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Drifters bring home Region-A tournament championship

TT Carey continues to impact Drifter history
  
The 2008-2009 Drifters are without a doubt one of the best basketball programs in the state. Most recently, the “Black & Gold” continued their journey into the record books, as they ventured into the unfriendly confines of Surry County. On Saturday night, the Drifters brought home a shiny championship trophy and the nets that were cut from the rim, as evidence of their first ever boys’ basketball Region Championship in school history.
   The three-game march into history began on Wednesday with a hard fought victory over Charles City, at the Drifterdome in the Region quarterfinals. After crushing Charles City, the Drifters hosted Surry in a rematch of sorts that would lead to an invitation to the VHSL State tournament, at the Siegel Center facility on the campus of VCU, in Richmond, which begins on March 7 at 5:00 p.m.
   The Drifters pulled no punches in disassembling the Cougars to advance into the next phase of post-season play. On the following evening, the Drifters entourage, complete with players, coaches and fans, traveled to Surry to witness the demise of Franklin County.
After pummeling the Broncos, the Drifters traveled back to the Beach to take their traditional ride around the Point to celebrate their victory. And, yes, the light was still on for them at Hilda Clark’s house, at 1611 Irving Avenue.
   “Our team put on a three-day display of offensive fireworks, mental and physical toughness and the will to play together as the best team in this Region,” said Drifters boys’ varsity head coach Steve Swope said. “We were ranked number one in the Region from start to finish, and going 15-0 for a reason. We are a pretty good team—this school, this town and this community has much to be proud of with this group of young men.”
Region-A, quarterfinals
   CB 75 – Charles City 47
   With the possibility of upset lingering within the depth of their minds, the number eight seeded Panthers from Charles City left their hearts and dreams on the floor, as the Drifters pounded them with their relentless offensive machine. The Panthers behind Trevor Jones, kept the game close at the halftime break [33-30]. Jones scored 13 of this his team high 18 points in the first two quarters.
   In the second half, the Panthers sudden success was short-lived. The Drifters out-scored them 20-9 in the third quarter, as the dynamic duo of TT Carey and Dylan Farinet took the game over. Carey scored 15 of 26 shots [58%] from the field, nine of 11 free throws [82%] from the foul line, ripped down 12 rebounds, dished out four assists, deflected 13 passes, took a defensive charge, blocked a shot and produced six steals to completely take over the game.
Junior, point guard Dylan Farinet provided the usual steady performance with 17 steals, 16 rebounds, four assists, eight deflections, two blocked shots and two steals.
   Drifter stats continued: Jeryl Dickerson – 10 points [5 of 10, 50%], an 10 rebounds; Thomas Peery – 5 points, three-pointer, 2 rebounds, 3 steals; Paul Roberson – 3 rebounds, solid defense; Jamel Dickerson – 3 steals, took a defensive charge; Kevin Swope – three-pointer.
Region-A tournament semi-finals, CB 100 – Surry 76
   Jeryl Dickerson’s free throw with two seconds left on the game clock pushed the Drifter scoreboard to triple digits and the packed house crowd at the Drifterdome exploded. The partisan Drifter crowd cheered as the Drifters tasted the sweet taste of revenge over the same team that defeated them a year ago, to the day. The addition of home court and the sixth man played a big role in the team’s success.
   TT Carey played his final on the Drifterdome floor and saved his best performance for last. During the game, he established a new career high, single game and boys’ basketball Drifterdome high of 46 points.
   “I have never witnessed a more dynamic performance by a Drifter basketball player in my 30 years of coaching here,” coach Swope said. “The beauty was that TT set these records on the biggest stage, and against the toughest team imaginable.”
   Carey made an incredible 16 of 27 shots [59%] against Cougar defenders. He buried one three-pointer and torched the nets with an assortment of drives and jump shots. Carey also made 13-14 free throws [93%], when he stepped to the line. His overall well-rounded game was still there as he pulled down 14 rebounds, issued three assists, deflected 11 passes, blocked three shots, drew two defensive charges and recorded seven steals.
   Carey’s partner in scoring dominance, Dylan Farinet also set a new career high in points with 34, coming on an array of slashes to the basket and pull-up jumpers from the perimeter. Dylan stroked a deadly 12 of 19 shots [63%] from the field, including four 3-pointers, and completed six of eight free free-throw attempts successfully. He finished with 10 rebounds, five assists, six deflections, a blocked shot and a couple of steals.
Farinet and Carey combined for 80 points of their team’s 100 point total.
   Drifters stats continued: Jeryl Dickerson – 10 points, 11 rebounds; Thomas Peery – 5 points, three-pointer; Jamel Dickerson – 4 points; Kevin Swope – 1 free-throw [accounted for the 100 points by the team].
   Region-A tournament
   championship at Surry County
   CB 84 – Franklin 57
   The Drifters loaded up and traveled to Surry County the next evening to take on Franklin High School in the Regional championship.
   After feeling their way through the first quarter, the Drifters got down to business and showed the crowd what they were made of. The red-hot Drifters    turned a 23-13 first quarter lead into a 46-26-halftime lead, and never really looked back.
The Beach promptly gave the Broncos a beat down in the second half, as they extended their lead to 27 points in early hours of the morning.
   After a season of jaw-dropping performance, could the area’s number one basketball player have anything left in the tank? The answer to that question can be found in the his Region Player of the Year award, and a 42-point performance on top of his 46 points the previous night. The word astonishing doesn’t begin to describe Carey’s remarkable high school sports career.
   After a buzzer beating three-pointer by Thomas Peery, the Drifters and fans celebrated, received the championship trophy and cut the nets down. Carey was selected as the Region-A tournament MVP, while Jarod Flores was hoisted into the air after receiving the championship trophy.
   The Drifters [15-0, 24-3] will head into the VHSL State tournament on Saturday, March 7, at the Siegel Center to play Riverhead High School at high noon [12:00]. The Drifters are currently on a 14-game win streak.
   Carey’s stats: 15 of 25 shots [60%], including six 3-pointers, and 6 of 8 [75%] from the free-throw line, 11 rebounds, 11 deflections, 2 blocked shots, 2 assists, 2 steals.
   Drifters stats continued: Dylan Farinet – 10 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists, 9 deflections, 1 blocked shot; Jeryl Dickerson – 12 points [third straight night], 10 rebounds; Kevin Swope – 6 points, two 3-pointers, 4 rebounds, 5 deflections, 2 steals, 9 assists; Jamel Dickerson – 5 points, three-pointer, 2 assists, 2 steals; Paul Roberson – 3 points, 5 rebounds; Joe Slater – 2 points; Alex Gorfida – 1 point [free-throw]; Thomas Peery – three-point [buzzer beater to end game].

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