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No. 1 seed Park View rips Broncos in district semis

South Boston News
Marctavious Holmes works in the paint on offense during the Dragons’ victory over Franklin Monday night in the district tournament. / February 14, 2018

The Franklin High School Broncos, led by head coach Robby Cutchins, traveled west to South Hill Monday night to face the Park View Dragons in the semifinal game of Tri-Rivers District Basketball Tournament.

After splitting their regular season matchups — each team winning on their home court — Monday night belonged to the Dragon boys as they prevailed 64-51 to move into the Tri-Rivers tournament championship game Tuesday (last night).

The Dragons were set to play Surry County for the title, with Brunswick County High School serving as the setting for the game.

Monday night’s contest featured two teams that already have clinched high seedings in the regional playoffs. Park View, with a top seed, will have a bye in the Class 3 Region A field. The Broncos squad is equipped to do some damage as well, going into the Class 1 Region A tourney as a number two seed. They will enjoy a bye in the first round before facing the winner of the Colonial Beach/Washington Lee matchup.

On Monday night, Franklin quickly found themselves in a hole as Park View dominated the opening quarter, 21-8. The Dragons went on a 15-5 run to pull ahead of their opponent and senior standout Charlzae Holmes set the tone early by stealing the ball on the Broncos’ first possession and finishing with an easy lay-up. Holmes would go on to lead all scorers on the night, hitting for 28 points.

Holmes had 10 points in the first quarter on two treys and a couple of two-pointers, Demetrious Bugg added five and Tae Holmes and Jatonio Seward added three each.

The Bronco offense found some life in the second period, however, and cut into the Dragons’ lead on the strength of three-point baskets by Nyjay Pope, Devantae Jefferson and Rosean Rawlings. Malik Haley also hit a long bomb of a three for the Broncos to cut the Dragons’ lead to eight as the quarter came to a close. But Seward hit a deuce for PV with 12.8 seconds on the clock to push the Dragons’ lead back to ten at the half, 35-25.

The second half started well for Franklin as N. Pope hit a trey early, but other than a couple of free throws that was it for their scoring in the third until the final minutes. Holmes hit a deuce for the Dragons and then after a steal by Seward, Holmes dropped a trey through the net to extend the lead to 40-28.

After that, Seward hit a pair of two pointers, C. Holmes continued his hot hand for a free throw and a basket, and Park View added four more points at the foul line. After Pope scored his third trey of the night for the Broncos, Park View still enjoyed an 18-point lead.

However, a lapse in concentration led to a back court violation by Park View and the Broncos took advantage with 18 seconds remaining in the quarter. D. Jefferson hit a clutch trey to cut the lead back to a slightly more manageable 15 points, 51-36 PV.

The Broncos would outscore their hosts 15-13 in the fourth quarter but by then the Park View advantage was insurmountable. The combination of the home court and the size and speed advantage of the Dragons was too much for the Broncos to overcome.

In addition to Holmes’ stellar 28-point night, the Dragons got 10 points from Seward, seven from Holmes and five points apiece by DeAndre Miles and Demetrious Bugg.

Afterwards Coach Danny Watkins stated, “We’ve been building for this time of the season, and I’m proud of the way these young men are playing right now. I also want to thank the Park View fans for coming out and supporting us all year long.”

Broncos Coach Cutchins said, “We fell into a hole early, I think it was 21-6 or something like that and that hurt us. That happened last time we came here. This is a great basketball team [the Dragons] and you can’t fall behind like that and expect to win.”

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