Maury Tops Henrico, Wins 5A-South

Region Tournament Championship:
Final - - #1 Maury 61, #1
Henrico 49:

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>The Maury Commodores had a bump in the road when they
camp up empty-handed at the Conference 9 Tournament Championship at the Norfolk
Scope, falling to Green Run to see their 14-game winning streak snap.
style=> But Maury has bounced back in a major way
with three straight double-digit wins, including one over Green Run in the
regional semis, to push their record to 25-2 overall, and in the process,
capture the school's first regional crown since 2003.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"You hate to lose, but sometimes it helps you.
style=> When Green Run beat us in the Conference
Final, I think it was a little wake-up call for us," believes Maury Head
Basketball Coach Jack Baker.
style=> "I told them we got out-hustled that game by
Green Run and they've responded very well these past two games."

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>During their 61-49 triumph, Maury used a 19-11 second
quarter spurt to go from down a pair at the end of the first quarter to go ahead
by six against the reigning AAA State Champion Henrico Warriors on Wednesday
night in the regional title game at Churchland High
School in Portsmouth. Maury dug in with
its defense in the second half, holding Henrico to just 22 points over the
final 16 minutes of play.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>In that second half, Maury 8-of-15 from the field.
style=> For the game, they hit on 52.4% of their
attempts and outscored Henrico 21-5 in points off turnovers.
style=> The Commodores were able to get it done
without injured 6-foot-6 senior forward Shyheim
Draughan, whose season is over with a broken

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>It was a balanced attack for Maury with four different
players scoring in double-figures, led by freshman point guard
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>Matt Coleman's 15 points and five
normal'>Jaleel Ferguson added 12 points on 5-of-6 shooting from the floor
and grabbed seven boards. Henrico's top
two scorers, sophomore wing
normal'>De'Monte Buckingham and
junior shooting guard Ryan Pearson,
were held to 21 total points and only one three-point make.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>With 695 career wins now, Baker knows his Commodores
are closing in on doing something that the school hasn't achieved since
1927. That is capture
a state title on March 14th in Richmond.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"I think we're peaking at the right time," said Baker.
style=> "The last two games, we've really played
well. We've got to continue it for
another week and see what happens."



background:yellow;mso-highlight:yellow'>Player of the Game:
Maury PG Matt Coleman - -
line-height:115%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Who else?
style=> The freshman point guard delivered some
spectacular moments yet again. In about a
three or four minute stretch in the second quarter, he simply took over the
game by making a couple of critical plays defensively, throwing a gorgeous
no-look pass on an alley-oop thrown down by his
teammate in Ferguson, and had no trouble scoring when all else failed.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"He is something special.
style=> You're kind of sitting there, particularly
when we've got a pretty comfortable lead, and see what he's going to try to do
next to get the crowd into it. He's
playing very, very well right now and is tough to handle.
style=> He's always focused and never loses his
focus, regardless of the situation."

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Henrico Head Coach Vance
Harmon knew his guys were in trouble when Coleman began to size control.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"From an offensive perspective, Coleman is the biggest
disruption," Harmon noted. "He is so monopolizing
of the game's flow like a Cat Barber that once they get a lead deep in the game,
they can almost choke you out. Your team
better be in front with four minutes to go or you are heading for desperate



background:yellow;mso-highlight:yellow'>Keys to Victory:

- - Diagnose the Defenses:
the years, Henrico has been wildly successful at mixing it up with their
defenses and they threw several different looks at Maury.
style=> For starters, they used a box-and-one, a
triangle-and-two, and also used a 2-3 zone.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Maury sank three shots from long distance in the second
quarter courtesy of Coleman as well as subs
normal'>David Reed and
normal'>Daevon Young, who
combined to chip in 13 points and not miss from long distance.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"Henrico gave us some problems with the way they change
defenses," admitted Baker. "I thought
Matt did a good job of recognizing what they were in, getting us in our right
sets and we had some kids step up and make some big shots in that second
quarter that gave us a little breathing room."

#2 - - Step Up Play on the Wing:
line-height:115%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"'>In the absence of
class=SpellE>Draughan, it was essential Maury got positive play from
both sophomore small forward Anthony
Williams and senior wing Keon
Buchanan, who got inserted into the starting lineup.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"Now is the time for them to step up and play well,"
Baker said. "We lost Shyheim for the
rest of the year and it's really vital for us that we get some production from
particularly those two guys. Both of
them are very capable."

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Williams tallied 10 points and seven rebounds, making
his presence felt most on the backboards with six offensive boards.
style=> Buchanan scored six of Maury's first eight
points and was 5-of-9 from the floor in 16 minutes of action.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Maury will definitely miss Draughan
this week, meaning their wings have to continue to raise their numbers against
quality competition.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"Saturday, he would've been in there," Baker commented
of Draughan. "He
was our leading rebounder and a good shot blocker.
style=> We've got to make up for it in other ways,
and hopefully Buchanan and Anthony can help in that situation."

#3 - - Contain Buckingham:
style=> With offers from multiple ACC schools and
getting attention now from Villanova and Maryland, Buckingham of Henrico is a
headline player on a state scale after leading his team in scoring in last year's
title victory over John Marshall.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>In the first half against Maury, he had eight points
and eight rebounds, well on his way to another huge night.
style=> He was only 3-of-10 shooting though, and it
didn't get much better for him in the second half, going 1-for-2 and finishing
4-for-10 from the foul line along with a season-high nine turnovers.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Maury clogged his drive lanes and took him out of the
equation rather immediately in the third quarter.
style=> He would collect only one rebound in the
second half



background:yellow;mso-highlight:yellow'>Re-Matches Await for Maury &
line-height:115%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"'>It remains to be seen if
Maury and Henrico will hook up again in the 5A State Championship at VCU on
March 14th, but we do know fans will get to see two other re-matches from the
past with their next opponents.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Maury takes on Potomac at ODU in Saturday's State Semis
at 7:00 PM. The Panthers were undefeated
until a loss to Wakefield in the 5A-North Region Championship.
style=> Potomac and Maury have squared off before,
just two years ago in the Fourth Annual Classic at Virginia
Wesleyan College. Maury won that meeting

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>While the Panthers and Commodores have a few parts each
that played in that game, the teams are a bit different.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"We've got to keep playing defense.
style=> They present some different problems than
probably we've seen all year with their size," Baker said of Potomac.
style=> "We're going to have to adjust to that and
find other ways to attack the rim. When
you get to this level, every game is going to present different challenges
because there aren't any bad teams left."

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>For Harmon, he's glad in a lot of ways that he won't
have to play Maury or Potomac until the State Championship round, provided they
can win in the State Semis.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"I thought Maury and Potomac are the toughest teams
that we have played this year," Harmon stated.
"Each has clear cut strengths.
With Potomac, they're long, athletic, skilled, best player is a combo
guy in the 'do-it-all' Haynes. Maury's
athletic, skilled and battle-tested from the Eastern Region, where their best
player is the floor general in Coleman."

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Back in the 2005 AAA State Tournament quarterfinals,
Wakefield eliminated Henrico 63-45 when the Warriors were undefeated.
style=> Playing at Robinson, the same venue as that
encounter nine years ago, Henrico is looking to get the better of them this

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"I'm really impressed with how hard they play," Harmon
said of Wakefield. "[Tony] Bentley has
established a great program in Northern Virginia.
style=> You can count on them being in the mix each
year. His players have bought into their
style of play and your teams will have to make plays to give yourself a chance."



Courtesy of Colin Murphy & STATVA (
href=""> ***

Commodores 61:
style=> (25-2)
Matt Coleman - - 15Pts. 4-8FG, 6-8FT, 5Ast. 2Stl.
Jaleel Ferguson - - 12Pts. 5-6FG, 2-4FT, 7Reb.
Anthony Williams - - 10Pts. 4-9FG, 2-4FT, 7Reb.
Keon Buchanan - - 10Pts. 5-9FG, 5Reb. 2Ast.
Daevon Young - - 8Pts. 3-3FG, 2-2 3's, 2Stl.

Warriors 49:
style=> (21-6)
De'Monte Buckingham - - 12Pts. 4-12FG, 4-10FT, 9Reb.
2Ast. 2Stl.
Ryan Pearson - - 9Pts. 4-9FG, 5Reb.
Matthew Wallace - - 8Pts. 3-6FG, 4Reb.
Walter Williams - - 8Pts. 4-8FG, 5Reb.



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";
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Network. Check out
text-decoration:none;text-underline:none'>Hatfield's Twitter page
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and you can also read his work in the
style='font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";
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To contact Matthew, please e-mail
style='font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";
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