Knights Win James River District Title

Published 3:31 pm Thursday, February 7, 2013

BUCKINGHAM – When the James River District Tournament begins next week, teams that face the Buckingham County High School will get to break in a couple of new nets.

The Knights nailed down the James River District boys basketball title on Tuesday night with a convincing 72-47 victory over Central of Lunenburg at the BCHS Gymnasium.

Buckingham (18-1, 12-1) holds a two game lead over Goochland with only Friday night's game at Bluestone left to play, and has also gained home-court advantage throughout the JRD Tournament and no worse than a No. 3 seed in the upcoming Region B, Division 2 Tournament.

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“This was big for us in a number of ways,” said BCHS head coach Russ Gowin. “It's been a long, tough road for us, so to see our kids be able to climb the ladder and cut down the nets was special for me.

“We've had some good teams come through here for the last couple of years, and we've picked up a large number of wins, but we haven't won the title in a while, so this was definitely a goal of ours.”

Perhaps it was Buckingham playing tight, given the situation, but the Knights struggled to pull away from the Chargers early on. BCHS led 12-11 at the end of the first quarter, and really didn't get much separation until late in the second quarter.

Up 28-24 with 53 seconds remaining, Cam Johnson hit a three-pointer to give the Knights a three-possession lead for the first time in the game. With nine seconds left, BCHS guard Harold Stanton spun around on his pivot foot to create enough separation to get off a second three-pointer to make it a ten-point game at 34-24 at the intermission.

Like it has done for most of the season, Buckingham clamped down on the Chargers on the defensive end and turned up the pressure offensively. The Knights held Central to just two field goals and 4-6 shooting from the foul line in the third quarter, while Dre Scott, who had battled early foul trouble in the first half, outscored the Chargers by himself with ten third quarter points.

The Knights more or less put the game away in a 14-3 run that took a little less than four minutes. Scott buried his ninth and tenth points of the quarter with a pair of foul shots at the 3:45 mark that gave BC a 48-28 lead.

The Knights substituted quite heavily in the final three minutes of the quarter and led 52-32 at the final break.

Buckingham took its biggest lead of the night at 66-34 on a three-pointer by Stephonn Chambers with four minutes left in the game.

Central senior standout David Haywood helped his team end the game on a good note by scoring nine of his game-high 26 points in the final 2:15.

Haywood, who was an impressive 10-12 from the foul line, also led the team in rebounding with seven. Jaron Webb added eight points for the Chargers.

Buckingham was led in scoring by Timmy Randolph, who helped keep the Knights close in the first half, with 19 points and a team-high eight rebounds. Scott scored 14 points and hauled in five rebounds, while Johnson scored ten. Kyree Koonce scored six points, pulled down five rebounds, collected six assists and three steals.

“I think we were playing a little tight early on, but Timmy really stepped up and did a super job helping us build that lead just before the half.

“We had to sit Dre for most of the first half, because of those two fouls, but just before the third quarter he said in the huddle, 'I'm going to get going now, coach,' and boy did he.”

Buckingham will wrap up its regular-season schedule on Friday at Bluestone, and will host Randolph-Henry on Monday night in the quarterfinal round of the James River District Tournament at 7 p.m. Should the Knights win that game, they will host the winner of the 4/5 game on Wednesday night at 7 p.m., and the JRD Tournament championship will be held at the highest remaining seed on Friday night at 8 p.m.