Third-seeded Williamsburg Christian Academy cruised to the VISAA Division 3 boys basketball championship game Friday afternoon with a 51-33 win over No. 2 North Cross School of Roanoke.
WCA (25-8), led by junior Cle'von Greene's 15 points and 11 rebounds, jumped out to a 14-0 lead and didn't allow a field goal until the 1:11 mark of the first quarter.
The Eagles, who eliminated Richmond Christian Wednesday in a rout, advanced to Saturday's title game, set for noon against top-seeded Amelia Academy at Virginia State University.
"They're jacked," WCA coach Chris Brown said. "They set that as a goal last year. These guys that transferred in — we made them understand that what we were looking for was 'tomorrow' and everything we needed to do in between was going to be something they would have to want to commit to."
The Eagles were eliminated in last year's semifinals and lost three starters that now play on college teams including Old Dominion's Xavier Green, Hampden-Sydney's Jake Duncan and Lynchburg College's Andre Brown.
Saturday will mark the third meeting of the season between WCA and Amelia, which defeated Christ Chapel in double overtime Friday. Amelia won both games against the Eagles by three points.
"Everyone doubted us, saying we lost (Xavier Green, Mike Duncan, Andre Brown) – all them, saying we weren't going to be as good as we were," Greene said. "We just came here and proved them wrong and we have to show them even more tomorrow."
On Friday, WCA showed North Cross pressure, forcing the Raiders into a flurry of early turnovers as Eagles' twin junior duo Ra'Shawn Cook and Da'Shawn Cook scored the first buckets of the game before Greene made it 10-0 midway through the first on a 3-pointer from the top of the key.
Ra'Shawn Cook finished with 11 points and 6-foot-9-inch sophomore Chester Makoi tallied 12 including a slam on a feed from Greene, and Makoi added a couple of swats.
WCA led by 11 points at halftime and extended its lead to 31-13 before a 9-0 North Cross run in the third quarter.
But the Eagles quelled it in the final period, starting with a Greene jumper and transition bucket before Da'Shawn Cook converted a floater for two.
After finishing Metro Conference play unbeaten, WCA was suspended from last week's Metro conference tournament due to what Brown described as the improper playing of a junior varsity player. The punishment also restricted any Eagles from earning all-conference honors. Greene, who surely would have been the player of the year, said that left the WCA playing with a major chip.
"I feel like we're in a good place," Brown said. "… Everyone is excited right now and they feel like they have something to prove."
No. 3 WILLIAMSBURG CHRISTIAN 51, No. 2 NORTH CROSS 33
WCA: Radcliffe 2, Makoi 12, D. Cook 7, R. Cook 11, Greene 17, Noray 2. Totals 20 6-10 51.
NC: Barnes 17, Nworah 4, Overton 6, Bailey 6. Totals 12 5-7 33.
WCA 14 7 12 18 – 51
NC 4 6 12 11 – 33
3-point FG: WCA 4 (R. Cook 2, D. Cook, Greene); NC 4 (Bailey 2, Barnes, Overton).
Holtzman can be reached by phone at 757-298-5830.