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Lions squeak past Park View for conference title
SoVaNow.com / February 10, 2014The Halifax County Middle School boys basketball team collected the Southside Middle School conference title Saturday night.
The Lions downed Park View, 44-42.
The Lions won in Friday action and kept the title hunt in force with a strong effort against Park View in the tournament, played at Powhatan.
Dashon Louden led the Lions with 16 points, while Tyonta Logan had 11. Jamal Brandon and Jordan Williams added eight apiece.
Lion coach W.J. Long delivered a direct, pointed message.
“Before the game we told the players that they had to believe they could win. They bought into it and played some unbelievable basketball. We were heavy underdogs in the finals and that was fine with us.
“We came right out of the gate and took a 4-0 lead. PV came back and got things tied up and it was back and forth all quarter. We played pack-line man and had T. Logan on (PV’s Johnson) full court trying to deny him the ball. Logan also hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer at the half and we took a three-point lead into the locker room.
“Told the guys we won one half, why not win another half? PV came out strong as we knew we that would and took a decent lead at the end of the third quarter. We made a couple adjustments and got some charges on the Johnson kid which gave him his third and fourth fouls of the game. Up until that point in the second half he was hurting us getting to the rim. After that fourth foul he wasn’t much of a factor on either end of the floor,” said Long.
There was plenty of late game drama.
The game was tied with about 25 seconds remaining.
There was plenty of final drama. HCMS got the ball to Brandon. He drove and kicked the rock to Logan in the corner. He hit his third “3” of the game. PV came down, and Johnson missed from 3-point range.
Louden snagged the rebound with seven seconds left. and PV fouled him. Louden sank both free throws - ‘Huge’, noted Long. That gave HCMS a 44-39 lead. PV had no timeouts remaining. Long told his players to allow PV to take its final shot. Park View a 3-pointer, but time ran out.
Johnson led Park View with 16 points. Davis had ten for the South Hill team.
HCMS advanced to the finals with a 53-39 win over Powhatan in the tournament semifinals Friday.
Brandon led the way with 19 points, while Louden had 18. Jennings added nine.
The Lions overcame a rocky start.
“They jumped all over us with a 3/4 zone press and we struggled, turning the ball over time and time again. Seemed a bit out of sorts and the score and play reflected it. Couldn’t get anything going in the first half - tried switching defenses, tried full court man, nothing was working,” said Long.
HCMS trailed at the half, 27-19.
“We gave the boys a long pep talk at the half and they responded with a 17-0 run to start the third quarter and we never looked back. They played inspired basketball; the intensity, hustle, it was good to see,” said Long.
Earlier, the Lionsadvanced to the semifinals of the Southside Middle School tournament with a 42-17 win over Lunenburg Wednesday.
“Not much of a match for us,” Long said.
Halifax led 25-2 at the end of the first period and 32-6 at halftime. Dashon Louden had a strong first period and ended up with a game-high 13 points.
Jamal Brandon hit a 3-pointer in the first period and scored all nine of his points in the opening quarter.
Cedric Jennings also contributed nine points.
Jordan Williams added four.
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