In an East Region boys basketball semifinal played at a fairly high level in the first half, Jamestown High found a gear in the third quarter that defending Group 4A state champion Monacan could not match.
The Eagles rode their stellar third-quarter play to a 64-56 victory and, in the process, added shine to a glittering postseason for the Bay Rivers District.
“A lot of teams toward Norfolk and up in the Richmond area like to say the Bay Rivers District can’t beat them,” Jamestown point guard Ryan Jones said after leading the Eagles with 18 points. “With our wins Tuesday and tonight, and Smithfield beating (Norfolk school and 2016 4A state finalist) Lake Taylor, I think the Bay Rivers is growing.”
Moments after Jones said that, word trickled into the Jamestown gymnasium that Smithfield had beaten Richmond-area school Hanover 67-66 in the other semifinal. That means the Eagles (24-2) and Packers (21-4) will meet in an all-Bay Rivers final at 7 p.m. Friday in Jamestown’s gym to set seedings for the state tournament.
The Eagles earned their spot in large part on their 11-of-15 shooting in the third quarter against the Richmond-area Chiefs. They trailed 27-26 at the half as Monacan’s Gregory Parham — the 2016 4A state Player of the Year — scored 11 points.
Parham scored most of those points in the lane, while Nystl Wilson added a pair of second-quarter 3-pointers. Jones, a 5-foot-7 guard, kept the Eagles in the hunt with 10 first-half points.
Jamestown never again trailed following a spectacular hookup between Jones and Diamonte Brown on the first possession of the second half. Jones threw an alley-oop from about 25 feet for the high-jumping Brown, who tapped the ball in when it sailed off course to the front of the rim.
“I got a little too much air under it, but somehow Diamonte got to it and made a great play,” Jones said.
From there, the Eagles were almost flawless offensively in the third quarter, but they had to withstand an offensive barrage by the Chiefs before pulling away. Following Evan Wang’s 3-pointer that gave Jamestown a four-point lead, the teams traded points over the next four possessions.
Parham hit two of the Chiefs’ three 3-pointers in the sequence, including one that tied the game at 38. The Eagles went ahead 40-38 with a second consecutive bac-side basket by Michael Schmidt. Schmidt finished the game with 12 points.
From there, Mason Wang capped a big third quarter, during which he scored 13 of his 16 points. He scored 10 points in a 12-2 run to end the quarter — draining two 3-pointers and scoring off of a steal and a layup — as the Eagles led 54-43 going into the fourth quarter.
“Things just clicked,” Eagles coach Donovan Bridgeforth said of the third-quarter offensive outburst.
JAMESTOWN 64, MONACAN 56
MONACAN (14-9): Johnson 2, Blathers 2, Parham 24, Wilson 10, Mondrey 1, Sostre 6, McFail 11. Totals 23 2-6 56.
JAMESTOWN (24-2): M. Wang 16, Brown 10, Ry. Jones 18, E. Wang 8, Schmidt 12. Totals 25 7-8 64.
Monacan 12 15 16 13 -- 56
Jamestown 10 16 28 10 -- 64
3-point goals: Monacan 8 (Parham 4, Wilson 2, McFail 2), Jamestown 7 (M. Wang 3, Ry. Jones 2, E. Wang 2).
O'Brien can be reached by phone at 757-247-4963