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Park View slams ‘Dogs in renewal of rivalry

South Boston News
Demetrius Bugg skies for a one-handed jam on a fast break during Friday night’s game against Brunswick in Lawrenceville. The Dragons won, 56-52. (Steve Hinzman photo) / January 17, 2018
The Park View Dragons varsity traveled east Friday night to do battle with their arch-rivals, the Brunswick Bulldogs, and the two team played another tough, hard-nosed game the likes of which fans on both sides have come to expect.

In the end, however, it was the Dragons who came out on top, 56-52, as Park View maintained its perch atop the Tri Rivers District.

From the opening tip-off, the game was an exciting one. Brunswick jumped out to a 6-0 lead at the five-minute mark before the Dragons finally got their footing on a fast break lay-up by Marctavious Holmes. Park View forward Demetrius Bugg brought the crowd to a frenzy with two quick back-to-back slam dunks on fast breaks to tie the game at 8-all.

The teams traded points through the rest of first quarter and Park View held a one-point lead as the period was ending. But this time it was Brunswick’s J. Pearson who brought the gymnasium to its feet with a spectacular three-pointer from way outside, giving the Bulldogs a 14-12 lead as time expired in the frame.

The back-and-back struggle continued in the second quarter. PV opened the frame with a quick two points on a strong offensive rebound and put-back by Jaison Dugger. Then Jatonio Seward joined the dunkfest at the seven-minute mark with two back-to-back slams of his own. As pandemonium raged among the PV fans in attendance, Bulldog head coach Charreko (Reko) Walker to call a timeout to settle his team and let the hubbub subside.

The pause worked as the Bulldogs’ J. Firman scored a deuce on a lob pass from Gordon Johnson to stem the PV momentum. But Park View did some serious hard work rebounding under the basket and D. Bugg hit a two-pointer at the 5:20 mark. The teams traded quick baskets and Coach Walker called another Brunswick timeout at 3:16 to talk strategy with the score tied at 22-22. Soon after, the Bulldogs’ O. Walker got a bucket and was fouled at 2:13 and converted the free throw to put Brunswick up by three.

Park View’s J. Seward added to his highlight reel with a tip-in at the one-minute mark and then the Dragons got a steal and Shakur Bell made an easy lay-up to put PV team ahead by one with seconds left to play in the half. Brunswick’s J. Firman drew a foul with one second to go and converted one of two from the charity stripe and the teams headed to the locker room for a much-needed breather tied at 26 all.

The third quarter was another close-run affair between the two teams, but Park View pulled ahead by three points at the end of the frame. Brunswick opened the scoring on a deuce by Firman at the 7:05 mark, quickly matched by a two-pointer from Bugg. The Dragons and Bulldogs pretty much went toe-to-toe, trading punches for most of the third with PV clinging to a 40-37 lead as the fourth quarter began.

Kitiko Davis came alive for Brunswick in the final period, scoring eight points, with the first two-pointer coming inside of 30 seconds. Seward answered for PV at the 6:20 mark to restore Park View’s three-point lead. The teams continued to trade baskets and the tension was mounting when the Bulldogs were called for a technical foul at the 2:52 mark, apparently for talking back to the official. J. Seward converted one of two from the line for the Dragons and PV took possession of the ball, but it did not turn this gift into points.

A Brunswick player then drove strong to the basket and the Dragons’ D. Bugg was called for blocking in a play that frankly could have gone either way. Soon after, Nile Atwater took a hard foul from the Bulldogs’ Ricky Gilliam and went to the line, but he was unable to convert either free throw. At this point, PV was clinging to a 49-48 lead when D. Miles hit a deuce at 1:45 to extend the Dragons’ lead to three.

The Bulldogs were unable to convert on their next trip up the court and M. Holmes scored two points with 1:12 left to give PV a five-point lead, 53-48. Brunswick’s R. Walker then stepped up and scored his only points of the game on a deep trey that touched nothing but net. With the Bulldogs trailing by only two, Coach Walker called a timeout to discuss options.

With just 23 seconds remaining, J. Pearson robbed a PV player and was fouled attempting to drive to the basket putting him to the line to shoot two. He missed the first, prompting a sigh among the Bulldog fans, but then he hit the second, giving BHS renewed hope as they now only trailed by one point. M. Holmes then drew an intentional foul and hit one of two free throws to extend the Dragons’ lead to two. The Bulldogs advanced the ball quickly down court but the PV defense throttled them, with Holmes snagging a defensive rebound. He was then intentionally fouled with 10.8 seconds to play.

Holmes stepped up confidently to the charity stripe and sank both tries, extending the PV lead to four, 56-52, with just 10.8 seconds left to play. During a final BHS timeout, a scuffle broke out in the vicinity of the Brunswick student section, next to the band, prompting several Brunswick County Sheriff’s deputies to run across the court and into the stands. Pandemonium reigned for a few minutes and to both teams’ credit, calm heads prevailed and the decision was made to end the game at this point in the interest of public safety. Preliminary unconfirmed reports indicated that the incident involved two or possibly more Brunswick County middle school students and there were no PV students involved.

Afterwards in the locker room, PV head coach Danny Watkins expressed reservations with how his team played, despite the victory. “We didn’t play Park View basketball, we got caught up in the emotions of everything that’s going on and really didn’t settle down … the whole night,” he said. “We found a way to pull it off,” added Watkins. “We live to fight another day.

“We just need to live and learn, learn to control our emotions and settle down and play basketball. I understand at the beginning of a game getting caught up [in the atmosphere] but you’ve got to be disciplined enough to run what needs to be run and make good decisions from ther.

“One thing we know about the Brunswick Bulldogs is they are going to play hard from the first quarter to the fourth quarter,” said Watkins. “They are well coached to do that.”

Box score

PV: J. Seward 13, M. Holmes 15, M. Davis 2, N Atwater 4, D. Miles 4, D. Bugg 10, S. Bell 4, J. Dugger 4

BHS: R. Walker 3, G. Johnson 4, O. Williams 3, J. Firman 15, K. Davis 8, S. Glasgow 4, M. Hicks 6, J. Pearson 4, R. Gilliam 4

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