Dukes Stifle Cougars

Published 4:11 pm Tuesday, February 12, 2013

NOTTOWAY – It must be February. The Cumberland High School boys basketball team, known for peaking at the right time, looks to be doing the same thing this season.

As the fifth seed in the James River District Tournament, the Dukes blistered No. 4 seed Nottoway 58-40 in Monday's JRD Tourney quarterfinal round.

The victory sets up a Wednesday night game at No. 1 seed Buckingham, which crushed Randolph-Henry 86-46 on Monday.

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“I wish we could do this in December or January,” said CHS head coach Tyrone Mosby. “Our defense has been picking up lately, and the boys understand where they are supposed to be, and where everyone else is as well.”

The Dukes spread out Nottoway on both ends of the court, and did a good job of working the ball into senior center Harry Bailey, who led the Dukes with a game-high 18 points on the night, despite not playing much of the second half. When that didn't work, Bailey tossed the ball back out to a wide-open Joseph Thompson, who buried four three pointers on the night.

Thompson hit a three-pointer just before the end of the first quarter to put the Dukes up 18-6 going into the second period.

CHS extended its lead to 31-14 at the half, and took a 35-19 lead with 6:03 left in the third quarter on a short jumper by Bailey.

“He's really come a long way over the season,” said Mosby of Bailey. “Last year, he was our third or fourth scoring option. Right now, he's our first. When he can hit and draw defenses into the block, it makes it a lot easier for our guards to hit wide-open shots.”

Nottoway pulled to within 15 points at 40-25 with 3:34 left in the third quarter, before the Dukes closed the period with a 10-0 run that included three-pointers by Thompson and Dione Booker to give the Dukes a 50-25 lead at the end of the third.

CHS led by as many as 29 points in with 4:50 left in the contest, before Nottoway closed the deficit against a mix of Cumberland role players and junior varsity call-ups.

Bailey led all scorers with 18 points, while Thompson added 14 and Booker and KeAndre Jones added nine and seven points apiece.

Nottoway was led in scoring by Darius Moore, who had seven points.

The Cougars were 7-15 from the foul line, while Cumberland was 1-5.

Cumberland will travel to Buckingham on Wednesday night for a 7 p.m. contest. The Dukes led most of the way in the previous meeting between the two, but wound up losing 45-40.

“We felt we let one get away last time,” said Mosby. “They probably felt they didn't play their best, so both teams will have something to prove, but it will be at their house. We have to come out with the same intensity that we did here tonight, and when we faced them at home two weeks ago. We'll have to do all the things we've been doing lately, but do them even better.”

Buckingham 86, Randolph-Henry 46

Buckingham County High School senior Cam Johnson led five Knights in double-figures scoring with 16 points as Buckingham cruised past Randolph-Henry 86-46 in the quarterfinal round of the James River District Tournament.

The Knights got off to a hot start and didn't look back. Buckingham led 13-3 at the end of the first quarter and 33-13 at halftime, before outscoring the Statesmen 29-15 in the third quarter to take a 62-28 lead at the end of three quarters.

Johnson also pulled down 10 rebounds and dished out four assists to go along with his 16 points. Leon Ragland scored 12 points, while Timothy Randolph (six rebounds) and Harold Stanton added 11 apiece and Dre Scott scored 10.

In other James River District games, No. 3 Bluestone defeated No. 6 Central of Lunenburg 55-46, while No. 7 Amelia upset No. 2 Goochland 52-48.

The Raiders will travel to Bluestone on Wednesday night for a 7 p.m. contest.

The winner of the Amelia/Bluestone game will play the Cumberland/Buckingham winner on Friday night at the highest remaining seed at 8 p.m., following the conclusion of the junior varsity championship game, which will begin at 6 p.m.