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Season ends for Park View girls in state quarterfinals

South Boston News
Park View’s Nieya Hawkins gets a rare open look at the basket Friday night against William Monroe at Orange County High School.
SoVaNow.com / March 06, 2019
A dream season for the Park View girls basketball team came to an end Friday night in the quarterfinals of the VHSL Class 3 state basketball tournament as the girls fell to William Monroe High School, 56-31.

The final score fails to do full justice to the competitiveness of the contest, with Park View closing to within six points in the third period before the Lady Dragons of William Monroe went on a late run to pull ahead decisively.

The 2018-19 season was one of the best in recent memory and maybe ever for the Lady Dragons of Park View. Their 19-9 record set a school mark for most wins ever in a season, and senior standout Nieya Hawkins became the first player in at least 20 years to crack the 1,000-point mark for career offense. The PV girls finished as region tournament runners-up and earned their first trip to the state tournament in decades.

William Monroe has compiled an impressive season as well. Their record is currently 22-2, they are the Class 3 District B champions and will face the Region A champion Hopewell Blue Devils with a berth in the state championship game on the line. Monroe’s Samantha Brunelle is an up-and-coming star, a 6’2” athletic player who has signed a letter of intent to play at the University of Notre Dame.

The Park View defense caused considerable trouble for Monroe in the early going, holding them scoreless for the first 3 minutes 45 seconds of the game. The trouble was that PV couldn’t take advantage on offense and failed to score until the four-minute mark in the first period when Hawkins hit a free throw. William Monroe then went on a 6-3 scoring run to close out the period, but Park View had to feel pretty good to be trailing by only four points, 8-4, as the second period got under way. Park View’s cause got a boost at the buzzer when Nakkia Shabenas nailed a clutch trey.

After a Monroe basket at the 7:25 mark of the second period, Tyonne Montague followed with a two-pointer for Park View to make the score 10-6. Unfortunately for Park View, the Monroe Lady Dragons began to find their rhythm and started to build a lead. After scoring just two points in the first quarter, Brunelle grabbed seven of her team’s 20 points in the second, helping William Monroe vault ahead 28-15 at the half.

Leading the way for Park View in the second quarter were Azaria Williams with five points, Mikya Harrison and Montague with three each, and Teonia Watts with a free throw.

After the intermission, Park View ramped up the defensive pressure and quickly began to eat into Monroe’s lead. Coach Mike Barmoy used a triangle defense on WM star Brunelle and it made life difficult for her. Unfortunately, there were other Monroe players to take up the slack.

The Park View girls worked hard and made some good things happen. At the three-minute mark Deoana Watkins hit a clutch deuce, drawing a foul in the process and cutting the Monroe lead to 31-23. Less than a minute later, Nieya Hawkins got a clean look at the basket and hit a two-pointer to cut the lead to six, 31-25 with 2:05 left in the third.

But Monroe came storming back and H. Harris found her range, scoring five points in the last 1:40 while Brunelle added two. With that, the lead was back up to 14 points, 39-25, as the third stanza ended.

H. Harris continued her torrid scoring for Monroe, opening the fourth with a quick trey at the 7:12 mark. Mikya Harrison posted a deuce at the 7:20 mark and then the rim went cold for Park View as the girls were held scoreless until late in the period. Meanwhile, William Monroe took full advantage and posted 17 points in the period to take the game by the 56-31 final score.

Afterwards, Barmoy had nothing but praise for his Lady Dragons. “We made a lot of strides this year, I mean look at last year, we were fourth in the district at 16-10 overall, fifth in the region. This year we end up third in the district and second in the region, get to the region final, get to state, most wins ever at 19-9, so yeah — we had a great year.

“I’m proud of every one of them,” Barmoy said of this year’s team. “Everyone contributed to our success. Like I told them in the locker room, at the start of the season there are 46 3A teams in the state, we were one of just eight to make it here, now there’s just four left and at the end of the year there’s only one team that’s happy. That’s just the way it is.

“I’d like to recognize my seniors, Nieya Hawkins, a great four-year career, 1,000 point scorer and I’ll have to check but she’s very close to being the all-time leading scorer for Park View. Nakkia Shabenas has really improved, her ball handling and shot making have gotten much better, and DeShay Sturdivant has improved as well, she has come off the bench and given us quality minutes regularly. Those three will be sorely missed.”



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