Potomac Outlasts Maury in 5A Semis

Group 5A State Tournament Semifinals:
Final - - #2 Potomac 55,
#1 Maury 52

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Seldom do battles that are anticipated for four months
live up to the hype, but the clash on Saturday night in Norfolk at Old Dominion
University's Ted Constant Convocation Center between the Potomac Panthers and
Maury Commodores did, and then some.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Ranked #1 in the state in 5A all season long, Potomac
saw their 26-game winning streak snapped in the 5A-North Region Championship
against Wakefield. To advance to the
state title game, they had to beat a Maury team that has been ranked #2 in the
state in 5A practically all season long and was coming off impressive wins over
Green Run and Henrico on their way to claiming the 5A-South Region

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Maury fought its way back from a 13-point deficit to
pull within a point late against the Panthers, but Potomac showed its
Championship mettle and experience to hold on late for a 55-52 victory in a
game full of exciting plays at both ends.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"Having to take a three-hour ride, come down here in
their backyard, I'm extremely proud of the way our kids fought tonight.
style=> You can't measure our kids' heart.
style=> The heart is what won that basketball game
for us," declared Potomac Head Basketball Coach
normal'>Keith Honore afterwards.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"These guys are just determined.
style=> They made up their mind that they're going to
accomplish a goal. Whatever happens next
week, I can tell you this: we're going to it 100%.
style=> When we show up to the Siegel Center Friday,
I can bet that these guys are going to be ready to roll."

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Two years ago in the Fourth Annual
Classic at Virginia Wesleyan College, Maury beat Potomac 59-45.
style=> Potomac's seniors, then sophomores,
remembered that loss. Combine that with
the fact that they were coming off a loss to Wakefield a week earlier and
another defeat would end their season, careers for many, and keep them from
reaching their dream of winning a state title, the stakes couldn't be greater.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"We had a lot of motivation," admitted Potomac senior
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>Randy Haynes, who finished with 15
points, eight rebounds, five assists and four steals.
style=> "Everybody was all tuned in, ready to play
and we were still mad a little bit about when we lost to them our sophomore

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Although the Panthers were outscored 34-22 in the paint
and 18-14 in fast-break points, they got a balanced attack with six guys
scoring at least four points. They shot
47.8% from the field in the first half and held Maury without a three-point
make until the third quarter. Two of
Maury's starters, including senior guard Mike
Basnight, were scoreless in the first half.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>But Basnight, along with
fellow senior Jaleel Ferguson in the
front-court and talented freshman point guard
normal'>Matt Coleman, keyed the comeback.
Ferguson was the game's leading scorer with 19 points on 9-of-10
shooting, stepping up in a major way in the absence of 6-foot-6 senior
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>Shyheim Draughan,
who sat out with a broken kneecap.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Coleman chipped in 11 points, four rebounds, four
assists and three steals.
class=SpellE>Basnight got hot from three-point land in the second half,
sinking three shots behind the arc and scoring 13 points to go with eight
assists. His last three brought Maury
within one. However, a turnover with
under 10 seconds to go by Maury and a desperation heave at the buzzer that was
no good ended the Commodores' fine season at 25-2 overall.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>A total of 21 turnovers by Maury did the Commodores in
as did 4-of-12 shooting from the foul line.
Potomac turned it over 20 times themselves, but shot better from the
foul line, going 12-of-20, and got timely baskets to keep Maury from ever
taking the lead in the game.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Now 27-1 overall, Potomac takes on reigning Group AAA
State Champion Henrico in the 5A State Championship on Friday afternoon at VCU
in Richmond. It's a re-match from a game
that Potomac won in December in overtime, 70-64.
style=> Henrico got back to the title game by eliminating
Wakefield, 63-55 in the other semifinal.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"I want so bad for them to
taste success and want so bad for them to be able to set a goal and accomplish
it because I think that will take us all a long way in life.
style=> That will be a valuable lesson in life if we
go down Friday and accomplish something as big as winning a State Championship,"
commented Honore.
"Setting that goal four months ago, for us to go down and do that, I
think that would be a great life lesson for us all."

Player of the Game:
style=> Potomac SF/SG Tariq 'T.T.' Felder - -
of former Potomac standout Mookie Felder, Tariq came
through time and time again with big plays for the Panthers.
style=> Felder tallied 15 points and nine rebounds
along with two assists, two blocks and a pair of steals in the win.
style=> His eight points in the first half was a tone
setter as well.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>What was the difference in his eyes in Potomac's
victory over Maury?

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"Preparation in practice," Felder said.
style=> "We talked about being ready to play, no
matter what. Don't quit.
style=> They weren't going to quit, so we weren't
going to quit. As a team, we played

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>His versatility along the perimeter and clutch
shot-making, converting both of his three-point field goal attempts, proved

mso-highlight:yellow'>Keys to Victory:

- - Keep Coleman in Check:
has been an enormous amount of buzz regarding the fabulous freshman Coleman all
season long and understandably so given that he already holds multiple ACC
offers before even going to the tenth grade.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>The defense of senior guards
normal'>Xavier Laws and Torrey Dixon,
a football player, limited Coleman from taking over the game in the closing
minutes like he has done before this season.
Dixon and Laws scored just four points apiece, but they were
instrumental in turning Coleman over nine times, the most he's had all season.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"We all knew that Coleman was a great player and he was
the key to their success. We put a stop
to him. That pretty much put a stop to
their whole offense," said Dixon.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"That last play, I just know him being a young guy,
this stage under that kind of pressure, what is he going to do?
style=> We've got to put pressure on him and get

#2 - - Embrace the Moment:
Honore has been blunt that last year's Potomac
disappointed in large part because of their immaturity and not seizing the
moment in big game situations. This
season's team has passed the tests with flying colors to this point, and got
contributions from several different sources.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Haynes threw down an emphatic jam,
Felder hit a three-pointer, George Mason signee
normal'>Trey Porter in the middle came up with four blocks, and the guards
Laws and Dixon gave great minutes defensively.
Also not to be forgotten is
class=SpellE>Honore, the Coach's son, who sank three huge
three-pointers to extend the lead each time.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"There were some pivotal plays in the game by several
different players. Keijon
and T.T. hit two big 3's down the stretch.
Randy had a big and-1 play.
Torrey and Xavier did what they did defensively against Coleman, making
him turn the ball over nine times," Coach Honore went
on to say in recalling them all.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"The best way I can sum that up is these guys aren't
afraid of the moment. They're not afraid
of big moments. They've proven that to
me time and time again. When you've got
guys that aren't, you can do some big things."

#3 - - Win with the Wings:
couldn't have asked for better two-way play from their wings in Haynes and
Felder. Sure, they committed a total of
nine turnovers and missed 11 shots, but their energy and play attacking the
glass (Haynes with six offensive boards, Felder with eight defensive boards)
while missing a total of three minutes between them was in many ways the
difference in the ballgame.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Furthermore, Potomac was able to use their physical strength
on the perimeter to bottle up Maury's wings, senior
normal'>Keon Buchanan and sophomore Anthony
Williams. Those two were a combined
2-for-9 from the field with four points and nine rebounds between them after
playing so well in the 5A-South Region Championship win over Henrico.
style=> Williams fouled out late in the fourth

none;text-underline:none'>Postgame Presser with the Potomac Panthers

Final Stats:

Panthers 56:
style=> (27-1)
T.T. Felder - - 15Pts. 5-8FG, 3-6FT, 9Reb. 2Ast. 2Blk. 2Stl.
Randy Haynes - - 15Pts. 5-13FG, 5-7FT, 8Reb. 5Ast. 4Stl.
Keijon Honore - - 9Pts.
3-6FG, 3-6 3's, 2Reb.
Trey Porter - - 8Pts. 3-7FG, 2-4FT, 4Reb. 4Blk
Xavier Laws - - 4Pts. 2-5FG, 2Reb. 4Ast.
Torrey Dixon - - 4Pts. 1-4FG, 2-2FT

Commodores 52:
style=> (25-3)
Jaleel Ferguson - - 19Pts. 9-10FG, 1-3FT, 6Reb. 2Stl.
Mike Basnight - - 13Pts. (all 2nd Half), 5-12FG, 3-7
3's, 5Reb. 8Ast. 2Stl.
Matt Coleman - - 11Pts. 4-12FG, 3-6FT, 4Reb. 4Ast. 3Stl.
Daevon Young - - 5Pts. 2-5FG, 2Reb.



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"'>
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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
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To contact Matthew, please e-mail
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