We are here at the Norfolk Scope awaiting the beginning of the Eastern
Region championship game between the Great Bridge Wildcats (24-3) and
the Kecoughtan Warriors (25-4) who advanced to this contest following
their respective wins over the Hampton Crabbers and the Kings Fork
In the opening game of the doubleheader here at the Scope, the Princess
Anne Cavaliersdefeated the Lake Taylor Titans by a score of
55-48 to capture their tenth regional since 1998. The win ran
the Cavaliers season mark to 28-1 and set up a state quarterfinal
showdown with the Central Region runners-up, L.C. Bird on Friday at the
Constant Convention Center on the campus of Old Dominion University.
The loss dropped Lake Taylor to 25-1 on the season and will send the
Titans up to the Seigel Center on the campus of Virginia Commonwealth
University on Thursday night where they will play the Central Region
champon Highland Springs Springers.
My esteemed colleague and site basketball guru Matthew Hatfield is
working as the television announcer for the Cox 11 broadcast of the
boys game tonight so I am stepping in as guest blogger here tonight.
No worries, I can type and I've watched more than a couple of
games this season.
For you regular blog-watchers, please note that I work a little bit
differently than Matthew in that I will not be putting the newest entry
on the top of the blog, but rather at the bottom with each blog entry
separated with a horizontal line.
Hopefully, it works out well for both of us.
style="font-weight: bold;">Girls Recap
Princess Anne was led by Gaidva Hubbard who scored 22 points on 7 of 16
shooting with 5 rebounds, 5 steals, and 4 assists. Her main
support came from Alexis Platt who pulled 12 rebounds and scored 10
points in the win. four of the team's six blocks in the
middle came from Janayla White who also grabbed nine rebounds and
scored five points.
For the Titans of Lake Taylor, Feyonda Fitzgerald totaled 23 points
with 8 rebounds, 4 steals and 2 assists to pace their attack while
Endia McKinney reached double digits with 10 points, 6 reoubnds, 3
steals and 2 blocks.
The difference in the game came when Princess Anne outscored Lake
Taylor 16-5 in the second quarter to carry a 12-point lead into the
half and one that they extended to 14 at the end of three before
settling for the 55-48 victory.
The boys are on the court now with just over 17 minutes remaining until
game time. I'm going to grab a quick water and meet you back
style="font-weight: bold;">Tip off Time
As we head towards the tip-off, one notable missing person from the
arena this evening is the Kecoughtan Warriors mascot, a student at the
school who wears a full headdress and is usualy involved in pumping up
the crowd. I'm quite surprised that he's not here;
superstitious Kecoughtan fans should be concerned.
Athletically, these two schools should match up pretty well though
there may be a slight height advantage for Kecoughtan.
The loser here will travel to Richmond to meet the winner of the John
Marshall v. Henrico contest while the region champion will play at Old
Dominion against the Central loser.
Some spotty shooting early after Kecoughtan's Greg Alexander hits a
three-pointer to open the contest as each team has now missed on their
last three trips.
A Steven Bienlien follow tip cuts the lead to one point (3-2) but both
teams still look at bit rushed early on.
Marcus Evans strokes back-to-back threes to give the Wildcats a 8-3
advantage but Rajay Bullock scores inside to answer. A Mark
Madison triple and a slashing drive by Evans have propelled Great
Bridge to a 13-5 advantage with just over 2:30 to play in the first.
It's safe to say that Great Bridge has settled in first.
style="font-weight: bold;">Ending the First Quarter
Trailing 15-5, Kecoughtan gets a runner from Lawrence Williams to cut
the Great Bridge lead to 8 and the Warriors backed that up with a
Williams steal and bucket from the other end pushing them to within six
of the 'Cats.
A Great Bridge miss leads to a transition basket for Alexander as he
finishes his drive with a dunk making the count 15-11 at the end of the
Could have been a disaster for Kecoughtan as Great Bridge hit them hard
early, but the Warriors responded.
Looks like a good one.
style="font-weight: bold;">Second Quarter
Marcell Haskett opens the scoring for Kecoughtan in the second quarter
with a running and-one play that makes the count 15-14 giving the
Warriors nine straight points. That string is broekn when
Bienlien scores inside. 17-14 with just over six minutes to
Lawrence Williams knots us at 17 with a three from the corner for the
Warriors who have now completely erased the Wildcats' early ten-point
A Hasket runner at one end and Bullock rebound at the other have the
Warriors rolling and leading for the first time.
Evans answers with a floater in the lane to tie us up again but William
Askew responds with a three-pointer to make it 22-19 Kecoughtan with
four minutes left in the quarter.
Beinlien scores on a putback to cut the Kecoughtan lead to one.
style="font-weight: bold;">To the Half
Bullock adds another bucket and Great Bridge turns the ball over on the
other end as we get our first time out of the contest with Kecoughtan
leading 24-21 with 2:38 to play.
The Lake Taylor football team made for a strong rooting section in the
first contest but they might be surpassed by the Great Bridge moms
chanting and pom-pom waving.
Back to the action...
Bullock converts one of two free throw attempts. 25-21
Warriors with the ball after another Wildcats' turnover.
A steal by Evans turns into nothing at the other end as Great Bridge
misses their next shot.
Speaking of missing their next shot, Great Bridge's Bienlien just sent
a running Kecoughtan shot into the first row with a HUGE block from the
weakside, something that he's made a living doing throughout this
postseason run for the 'Cats.
At the half, Kecoughtan leads 26-23 and we've really not solved
anything to this point. The Warriors are seemingly winning
more of the hustle points and 50/50 balls but they've had to rely a bit
more on their outside shooting than they normally would.
Great Bridge is getting outstanding production out of Evans who has
over half their points but they've done a nice job getting open shots
and have to feel good to be this close in a game where they haven't
played their best yet.
style="font-weight: bold;">Halftime Stats
Marcus Evans - 14 pts, 2 assts, 1 stl
Steven Bienlien - 6 pts, 6 rebs, 2 blks
Lawrence Williams - 7 pts, 2 rebs, 1 asst, 1 stl
Greg Alexander - 6 pts, 3 rebs, 1 asst, 1 blk
Rodney Bullock - 5 pts, 5 rebs, 2 asst, 2 blk, 1 stl
Marcell Haskett - 5 pts, 3 rebs, 1 asst, 1 stl
style="font-weight: bold;">Here We Go
With not much settled in the first half, it reamins to be seen if
Kecoughtan can continue getting contributions from so many players
while Great Bridge searches for some more scoring help for Evans.
Bullock gets the first bucket of the half to push the Kecoughtan lead
to five at 28-23.
Andre Banks gets his first point of the game for Great Bridge hitting
on one of two free throws; 28-24 Warriors.
Mark Madison adds a three-pointer to cut the lead to two but Lawrence
Williams responses with a bucket.
Great Bridge is right back in it with a Byron Williams bucket, his
first of the contest. Might be a great sign for the Wildcats
that others besides Evans are finding the hoop. Madison adds
another score and it's suddenly 31-30 Warriors lead.
style="font-weight: bold;">Get us to the Exciting Conclusion?
Great Bridge grabs the lead with a Bienlien and-one score inside that
give the 'Cats a 34-31 lead.
A scary mmoment for Great Bridge as two players collided and it appears
that Marcus Evans got the worst of it lying on the floor for several
minutes. He got off the court on his own accord but with 2:42
to go and Great Bridge leading 35-31, it may be something to watch out
Additional good news came for the Warriors as the mascot has arrived!
Explaining that he had to work, he rushed over and has
annouced that now is "Turn Up" time for his team.
Remains to be seen.
style="font-weight: bold;">Back End of Third Quarter
A score inside by Great Bridge is answered with two free throws by
Alexander to amek it 37-33 Great Bridge with just over a minute left in
Evans checked back into the game and looks 100% so great news there.
Will Askew hits a triple for Kecoughtan and the Warriors then turn a
failed possession by Great Bridge into a Bullock score inside giving
the Warriors the lead again at 38-37.
Evans drives and is fouled but makes only one of two shots seending us
into the final stanza with the score knotted at 38.
style="font-weight: bold;">Game on the Line
Back-to-back scores by Aaron ferguson and Byron Williams push Great
Bridge to a 42-38 advantage to open the period as they take (somewhat)
control of the contest.
Haskett drains a pair of free throws to cut the lead to one score;
Banks drives and dishes to Evans to bottoms out a three-pointer to make
it 45-40 Great Bridge.
Bullock gets a foul call on a drive where a vocal portion of the crowd
called for travel and he makes one of two. 45-41.
Bullock makes a play in the lane at the other end leading to a breakout
for Lawrence Williams who is fouled on the drive. He converts
one of two. 45-42 Great Bridge.
Held ball on a rebound gives the ball back to the Warriors down three
but they fail to convert.
The teams trade misses with just over four minutes remaining.
style="font-weight: bold;">Winning Time
Bienlien and Bullock trade buckets inside to make it 47-44 Great Bridge
but Evans hits an and-one runner in the lane to push the lead to five.
On his missed free throw attempt, Bienlien cleans up the
glass with a putback score making it 51-44 with 3:19 to go.
Full timeout, Kecoughtan.
Lawrence Williams' shot from the corner falls short for Kecoughtan and
Byron Williams misses the front end of a one-and-one for Great Bridge.
Lawrence then hits a putback bucket for Kecoughtan to make it 51-46
with 2:41 to play.
style="font-weight: bold;">Closing Moments
Bienlien is fouled on his drive and hits both free throws; 53-46
Bullock drains a three-pointer and Kecoughtan calls a full timeout with
2:20 to go trailing 53-49.
Bullock nearly gets a steal on a loose ball at midcourt but fouls
Marcus Evans chasing it down to put the 'Cats in the double bonus.
Evans hits both; 55-49 with 1;52 to go.
Bucket by Lawrence Williams cuts the lead to four with just over a 1:15
to go. Bienlien is fouled on a rebound attempt and goes to
the line up 55-51. He drains bothl 57-53.
Bullock drains two free throws and the Warriors press but Byron
Williams is fouled. Hits both 59-53 with 47.6 to play.
style="font-weight: bold;">Game Over
Bienlien is fouled going to the hoop and will shoot two but a technical
foul is assessed on Will Askew who took out some frustration on the
ball slamming it to the ground.
The big center hits three of the four free throw attempts to make it
62-53 with 25 seconds to play.
Bullock gets a steal and dunk to make it 62-55 with 12.5 to play.
style="font-weight: bold;">Wrapping it up
Great Bridge wraps it up with a Bienlien layup to make the final score
64-55 as the Great Bridge Wildcats collect the 2012-13 Eastern Region
Basketball championship (the last one being played!).
Trophy time for the Southeastern power who will now play host to the
Central Region runners-up John Marshall Friday at Old Dominion.
Kecoughtan will hit the road for a Thursday night contest at VCU where
they will play Central Region champion Henrico.
Marcus Evans - 22 pts, 6 asst, 5 rebs, 1 stl
Steven Bienlien - 22 pts, 13 rebs, 5 blks
Rodney Bullock - 20 pts, 10 rebs, 3 blks, 2 asst, 2 stl
Lawrence Williams - 14 pts, 6 rebs, 1 asst, 1 stl
Kaelin Poe - 11 rebs, 1 asst, 1 blk