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Dragons rule over Brunswick, 76-63

South Boston News
Jatonio Seward threads the needle between two Brunswick defenders to score for Park View. (Steve Hinzman photo) / December 06, 2017
The Park View varsity boys continued their strong start to the 2017-18 hoops season by notching their sweetest win yet in the early going — a 76-63 thumping of the Brunswick Bulldogs.

The Dragons hosted the latest chapter in their intense rivalry with the Bulldogs Friday night in South Hill in front of a packed house. There’s some bad blood between the schools and everyone in the building was aware of it. Park View and Brunswick fans turned out in droves, and both groups spent the entire night attempting to drown the other out.

This early in the season, however, neither team knew quite what to expect from the other. What everyone soon discovered is what the game results in the young campaign have shown: Park View, now 3-0, can play.

While Friday’s game may not have lived up to some of the unforgettable contests in years past, there was plenty of action to keep the building rocking.

Park View jumped out of the gate fast, outscoring Brunswick 16-12 in the first quarter thanks in part to seven free throw conversions spread fairly evenly over the roster. The second quarter was more evenly matched, however, and Brunswick was able to outscore the Dragons 23-22 to trail at halftime by only three points, 38-35.

Brunswick’s K. Davis and A. Pleasants poured in eight points apiece in the second quarter to lead the Bulldogs, but on the other end, Charlzae Holmes lit up the scoreboard for the Dragons with two three-point baskets and four free throws for 10 points in the frame. Nile Atwater also had a trey and a regulation basket for five points as Park View held off the Brunswick charge to keep a narrow lead at the half.

Things went south for the Bulldogs in the third quarter as they were unable to overcome poor shooting en route to a six-point output in the stanza. Park View, meantime, kept up the pace with 16 points, giving the Dragons a 54-41 lead going into the final period.

The Bulldogs rallied in the fourth quarter and outrebounded the Dragons, scoring 23 points thanks to many, many second chances under their offensive basket. However, the speed and overwhelming pressure by the Dragons kept the Bulldogs from going on a roll, and the Dragons kept pace for a 76-63 hard-won victory.

“It was a good win,” said Dragon head coach Danny Watkins after the game. “With all the emotions and things going on [we] did enough to get away with the win …. The kids played hard, and all in all we’ve just got to work on execution.”

Watkins pointed to the improvement in free throw shooting as one of the keys to the outcome. “They concentrated and focused and knocked them down,” he said of his players, stressing the importance of accuracy at the foul line: “They are free for a reason.”

Park View got contributions throughout the rotation Friday, with Charlzae Holmes leading the scoring charge with 22 points and Marctavious Holmes and Nile Atwater not far behind with 15 points each. Also cracking double figures was Jatonio Seward with 11 points.

Playing in their season opener, the Bulldogs were led by Kitiko Davis Jr. with 23 points, Anthony Pleasants with 15, Jaquan Miller with eight and Reginald Walker with seven.

The Dragons, who came into Friday’s contest fresh off a win earlier in the week over 5A opponent Halifax County, now must prepare for their biggest test yet of the season: Monday’s matchup with Tri-Rivers District rival Greensville in Emporia.

“One of the biggest things is to get this chemistry down pat,” said Watkins of his Dragon ball team. “Getting folks in and out of the line-up right now, I’m trying to feel them [players] out with the rotation and all and they are coming around.

“It will be a real test on Monday,” he emphasized. “Greensville is a great team, they get up and down just like we do, they’ve got great guards but hey, we’re going to work hard and see what happens.”

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