PECHS Secures No. 3 Spot In Southside District Tournament

Published 4:03 pm Tuesday, February 12, 2013

FARMVILLE – The Prince Edward County High School boys basketball team entered Friday night's regular-season finale against Southampton with two related goals. First, of course, was to win and send its seniors out on a good note.

The second, was to win and get in on the opposite side of the Southside District Tournament bracket from regular-season champion Brunswick.

Missions accomplished. The Eagles even made it look easy, with a 61-43 victory over the Indians. In the process, PE grabbed the third seed in this week's SSD Tournament, and will travel to No. 2 seed Park View on Wednesday night in South Hill.

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“We had to get that good spot in the district tournament,” said PECHS head coach James Scott, who added that “good” was a relative term, given how well Park View has been playing recently. “Park View gave Brunswick all it could handle in their last meeting, so you're really picking your poison right now, but this will help us in terms of [Region I] playoff seeding.

“We knew we had to set the tempo early. Southampton is a team we couldn't let get confident, so we had to get the defense out and pressure them from the outset.”

Prince Edward's mix of zones proved to be too much for Southampton, with the exception of Jamal Johnson, who scored all of the Indians' first quarter points (10). The Eagles held a 15-10 advantage at the first break, and quickly extended it with a 13-1 run over the first four minutes of the second quarter. A pair of foul shots by Amonte Vaughan started the run that ended at the 4:10 mark on a layup by Tequan Banks.

Southampton's second foul shot of the quarter stopped the run, but by the time the Indians buried a three-pointer with 1:12 remaining in the half, PE was enjoying a 33-15 lead.

The Eagles scored six more points over the final 55 seconds of the half, including a Villante Eanes buzzer-beating 15-footer to give PE a 39-15 halftime lead.

Three consecutive three-pointers by guard Derek Robertson midway through the third quarter gave PE a 49-22 lead with 4:10 left in the third quarter.

The Eagles led 50-26 at the end of the third and with the game well in-hand, substituted heavily the rest of the way.

“We've improved a lot over the season,” said Scott. “We have a lot of sophomores and juniors who are playing very key roles on the team. We're getting better, and hopefully they can help take us deep into the district and region tournaments.”

Robertson led the Eagles with 19 points on the night, while Eanes and Vaughan had ten points apiece and Banks and Antonio Jones had eight.

The Eagles will be playing Park View for the fourth time this season (the two also met in the Call Me Mister Tournament at Longwood in December).

The Eagles have improved each time out against the Dragons.

“We keep learning what we need to do,” said Scott. “We were up early on them the last time out, but a jump shot by them at the buzzer just before halftime gave them a boost that we couldn't recover from.

“We will have to spread the floor and try to keep the ball out of the hands of the players we know can easily score. We'll have to do that to have a chance. If we can't, we will be in for a long night.”