Commodores Punch Final Four Ticket

Regional Tournament Semifinals:
Final - - #1 Maury 64, #2
Green Run 45

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>The Maury Commodores were in pain.
style=> They swept the Green Run Stallions during the
regular season, including a dramatic comeback from 14 points down to earn an
automatic berth to regionals and the top seed for the playoffs from its conference.
style=> But in the Conference 9 Tournament
Championship a week ago at the Norfolk Scope, Green Run outplayed them in picking
up the trophy, 58-52.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"Although I knew we were going to play them again, I
was hurt. I knew they thought they had a
leg up on us coming in because they beat us," said Maury freshman point guard
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>Matt Coleman.
style=> "It was a wake-up call and different from the
Cape Henry game because that one was around Christmas time and this one came against
a team we knew we had to go through. We
had to put the pedal to the metal and show them who's the

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>This time with the stakes far greater in the 5A-South
Regional Tournament semifinals at Portsmouth's Churchland
High School on Friday night, Maury started much faster and stronger and never
trailed after gaining the lead late in the first quarter en route to a 64-45

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Their clear motivation was to get revenge for that
defeat, avoid elimination and punch their ticket to the State Playoffs, which
they did, earning a matchup versus reigning AAA State Champ Henrico in the
5A-South Regional Championship on Monday night at Churchland.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"We talked about that since last Saturday; that we
thought they played harder than we did and wanted it more than we did on the
boards. I thought we were determined
tonight not to let that happen again," declared Maury Head Basketball Coach
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'> Jack Baker, the VHSL's active wins
leader with 694.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Every time Green Run was on the verge of making a run,
Maury knocked them backwards. Following
a three-point make by the Stallions with 2:09 to play in the first half that
trimmed the deficit to six, the Commodores closed the second quarter with a
pair of baskets to increase the lead to 10.
And in the third quarter after Green Run cut a 14-point deficit down to
nine, Maury poked the ball away for a steal.
They scored that possession and then entered the fourth quarter up 12
when Coleman found sophomore Anthony
Williams for a three-pointer at the buzzer.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Coleman's distributing skills were on display as he
finished up with seven assists.
Nonetheless, it was his emphatic jam in the fourth quarter with 4:58
remaining that pushed the lead up to 19 and brought the crowd to its feet.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"I taught him how to dunk," joked Baker.
style=> "He's lucky he made it because if he had
missed he would've been sitting next to me.
You run out of words to describe the young man.
style=> The thing I liked best about him tonight was
he ran the show for us and was in total control the entire game, and as a
freshman you don't say that very often."

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Even afterwards, the gym was still buzzing over his
incredible slam that left a lasting impression on fans.
style=> In many ways, it was the defining moment on a
night where the Commodores pushed their record to 24-2 overall and clinched a
State Tournament spot for the eighth time under Baker.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"It was something I had in my package.
style=> I was saving it for tonight," stated Coleman,
who already holds such in-state offers from UVA, ODU and Virginia Tech.
style=> "I picked the right time to bring it out."

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Maury's 64 points were the most Green Run has allowed
in a game this season. Previously, it
was 57 to Norview in the Conference 9 Tournament semifinals.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>For Green Run, their season concludes at 22-5 overall
as the Stallions were denied of their first State Playoff berth in 30
years. They also saw their season long
nine-game winning streak come to an end, nearly going undefeated the entire
month of February.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>In defeat for the Stallions, 6-foot-4 senior forward
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>Jamaal Matin scored
a game-high 22 points on 1-of-19 shooting with eight rebounds and three blocks,
drawing praise from Baker afterwards.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"He's a good player.
He's tough inside, can shoot the 3 and they all do," he said.
style=> "Anybody that gets this far is good; there
are no bad teams left in this thing. Coach
normal'>Harris does a great job with them and they play hard every game for
32 minutes. We had to meet that
challenge tonight."

Player of the Game:
style=> Maury G Mike Basnight
- - It
was a balanced effort for the Commodores like it has been so many times on the
year as five players scored between eight and 15 points.
style=> Leading the way was Basnight
with 15, a major uptick over the past three games when he shot a total of
7-of-24 from the field and didn't hit for more than 10 in any of those outings.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Dealing with a knee that was less than 100% the past
few times, Basnight appeared to be limited, but this
time much like the first regular season meeting between these two schools, his
defense made the biggest impact. He
helped slow down Conference 9 Player of the Year
normal'>Tyler Blount, holding him to eight points on 3-of-13 shooting.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"I thought Basnight did a
great job on Blount," Baker stated. "He
shadowed him the whole way. Overall, I
thought our entire defense was exceptional."

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>A compelling case also could be made for junior sub
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>David Reed.
style=> Nicknamed 'Duke,' the backup guard for the
Commodores chipped in 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting and gave them steady minutes
to spell Coleman and Basnight in the backcourt as he
has done all season long in solidifying their rotation.

mso-highlight:yellow'>Keys to Victory:

- - Set a Tone Early:
was about playing with more intensity; more fire and desire for the
Commodores. They often lacked at times
in the previous meeting with Green Run, and although the Stallions won the
rebounding category 30-18, Maury competed better
inside with Jaleel Ferguson scoring
in the paint and Shyheim
class=SpellE>Draughan challenging shots around the cup.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>As a result, Maury at times made Green Run go faster
than they probably would've liked.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"We didn't press as much as we normally do, but we felt
just in our half-court defense we could still speed them up, make them take
quick shots and some bad shots," noted Baker.
"And with that, rebound and run.
It worked out well for us."

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Down 10 less than two minutes into the second quarter,
Green Run was unable to get comfortable and reacted much differently playing
from behind than they did even or ahead like the case was at Scope.

#2 - - Minimize Mistakes:
the entire game, Maury turned it over just five times.
style=> They committed only one turnover in 16
minutes of basketball in the second half.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"That means we were being patient on offense because
usually we'll have about 15 turnovers since we're going up and down the court,
not being patient. I think that says we
know how to take care of the ball and know what to do to get the job done,"
said Coleman.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"I want to make everyone around me better.
style=> When that happens, it works out for us.
style=> When everybody's doing their part and playing
hard, we're usually winning."

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Baker chalks it up to a simple reason why they had such
a low turnover number - - they have one of the best point guards around, even
if he is a ninth grader.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"That goes back to Matt," he believes.
style=> "He handles the ball 80% of the time and he
makes good decisions. He plays well
beyond his years, I can tell you that."

#3 - - Keep Green Run off the Foul Line:
"Verdana","sans-serif"'>With 16.1 seconds to go in the third quarter, Green Run
trailed by 11 and Blount headed to the free-throw line to shoot.
style=> That also was the first free-throw attempts
of the night for the Stallions. Maury
knew that in order to be successful, they had to defend at a high level without

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"The last time they beat us, they were getting up and
down the court, getting open shots and were able to get to the free-throw line,"
recalled Coleman. "We had to take pride
in our defense to win the game and we got it done."

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>In the Conference 9 Tournament Championship, Green Run shot
15-of-19 at the charity stripe, attempting 10 more foul shots than Maury
did. The Commodores ended up going
9-of-11 compared to 4-for-5 by the Stallions.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>The way Maury defended quickly got Green Run out of a
rhythm offensively.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"We felt like eventually Matin
and Blount would go 1-on-1," commented Baker.
"As long as we had help inside with our big guys Jaleel and Six (
class=SpellE>Draughan), we felt pretty good about our chances."

style='text-decoration:none;text-underline:none'>Postgame Audio with Maury
Coach Jack Baker

Final Stats:

style=> (24-2)
Mike Basnight - - 15Pts. 5-10FG, 3-6 3's, 4Ast. 3Stl
Jaleel Ferguson - - 12Pts. 5-9FG, 2Reb. 2Blk.
David Reed - - 12Pts. 5-7FG, 2Reb.
Anthony Williams - - 9Pts. 3-7FG, 6Reb.
Matt Coleman - - 8Pts. 3-7FG, 7Ast. 3Stl.

Run 45:
style=> (22-5)
Jamaal Matin - - 22Pts. 10-19FG, 8Reb. 2Ast. 3Blk
Tyler Blount - - 8Pts. 3-13FG, 1-5 3's, 4Reb.
Sterling Carrington - - 4Pts. 2-4FG, 9Reb.
Shaun James - - 4Pts. 2-4FG, 3Reb.



115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";text-decoration:none;text-underline:
none'>Matthew Hatfield
style='font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif"'>
serves as State Basketball Analyst for
style='font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";
115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif"'>, part of the
Network. Check out
text-decoration:none;text-underline:none'>Hatfield's Twitter page
115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif"'> for more sports related updates,
and you can also read his work in the
style='font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";
text-decoration:none;text-underline:none'>Suffolk News Herald
115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif"'>.
To contact Matthew, please e-mail
style='font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";
115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif"'>, and don't forget to listen to him
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