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W&L Eagles deliver Conference 43 Championship

For the time being, the season-long five game saga of the battle of Westmoreland and the 1A East Conference 43 boys’ division has ended. On Saturday evening, at Lancaster High School, the Washington & Lee Eagles celebrated the first-ever Conference 43 Championship win over Colonial Beach High School.

From start to finish, the 58-52 Eagle victory was nothing short of a roller coaster ride. Although the Drifters led by 1-2 throughout the first two quarters, the Eagles broke the deadlock to win within the final three minutes of play.

After winning two of the three battles against the Drifters throughout the season, Washington & Lee varsity boys head coach George Hunter seemed to enjoy a moment of redemption as he celebrated the championship win. “It was everything I thought it was going to be,” Hunter said. “To beat a tough team, I knew it was going to be a battle. The boys know each other, and they’ve played with each other a lot at the YMCA, and places like that. We know exactly what the other is going to do. It’s about who shows up to execute that night.”

On Tuesday, during the first round of the regional tournament, the Eagles hosted Parry McCluer, while the Drifters traveled to play Altavista. Due to press deadlines, game results were not available.

Behind two 3-pointers from Davon Hamilton and Treshaun Brown, and a layup from Milan Bullock, the Eagles rocketed out to a 8-2 early lead. Lamar Lucas scored eight points that tied and put the Drifters ahead at 12-10 with less than a minute in the quarter. Keane Foster scored one out of two free throws that gave the Drifters a 13-12 lead going into the second quarter.

The second quarter started and ended with a chess match between the teams; the game featured four lead changes and three ties.

With the score nearly deadlocked going into the third quarter, the Drifters managed to hang onto a slim 5-2 point lead until the final seconds. After Foster scored another 3-pointer for the Drifters that renewed a 39-36 Drifter lead, Brown scored a 3-pointer with no time left on the clock. Brown’s efforts tied the score at 39-39.
In the final quarter, with less than three minutes remaining, Jeremy Turner, on an assist from Brown, scored on a fast break basket that gave the Eagles a 48-46 lead. Turner’s score led to a series of Eagle scores that stretched their lead to 56-51 with 34 seconds left to play. Combined with an Eagle press, and the pressure of the clock ticking away, the potential for a Drifter rally never became a reality. The second seed Eagles had defeated the number one seed Drifters, 58-52 to win the conference crown.

Washington & Lee top scorers included: Brown (20 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, 1 block); Hamilton (13 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 4 steals); Marin Roy (11 points, 3 rebounds, 1 steal), Turner (10 points, 21 rebounds, 4 assists).

Colonial Beach top scores included: Lucas (20 points), Foster (13 points), Gould (11 points).

Leonard Banks
Sports editor

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