With 6:45 seconds remaining in the game Bluestone went on an 11-0 run to close to within eight points.

Bluestone had its best offensive performance in the fourth period, posting 17 points. But a solid finish by R-H secured the 67-56 win and a sweep of Bluestone in regular season play.

In Tuesday’s game versus Cumberland, Barons’ head coach Benjamin Sizemore said the Dukes were good but Bluestone had ample opportunities to win the match-up.

Bluestone took the “L” at 76-73. Sizemore said the team played well but just allowed too many points by Cumberland — a shortcoming to their game that Sizemore spoke to after the Halifax holiday tournament that he said needed improving.





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