A Profitable Third Quarter For Knights

Published 4:30 pm Monday, December 31, 2012

NARUNA – A tradition of many football teams prior to the fourth quarter is to hold up four fingers, signifying that the final quarter is theirs.

The Buckingham County High School boys basketball team might consider holding up three. The third quarter has been the one where BCHS had done the most damage, including the Knights' 63-45 victory over William Campbell in the Liberty University Christmas Tournament championship game on Friday night.

The only time Buckingham has been out-scored in the third quarter was in the tournament's first round game on Friday – a 70-64 victory over Group AA Jefferson Forest.

Email newsletter signup

“I don't know what it is really, except the guys do a good job of refocusing and making adjustments at halftime,” said BCHS head coach Russ Gowin. “We do seem to play our best ball in the third quarter.”

Buckingham (9-0) led 28-27 at the half, and if not for four three-pointers (three by senior Tariq Bartee) at key times in the first half, could've very likely been trailing at the intermission.

It didn't take long for Buckingham to expand its narrow lead. The Knights, who were forced to play at a deliberate pace that favored the Generals in the first half, pushed the tempo enough to gain an advantage.

“We wanted to run a little more on them,” said Gown, “but they did a good job of making us play a patient, half-court offense in the first half. I'm pleased with our guys that they didn't get frustrated. They let the game come to them, and when they got the opportunity to speed things up a little, they were able to do so.”

Bartee hit his fourth three pointer to start the third quarter and a 14-2 run by the Knights. Dre Scott took advantage of some back door cuts to convert three layups in the third as Buckingham ended the third with a 44-32 lead.

Buckingham slowly extended its lead in the fourth quarter. Six points by senior Cam Johnson and a couple of buckets by Timothy Randolph, who was cold from the field for most of the night, helped the Knights keep William Campbell from cutting into their comfortable lead.

“Timmy battled his shot all night, but it finally started to go for him in the fourth,” said Gowin. “Though it wasn't going for him, I thought he really picked up his game on both the defensive end and on the boards.”

Randolph led the team in rebounding with 12 on the night to go along with his 12 points.

The Knights were led in scoring by Bartee, who had 20 points and four assists. Johnson scored 16 and Scott added nine. Buckingham committed just nine turnovers for the entire game.

“This was a great tournament for us to set the tone for January,” said Gowin. “Now we get fully into our district games, and we can go in with more confidence.”

Buckingham will host Cumberland on Friday, before traveling to Goochland on January 8.