- Last Updated on Wednesday, 18 March 2009 18:23
- Published on Wednesday, 18 March 2009 18:23
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The Colonial Beach boys’ varsity basketball team has gone where no Drifter athletic has gone before. Thanks to the Drifters' historic Group-A, Division 1, State Basketball Championship win over East Montgomery, the Beach will forever be remembered as a town of champions.
The little 185-student school, grades 9-12, that’s tucked away off the beaten path from the banks of the Potomac River has now produced its very own first state championship.
“It was the most exhilarating feeling I have ever experienced,” Drifter head coach Steve Swope said. “The game was an instant classic, with both teams playing their hearts out—and down to the last shot of the game, fans were on the edge of their seats.”
The two-day championship event began on Thursday, March 12 when the Drifters representing Region-A took on Region-B’s best, Altavista in the semifinals.
CB 55 – Altavista 36
The battle between two contrasting styles made for a very interesting night. The Colonels were a very deliberate, slow-down type of offense, while the Drifters are most accustomed to the up-tempo fast break mode—something had to give.
The Beach opened the game with a 8-0 run, taking control of the style they wanted to dictate. Unable to keep up, the Colonels fell prey to the Drifters transition.
All-Region star TT Carey finessed his way to 23 points, making eight of 11 foul shots down the wire in the money quarter. He pulled down a team high 14 rebounds, including 12 of them on the defensive glass. He also blocked a couple of shots and stole two passes to put an end to the Colonels' state championship hopes.
Igniting the Drifters firepower, Dylan Farinet totaled 14 points, five assists, picked up two loose balls and eight rebounds. Carey and Farinet combined for 13 of the Drifters' 18 fourth quarter points as the Beach extended their 11-point third quarter lead into a comfortable 19-point win.
State championship final: East Montgomery vs. Colonial Beach
In the first half, the Mustangs, behind Henry Hall’s scoring that totaled 21 points, including five three-pointers, kept pace with the high tempo offense of the Tidewater-A District and Regional champions.
After trailing in the first half [33-27], the Beach never lost their poise. Instead, they relished the moment by making the necessary adjustments at halftime to bombard the Mustangs with steals, deflections and fast-break scoring opportunities that left their foes flatfooted, and wondering how to counter a 15-0 run—and the seemingly unstoppable moves of TT Carey and Dylan Farinet. The Drifters turned a six-point deficit into a nine-point lead.
The Mustangs, who set a new VHSL State Tournament record for total three-pointers , made it a game as they clawed their way back with six 3-pointers late in the third period.
It was a Drifter two-point lead entering the money quarter with everything on the line. Both teams exchanged leads several times throughout the final eight minutes.
It came down to a Drifter possession with the score tied, 72-72 with 18 seconds left. With the ball in Carey’s hands, he backed a Mustang player into the paint, scoring a basket, while getting fouled. After Carey missed the foul shot, Farinet pulled down the offensive rebound—while getting fouled in the process. With 14 seconds left, Farinet made both free throws, giving the Drifters a 76-74 lead with 14 seconds left.
After the Mustangs countered with athree-point score to cut the lead to 76-75 with six seconds left, Farinet was immediately fouled on the inbounds pass. After making one out of two shots from the paint, Farinet put the Drifters ahead at 77-75.
Brad Wooten took the final desperation shot, but Drifter forward Jamel Dickerson saved the day with a solid defensive effort that caused Wooten’s shot to miss-fire off the basketball rim. An instantaneous explosion of Drifter pandemonium roared throughout the Siegel Center as the Beach celebrated on mid-court.
“This was a well-oiled machine all year, that was built around teamwork, team chemistry and the will to compete night in and night out,” coach Swope said. “Now they will go down in the archives as the best team ever.”
While Carey finished the game with 37 points; 23 of his points came in the second half. Carey also crashed the boards with 16 rebounds. After eclipsing the Drifter all-time scoring record this season, Carey also tied Tyree Evans of George Wythe High School for third place on the VHSL single season scoring record list. First and second place honors belong to NBA greats, Moses Malone and Allen Iverson. Carey’s career high school scoring stats total 2,481 points.
Reminiscent of a sleeping time bomb, Farinet ripped open the Mustangs defense with all 18 of his points scored in the second half. Farinet also added 19 rebounds to his double-double game.
The Drifters owned the post area by out-rebounding their taller opponents, 52-31. In fact, Drifter post-men, Paul Roberson and Jeryl Dickerson limited the Mustang’s six foot five center, Laquin Khalil to nine points.
Other Drifters who contributed in scoring were: Thomas Peery – 8 points; Jeryl Dickerson – 7 points; solid defensive performances by Paul Roberson, Jamel Dickerson, Thomas Peery.
The celebration went back up 95 North to the school parking lot, where the lot was choked full of cars, fire trucks and ambulances waiting on the team. When the team bus pulled in, the monster crowd formed a gauntlet for the bus to drive into. The entire team received a standing ovation, hugs and kisses from all the well wishers.
The players re-boarded the bus and took the police car escort traditional ride around the point. Sirens and horns blasting, the 200 car “Hoosiers-like" following made their way down Colonial Avenue, Washington Avenue to Irving Avenue and back around Monroe Bay Avenue and again to the school. It was a trip of a lifetime for all to witness and enjoy. It was truly an outpouring of love and support from the whole community.
The 2008-2009 Drifters program finished the season on a 17-game winning streak. Also, they were 12-0 in the Tidewater-A District, 3-0 in the Region-A, and a perfect 3-0 in the State Championship Tournament.
Finishing at 27-3 overall, the Drifters also won the Northumberland Christmas Tournament, Tidewater District Tournament, and the Region-A Tournament.