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December 30, 2012

Ronald Curry Classic - Day 3 Recap

Recap of W.T. Woodson's Championship


Bishop Sullivan 77, Williamsburg Christian 62: In the final day of action at the Ronald Curry Classic at Bethel High School in Hampton, VA, the Bishop Sullivan Crusaders notched a victory by jumping out to a 15-point half-time lead and increasing that advantage to as many as 28 going into the fourth quarter in their 77-62 triumph over Williamsburg Christian.

In the first half, Bishop Sullivan was about as efficient as a team could be. They shot 15-of-27 from the field, 5-for-11 from three-point distance, 8-for-10 from the foul line and committed only two turnovers.

Guard DeAndre Barber, a transfer from First Colonial, finished with 18 points, giving him 53 for the three-day tournament. Thomas East also shared team-high scoring honors with Barber at 18 points. East had 46 points for the tourney.

Both Barber and East scored 11 points apiece in the first half. Darren Belardo chipped in 13 points to raise his total to 38 over the three days for the Crusaders.

To lead the way for Williamsburg Christian, senior sharp shooter Jake Duncan put up 28 points. Amazingly, that was his lowest total of the tourney, coming off a pair of 30-point performances in defeats. Duncan, headed to play his College Basketball at the Division I level for NJIT, led all tournament scorers with 88 points.

Postgame Audio with Bishop Sullivan Coach Chris Harris


Lake Taylor 61, Booker T. Washington 47: A pair of Eastern District schools met up in the fifth place game at the Ronald Curry Classic in a matchup. Of course, the outcome wouldn't affect the league standings, but it would give someone some confidence and a winning taste in their mouths heading into the New Year.

The Lake Taylor Titans got to taste victory, beating their Norfolk rival the Booker T. Washington Bookers 61-47. Lake Taylor is now 7-2 overall, while Booker T. drops to 4-7 overall.

Early on, it looked as if Booker T. Washington might win. The Bookers led 20-19 at the half and didn't commit their first turnover in the game until 2:10 remaining in the second quarter. Titans junior guards Treyvond Lockhart and Darnell Jenkins sparked a third quarter run that gave Lake Taylor the lead, and Grant Payne drilled a step back three-pointers to end the period, increasing the advantage to 43-34 heading to the fourth quarter.

Lockhart, the Eastern District's leading scorer, finished with 21 points on 8-of-15 shooting from the field. A couple of members from Lake Taylor's State Championship winning football team, Jalyn Holmes and Donovan Powell, paid big dividends on the hardwood as well. Holmes nearly recorded a double-double with nine points and 12 rebounds, while Powell added 11 points and eight boards.

Also giving Lake Taylor a boost in the fourth quarter as they pulled away was Demonta Ward, who scored all five of his points in the game's final period. The Titans completely controlled the backboards in the afternoon encounter, out-rebounding Booker T. by 22.

For Booker T. Washington, they had a pair of seniors score in double-figures with Zain Upshur's 13 points and Marquise Coleman's 12 points. Upshur also collected 10 of their rebounds.

The Bookers were plagued by their shooting, both from the foul line and beyond the arc. BTW shot 1-for-7 from three-point distance and 16-of-29 at the charity stripe.

Lake Taylor won the first meeting of the season, 57-43 at the Booker Dome. These two teams will meet for a third time on January 18th at Lake Taylor.


Bethel 66, Thomas Edison 59: Trying to avoid falling two games below .500 mark going into January for the first time in over a decade, the Bethel Bruins erased an early deficit and held on after nearly coughing up an 18-point lead in edging the Thomas Edison Eagles from the Northern Region, 66-59 in the third place game at the Ronald Curry Classic.

Bethel trailed 15-14 at the end of one quarter as Edison junior guard Markus Brumsey, part of a terrific backcourt tandem that also includes junior Chief Amoah, scored eight points. Although Amoah would finish with 18 points, the Bethel defense tightened the screws, holding Brumsey to just two points over the final three quarters.

In addition to the tight defense, senior point guard and D-1 prospect Rakeen 'Roc' Brown of Bethel warmed up after half-time, scoring 17 of his 19 points to give Brown 58 for the tournament.

"I was really encouraged that we defended better today," said Bethel Head Coach Craig Brehon, whose team lost a tough one the night before to eventual Curry Classic Champion W.T. Woodson.

"Our kids contested passing lanes, stayed in front of their man and rebounded well for a small team out there. Edison's a good ball club and I thought we handled ourselves well until the end of the game. We're a young team and we kind of go as Roc goes. If he doesn't play well we kind of buckle as well."

Carrying the offensive load for Bethel in the first half was senior DaShawn Barton, whose older brother Davon was a standout for the Bruins years ago and played his College Basketball at Christopher Newport University.

DaShawn injured his knee right before the half, but would return. Barton ended up with 15 of his 21 points coming in the first half. For the tournament, he scored a team-high 71 points.

"Not bad at all, and we need him to put the ball in the hole," Brehon added. "I think his confidence is growing, he understands the shot selection we want him to take and DaShawn is a really good ball player. He and Roc are shooting about 70% of our shots this year, so they've got to make plays for us to have success."

The Bruins lived at the foul line, converting 25-of-34 attempts from the charity stripe. Brown made 9-of-11 free-throws to go with six rebounds, four assists and three steals. Barton hit 8-of-9 from the foul line.

Edison (4-5) would have a shot to pull within two or one with under a minute to play, but Drew Walton came up with two clutch defensive plays for the Bruins, blocking a shot and getting a steal. Walton had seven points and eight boards. Also reaching in double-digits in scoring for Bethel with 10 points was senior forward Karlus Grant.

Now an even 5-5, the Bruins have their sights set on making a run in the rugged Peninsula District. Last season, Bethel was led by Aaron Bacote, the co-Peninsula District Player of the Year who's now a freshman contributor at Old Dominion. That team just barely missed out on the regional playoffs. This year's squad doesn't want to make it two years in a row without getting to regionals.

"We needed a win tonight against a quality opponent and needed something positive to happen going into this tough Peninsula District stretch," Brehon noted. "This was a key win for us and hopefully we can build on this. We have the talent base to be in that top four. We've just got to start believing in ourselves."

Postgame Audio with Bethel Coach Craig Brehon


Ronald Curry Classic All-Tournament Team:
W.T. Woodson's Peter Murray
Herndon's Will Ferguson
Herndon's Dorian Johnson
Bethel's DaShawn Barton
Williamsburg Christian's Jake Duncan

Matthew Hatfield serves as State Basketball Analyst for VirginiaPreps.com, part of the Rivals.com Network. Check out Hatfield's Twitter page for more sports related updates, and you can also read his work in the Suffolk News Herald. To contact Matthew, please e-mail hatfieldsports2k4@yahoo.com, and don't forget to listen to him on High School Sports Talk from 10AM to Noon on ESPN Radio 94.1, plus watch him on the Cox 11 Sports Report.

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