High Octane Dukes Advance Into JRD Tournament Semifinal Game

Published 4:23 pm Wednesday, February 15, 2012

CUMBERLAND – Not much went wrong for the Cumberland High School boys basketball team in its 113-92 victory over Bluestone in the quarterfinal round of the James River District Tournament.

About the only thing that did was an error in the home scorebook that took three points of what would've been the Dukes' total, which would have allowed them to set the school record for points scored in a game (114).

“I would've liked to see them get the record, “said Cumberland interim head coach Tyrone Mosby, who as a student, was on the team that set the record. “When we got up toward [the record] I wanted them to get it, but we didn't have the time to get it officially. I'm just glad that it ended up not costing us the game.”

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That was a minor detail for the Dukes, who have their sights set on the tournament title and to improve their regional seeding. To do so, the Dukes decided to go with an up-tempo approach against the upset-minded Barons.

“That was the plan, and we wanted to focus on defense,” said Mosby. “It doesn't look like it to look at the final score. We were doing that at first, and I don't know if we got tired or what, but we definitely wanted more defense.”

Cumberland built a 24-7 lead midway through the first quarter, but fouls started to mount up on the Dukes, who played a man-to-man defense for much of the night. The foul trouble seemingly forced the Dukes to soften its defensive approach, which let the Barons get back into the game and play close well into the third quarter.

The Dukes led 34-19 at the end of the first quarter, but a 10-0 run by Bluestone to start the second quarter, cut Cumberland's lead to just five points at 34-29 with 5:40 left in the half.

Cumberland, which made a lot of its points off of Bluestone turnovers, extended its lead back to ten at 44-34 with 4:03 remaining, and traded baskets for the balance of the quarter. The Dukes led 58-45 at the half.

Bluestone went on another run to start the second half. The Barons closed to within two points at 60-58 after the bookkeeping error was noted.

Bluestone remained close deep into the quarter. A three-pointer by Rashawn Sims with 2:02 left in the quarter, sparked a 15-4 run that put the Dukes ahead by a comfortable margin for good. Cumberland carried an 86-69 lead into the fourth quarter, and carried the run over into the final frame with an 8-0 burst in the first 90 seconds of the fourth.

A three-pointer by Travon Royall gave CHS a 100-79 lead at the four minute mark. Bluestone continued to press on defense, which allowed the Dukes to get several easy baskets on the other end to win going away.

“They made several runs at us,” said Mosby. “I figured they would make a few, and they got close, but every time they did, we buckled down and answered it with a run of our own.”

Sims scored 38 points on the evening, while senior guard, Devonte Booker scored 34. VaSaun Boatwright scored 14 and De-Aundre Brooks added nine.

Cumberland moves on to the JRD Tournament semifinals, and will travel to Buckingham on Wednesday night. It will be the fourth meeting between the two teams this season. Buckingham leads the season series 2-1.

“They know what we're going to do, and we have a pretty good idea of what they're all about,” said Mosby. “It's tough to win over there. We'll need a much better defensive effort in order for us to come out with a win.

“Every win we get, gets us a better seed in the regional tournament, and the goal is to get a home seed in the first round. We'll probably have to win the tournament in order to do that, but that's what we'll have to do.”