Jamestown earned at least a tie for its first Bay Rivers District girls basketball championship since the 2006-07 season with a 52-45 win Monday at Warhill. The victory broke a first-place tie between the neighborhood rivals, and the Eagles can clinch the championship outright with a win Wednesday at Tabb.
The Eagles (17-4, 15-2 district) rode some hot shooting and even hotter defense to a 17-point halftime lead. They continued to play with more intensity into the third quarter, and by the time the Lions (16-3, 14-3) hit their stride, they could only make the final score look closer than the game actually was.
“I think we came in more confident and prepared,” said Eagles guard Paige Richardson, who scored 15 points. “We built up a lead early and continued to fight.”
Richardson made the first shot of the game, a 3-pointer, to give the Eagles a lead they would never relinquish. The Eagles remained hot, making 5 of 8 shots in the first quarter to take a 15-7 lead, as Richardson scored seven points and Corynthian Williams (16 points) scored six.
They stretched that margin to 26-9 by halftime, with Williams finishing the half with 10 points and Richardson nine. But defense was the real story for the Eagles, particularly in the second quarter.
After they opened in an effective 2-3 zone, they switched to an even more effective box-and-1. They made the move because the Lions were cold from the outside, making only 1 of 9 of their 3-point attempts in the first eight-plus minutes.
The Eagles’ focus was to slow Lions center Te’Daizhua Jones, who entered averaging 18 points. Jamestown’s Annette O’Leary blanketed Jones, who finished the first half without a point.
“It was the same game plan as the first game against them (which Warhill won 56-49), but we focused on Te’Daizhua instead of Tyra Fannin,” Jamestown coach Shaquanda Williams said. “They only made three 3s against us the first time, so we figured we’d take a chance on letting them shoot outside rather than getting beat (by Jones) in the paint.”
Warhill coach Bingo Brungot said his players, who had not given up 50 points in a game this season, let the cold shooting (4 of 24 from the field in the first half) affect their defense. His Lions came out with more intensity in the third quarter, but Jamestown matched it.
Anaya Simmons ran the point nicely for the Eagles, who got six points in the third quarter from O’Leary (13 points). When Simmons scored on a bank shot for her first points of the night late in the third quarter, the Eagles’ lead crested at 40-20.
Jones, who had scored just two points by then, finally got going. She scored 16 points in the final 8:10 to finish with 18.
Meanwhile, Jamestown made only 8 of 18 free throws in the fourth quarter, so the surging Lions got as close as six points on a Jones 3. There were only 18 seconds left by then, however.
“I give my girls credit for coming back, but you can’t wait until you’re down 20 points to start playing,” Brungot said.
Corynthian Williams said, “Winning the district championship is very exciting because we put in a lot of work and it is paying off.
“Losing to them the first time was a wake-up call. We felt we had nothing to lose, so we came out and had fun.”
JAMESTOWN 52 WARHILL 45
JAMESTOWN (17-4, 15-2 Bay Rivers District): Jackson 1, Richardson 15, Ross 2, Williams 16, O’Leary 13, Simmons 5. Totals 17 16-30 52.
WARHILL (16-3, 14-3): Jones 18, Giles 5, Lemon 2, Fannin 17, M. Nicholson 1, Filegar 2. Totals 16 8-9 45.
Jamestown: 15, 11, 14, 12 – 52
Warhill: 7, 2, 13, 23 – 45
3-point goals: Jamestown 2 (Richardson 2), Warhill 5 (Fannin 3, Jones, Giles).
Marty O’Brien, 757-247-4963, email@example.com Twitter @MartyOBrienDP