- Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 February 2010 05:00
- Published on Wednesday, 24 February 2010 05:00
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While the defending Group AA, Division IV State Champions Courtland Cougars (11-0, 20-0) defeated James Monroe 57-47 to capture the 2010 Battlefield District Boys’ Basketball Championship, the Foxes didn’t disappoint the many fans who traveled to the unfriendly confines of Cougar territory, also know as Courtland High School.
Although the Foxes had previously lost to Courtland twice during regular season, only a total of seven combined points separated the Cougars from a lost in their otherwise unblemished record. The last time the Cougars lost a game was on Jan. 31, against Benedictine (63-54). However, it’s playoff time, and all bets are off! The Cougars dominated the Foxes for four straight quarters, resulting in a 64-37 district tournament semi-final win.
Like the other schools in the District final four, the loss did not deter the Foxes from a Regional tournament qualification nor did it prevent them defeating Chancellor (7-3, 14-6), 59-52, during the tournament’s consolation game Saturday evening. D.J. Lewis led all scores with 16 points, including two 3-pointers. Teammate Matt Mohr finished the game with 10 points. Bob Waters collected seven of the team’s total rebounds. Lewis, the Foxes’ leading scorer for the past three seasons, finished the tournament with 58 points.
In addition, during the tournament’s quarterfinals, the Foxes defeated Caroline 75-63.
Due to press deadlines results from the opening round of the Region I Tournament on Tuesday evening were not available.
In the first quarter, the Cougars were on fire, as Kyle Brooks lit up the scoreboard with four 3-pointers. Brooks scored 14 of the Cougars 25 points in the first quarter alone; he finished the game with 19 points and five 3-pointers. His workman-like approach soon impacted the entire Cougar team, as guard Avery Green got into the act with a 3-pointer of his own.
The Foxes came out firing in the second quarter, as D.J. Lewis started the Foxes’ 5-0 run with a 3-pointer. Combined with a Lewis layup and two fouls shots from Stephen Cocke, the Foxes cut the Cougar lead to six points (23-29).
With the momentum slowly slipping back towards the Foxes, Brooks gave the visitors from the east something to think about during halftime. With less than three seconds remaining on the clock, Brooks scored a 3-point basket to give the Cougars a 23-32 lead going into the third quarter.
At the 5-minute mark, after leading by six points, the Cougars changed the pace of the game by taking 2 minutes off the clock. The strategy worked, as the Foxes scored only two baskets from the field and three points from the foul line. Not only did the Cougars regain the momentum, but also they extended their lead to 30-42.
With less than 3:31 minutes to play, the Cougars were ahead by 20 points, and any hope of a miraculous Fox comeback began to fade away as forward Mark Lenox’s 3-point basket put the game in the record books — sending King George into the consolation game against Chancellor, while advancing the Cougars into the finals against James Monroe.
Quarterfinals: King George vs. Caroline
D.J. Lewis was nothing short of spectacular! After scoring 30 points against Caroline, the power forward delivered his second best performance of the season. The Foxes suffocated their district rivals in defense and a fast-paced tempo style of offense that left the Cavaliers gasping for air. Other Foxes high scorers were Devon Jeffrey, who added 13 points, and Brandon Sheldon with 10 points.
Sheldon’s 3-point basket in the first quarter ignited the Foxes offense into fifth gear. With less than 2 minutes remaining in the quarter, the Foxes led the Cavaliers, 18-7. Between searching for defensive answers and finding a flow in their transition game, the Cavaliers appeared bewildered. Sheldon scored 7 points in the first quarter.
In the second quarter, the Foxes continued to outwork the Cavaliers. Whether it was Waters controlling the boards, or the Foxes front three, dominating the post zone, everything seemed to be clicking on all gears. The Foxes closed out the half with a 19-point lead (39-20).
Led by Quentin Broadus, the Cavaliers rallied to cut the Fox lead 11 points (55-44) in the third quarter. Along with four assists, Broaddus scored 11 points in the third quarter; however, a rested group of Fox starters would soon return to the court.
The fourth quarter was all Lewis. The senior power forward scored 11 points in the final quarter of play. Lewis’ dunk at 1:25 symbolized the feeling of Fox pride that was pervasive throughout the Fox gymnasium.
Leonard M. Banks