Jamestown’s quest for a first boys basketball state title in school history was over almost before it began.
Facing an offensive juggernaut like no other they’ve seen this season, the Eagles were never in contention as they fell 80-48 to Loudoun Valley High in the Group 4A state championship game Friday at the Siegel Center.
The Vikings won their first state championship behind 70.5 percent shooting as they were 31 of 44 from the field. Jordan Miller led the way with 26 points on 11-of-12 shooting, while Nick Ball (19 points) and Dominic Peterson (14) were also in double figures.
“It was difficult playing in a different setting, a different area,” Jamestown coach Donovan Bridgeforth said. “Maybe if we were playing in a different setting, maybe if we were at home, we’d be a little more comfortable.
“They did a good job of coming on top of us and staying there,” Bridgeforth continued. “I think our guys tried, but there are some things they can’t control — the ball going in the hole.”
The Vikings (30-1) struck quickly, with Ball draining a jumper to give them a 2-0 lead on the first possession. Diamonte Brown retaliated with a pair of free throws for the Eagles following a steal to tie the score at 2, but the first half was almost all Loudoun Valley from there.
Peterson and Ball continued to soften the Eagles’ defense from the outside by hitting consecutive 3-pointers to make it 8-2. Then, led by Division I prospect Jordan Miller, the Vikings pounded the Eagles inside.
Miller, a 6-foot-4 wing, began his first-quarter surge with a dunk that gave the Vikings their first double-digit lead at 14-4. He followed with two free throws, a layup set up by a screen and a drive to the basket for another layup that gave the Vikings a 24-8 lead after a quarter.
Jamestown, meanwhile, suffered one its worst offensive first quarters of the season, making just 3 of 10 shots from the field while turning the ball over six times. The Eagles (27-3) hit their stride offensively in the second quarter but could not gain any ground because the Vikings — who made 14 of 19 shots in the first half — were unstoppable.
Miller, who had 15 first-half points on 6-of-7 shooting, began the second quarter with a three-point play. He scored twice more on baskets inside moments later as the Vikings’ lead increased to 31-13.
Following Mason Wang’s third basket of the second quarter for Jamestown, the Vikings went on a 9-2 run to stretch their lead to 40-17. Ball scored six points during the run and Peterson made a 3-pointer as the Vikings enjoyed their biggest lead of the first half.
Jamestown began to chip away at the deficit via the 3-pointer. Ryan Devine nailed two 3-pointers late in the first half and Ryan Jones made two more early in the second to pull the Eagles to within 44-31.
They would get no closer. Loudoun Valley continued to score at the same rate in the third quarter, making 7 of 10 shots to extend the lead to 57-35.
Miller’s muscle inside and Ball’s penetration accounted for many of the points the Vikings used to pull away in the second half. Peterson and Jalen Williams added long 3-pointers to ensure that the Jamestown defense couldn’t ignore the perimeter.
The Eagles’ consolation for the night was that they scrapped to the end, and the starters received a warm ovation from their fans when they were pulled from the game with 1:56 to play.
So, while the Vikings celebrated their first state title in school history, the Eagles could take pride in advancing further than any other team in the 20-year history of the program.
“It was a rough way to go out, but it was a great season and we accomplished our main goal of getting to the state championship,” Mason Wang said. “We just couldn’t get it done, though.”
LOUDOUN VALLEY 80, JAMESTOWN 48
JAMESTOWN (27-3): M. Wang 13, Brown 6, Jones 9, E. Wang 2, Schmidt 8, Devine 7, Exton 2, Boll 1. Totals 18-44 6-10 48.
LOUDOUN VALLEY (30-1): Ball 19, Norris 8, Peterson 14, Miller 26, DeGree 4, Williams 5, Hippler 2, Dize 2. Totals 31-44 12-13 80.
Jamestown 8 17 10 13 -- 48
Loudoun Valley 24 18 15 23 -- 80
3-point goals: Jamestown 6 (Jones 3, Devine 2, M. Wang), Loudoun Valley 6 (Peterson 4, Williams, Ball).
O'Brien can be reached by phone at 757-247-4963.