The Battle Lines II matched top teams from Virginia’s 804 area code against their neighbors from the 757! The event is the product of Kings Fork High School Head Coach Rick Hite who is a highly regarded and successful coach with strong roots in both area codes having taken a Petersburg High School team led by Milwaukee Bucks star Frank Mason to a state title game in 2012 and also enjoyed success at Collegiate School in Richmond where he coached Seattle Seahawks star Russell Wilson. Coach Hite’s current Kings Fork High School program out of Suffolk VA is considered a strong state title candidate this season! Here is a quick recap as the 804 squares off against the 757!
Meadowbrook 62, Hampton 57
Zeke Edwards led three Meadowbrook Monarchs in double figures scoring 16 points, 12 of those in the second half as Meadowbrook held off a late Hampton surge. Meadowbrook trailed 18-15 after the first quarter as Hampton’s Wayne Hedgepeth and Meadowbrook’s LaMondre Gregg were off to hot starts and gave their respective teams some early scoring punch. Meadowbrook began the second quarter switching to a 3-2 zone and caught Hampton off guard as the Crabbers went scoreless over the first 5:46 while Meadowbrook took the lead with a 7-0 run. LaMondre Gregg hit a pair of three pointers during that 7-0 spurt for Meadowbrook. Meadowbrook stretched their lead to as many as ten points early in the third as they began to assert themselves on the glass. Zeke Edwards scored on consecutive possessions and his three point play with 6:10 to go in the third put Meadowbrook in front 35-25. Hampton managed to get within four with 2:26 left in third after Ihsan Duncan got a steal and found Thalmus Reed open on the wing for a three pointer. A James Patterson stick back beat the third quarter horn and the Monarchs took a 46-38 lead into the fourth. Cole Swann opened the fourth with a corner three pointer cutting the Meadowbrook lead to 46-41 and igniting a Hampton charge. Ihsan Duncan stole a pass with 6:45 left and went coast to coast for a layup and Hampton was within three points, 46-43; that was the 11th of Duncan’s 12 steals in the game! Zeke Edwards then scored back to back including a 3 point play with 6:10 left and Sincere Clark rebounded and scored with 4:23 left and Meadowbrook went back in front by ten, 55-45. Hampton didn’t quit! Ihsan Duncan split two defenders and got the layup, then stole a pass and scored again and Hampton was back within six with 2:07 to play. Ihsan Duncan answered a Zeke Edwards basket and then Cole Swann buried a long three pointer and suddenly Hampton was knocking on the door again, now down 60-57 with :42 seconds left! The Crabbers failed to convert on their next possession and James Patterson was fouled after grabbing a rebound for Meadowbrook. Patterson’s free throws with 16.3 seconds left sealed it giving Meadowbrook a tightly contest win. Zeke Edwards with a huge second half led the Monarchs with 16 points. James Patterson finished with 15 points and LaMondre Gregg 13 for Meadowbrook. Ihsan Duncan was spectacular in defeat. He led all scorers with 22 points and also had 12 steals in the contest.
Princess Anne 60, Matoaca 58
Princess Anne survived a game that was nip and tuck throughout the second half and wasn’t decided until the buzzer sounded and a desperation shot by Matoaca hit the back of the iron and bounced harmlessly to the hardwood as Princess Anne players celebrated their seventh consecutive win. Just how close was it? The largest lead of the game was only 8 points on two occasions; after a Jarrell Pope three pointer, his fourth of the half with 1:55 left in the second quarter gave Princess Anne a 36-27 lead and again the Cavaliers went up by eight points with 5:57 left in the third on back to back baskets by Georges Archer. The early going was highlighted by a flurry of three pointers from both teams. Jordan Clark opened the scoring for Princess Anne with a corner three pointer and Jarrell Pope followed with a pair from deep. Four Princess Anne starters scored as the Cavaliers built an early lead but they needed all of them to counter Matoaca’s hot shooting Zakari McQueen and Daeshawn Jefferson. McQueen nailed five three pointers on five attempts stretching over a quarter and a half and Daeshawn Jefferson added two more from deep, his second coming with 3:04 left before halftime as Matoaca pulled to within three, 30-27. Jarrell Pope was also blazing from deep for Princess Anne. His fourth three pointer of the half preceded a Kanye Clary runner and Princess Anne opened up an eight point lead with 1:55 left in the first half. A Tavion Walker layup just before the buzzer sent us into halftime with Princess Anne leading 37-31 thanks to twelve points each from Kanye Clary and Jarrell Pope. Matoaca tried to make a run in the third but Princess Anne responded with timely baskets from Georges Archer who scored on consecutive trips down the floor and Jalen Baxter to keep Matoaca at bay. Matoaca guard Daeshawn Jefferson showed off his quickness and blew by a pair of defenders for a layup with 4:24 left in the game and followed with a nice drive and dish to Michael Mahone to get Matoaca to within two midway through the fourth. Jefferson’s floater in the lane with :34 seconds left cut Princess Anne’s lead to 59-56 and after a defensive stop Jordan Crews scored to make it a one point game, Princess Anne 59, Matoaca 58 with :26 seconds left and setting up a gut wrenching finish for both teams. Matoaca missed a layup with 2.8 left and Jalen Baxter came up with a huge rebound and was fouled. The senior forward hit 1 of 2 at the line still giving Matoaca life but a desperation three pointer from beyond half court hit the back of the iron and the Cavaliers escaped with the 60-58 win. Princess Anne was led by sophomore guard Kanye Clary’s 22 points and 6 assists. Jarrell Pope was 5 for 7 from deep and finished with 15 points. For Matoaca Zakari McQueen led the way with a game high 24 points including six three pointers, Daeshawn Jefferson added 13 points, 5 assists.
Maury 61, George Wythe 44
Brice Phillips scored 13 points and grabbed 9 rebounds to lead the defending VHSL Class 5 state champions. Keshaun Tonsall and Corey Hollis scored a pair of baskets each as Maury jumped to a 13-0 lead and led 17-5 at the end of the first quarter. The Commodores got scoring from just about everyone in their roster in the win. In addition to Brice Phillips’ 13 point effort, the Commodores got 11 points from KeShaun Tonsall and 10 from Nasir Parker in the win. Deshawn Goodwyn scored 13 points for George Wythe.
Varina 71, Lakeland 68
The fourth quarter was a shootout, and one of the most exciting quarters of basketball I’ve seen all year with Lakeland outscoring Varina 27-22 and nearly escaping with a come from behind win! The first half stayed close throughout. The end of the first quarter found the game tied at 16 with Keimari Artis leading Lakeland with 8 points and Amari Baylor leading Varina with eight. Lakeland was able to mount a run midway through the second quarter when Keimari Artis connected from deep for the third time giving him 13 points and Lakeland a 23-18 lead with 4:34 left in the first half. Varina pulled within a point at the break thanks to a three point basket by Jaylon Travis and a Christian Carden layup in the final seconds of the first half. 6’3 sophomore forward Amari Baylor had a strong first half scoring 13 points and grabbing 9 rebounds at the break. Amari Baylor continued his assault on the glass and on the scoreboard into the third quarter as Varina began to pull away. An Alphonzo Billups basket with 4:44 left in the third put Varina in front 36-35 and sparked an 8-2 Varina surge. Amari Baylor scored a pair of baskets, Alphonzo Billups and Christian Carden followed with scores during the Varina run. Varina grabbed a 49-41 lead to end the third thanks to late baskets from Billups and Quincy Jefferson. Alphonzo Billups continued his stellar play into the fourth and his free throws with 7:02 left gave Varina the largest lead for either team as they went in front by ten, 51-41. Free throws by Alphonzo Billups and Christian Carden allowed Varina to go in front 64-56 with 1:23 to play setting up a furious finish. Varina suffered a huge setback when, with 1:29 to go Amari Baylor was whistled for his fifth foul. He left the game with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Meanwhile Lakeland guard Keimari Artis was continuing his spectacular play. He was fouled and hit a pair of free throws with 50.1 seconds left to pull Lakeland to within four, 66-62. Those free throws gave the senior guard 34 points for the game! Raymond Bellamy was fouled and converted a three point play with 39.3 seconds left cutting the Varina lead to 67-65! Varina led 71-68 with 6.6 left when Lakeland ran a sideline out of bounds play and their three point attempt just missed, Alphonzo Billups secured the rebound and Varina escaped the barrage of baskets from Keimari Artis and the Lakeland comeback to grab the win for the 804!
Kings Fork 82, Hugenot 69
Kings Fork didn’t waste any time heating up from deep as just two minutes in Jayden Epps, Ryan Hite and Tyler Chatman had all connected from beyond the arc giving the Bulldogs an 11-4 start. Kings Fork hit five three pointers in the first quarter and, led by sophomore sensation Jayden Epps’ 12 points led 27-8 after the first quarter. Kings Fork dominated inside throughout the first half and built their lead to 51-24 by halftime. Jayden Epps (20 points) and Tyler Chatman (12) led the offensive charge for the Bulldogs while Quentin Livingston and George Beale were handling the rebounding chores. Hugenot showed signs of life opening the second half with a 7-0 surge sparked by Marcus Leisure’s five points. Kings Fork led by as many as 25 points in the third and led 68-50 after three quarters. The Bulldogs then went cold misfiring on their first seven field goal attempts of the fourth quarter while going scoreless for the first 5:05 of the quarter! Hugenot was unable to capitalize however. Jordan Parham began to heat up from deep and finished with four three pointers but the early Kings Fork rally was too much to overcome. Kings Fork picked up their 13th win of the year with just 1 loss with the win and gives the 757 a 3-2 advantage over the 804 in “The Battle Lines II” tournament.
Tomorrow we will take a look at some of the events top performances and feature many of the players who generated so much excitement at “The Battle Lines II”.