Middlesex JVs tie for district championship
by Larry S. Chowning
The Middlesex High boys JV basketball team tied King William for the Tidewater District championship by closing its season with wins over King William, Mathews and King and Queen.
Middlesex defeated King William 39-31 on Friday, downed Mathews 40-30 on Saturday, and walloped King and Queen 38-16 on Tuesday.
Both Middlesex and King William finished 7-1 in district play.
Against King William, the Chargers jumped to an early 9-5 lead behind 2 steals by LJ King. The quarter closed with a half-court shot made by Shane Bristow as the buzzer sounded.
The Cavaliers opened the second quarter with a 5-0 spurt. King William outscored the Chargers 12-6 in the quarter to take a 17-15 halftime lead.
“They made adjustments against our zone and made some big shots,” said MHS coach Jason Daniel.
The Chargers defense held King William to a season low 4 points in the third quarter. “We did a better job of guarding their 3-point shooters and stopping dribble penetration,” said Daniel.
The fourth quarter featured a tight game with several lead changes. King scored 7 of his 11 points in the fourth quarter and Justin Smith made 2 important free throws.
It was the first district loss for King William. Austin Burch scored 11 points to pace the Cavs.
King scored 11 points, Juwan Reed 8, Sherman Osborne 6, Bristow and Smith 5 apiece, JD Diggs 3, and Malik Henderson 1.
The second meeting between Mathews and the Chargers lived up to the hype and more. Before a capacity crowd on Saturday in Saluda, the Chargers defeated the Devils 40-30.
The Devils jumped to an early 7-0 lead behind DeAndre Foster and a deep 3-pointer by Ian Smith. “We had a big win the night before and we knew that Mathews was ready to play, and we didn’t match their intensity,” said Daniel.
A early timeout settled the Chargers down, MHS ended the quarter with a 6-0 run but still trailed 7-6.
The second quarter featured a seesaw game and several great defensive plays.
With 1.6 seconds left in the first half and MHS ahead by one point, Mathews inbounded the ball to DeShawn Williamson who made a big 3-pointer to give Mathews the lead.
“I told them in the locker room at halftime it came down to two things—effort and desire,” he said.
Daniel’s talk worked as the Chargers came alive on defense in the second half and forced 10 turnovers. Middlesex scored a season high 19 points in the fourth quarter to seal the win.
Middlesex’s Juwan Reed scored 9 of his 14 points in the fourth quarter to lead all scorers.
“We didn’t quit or make excuses,” said Daniel. “We played hard every possessio.”
Others to score for the Chargers were Diggs with 10 points, Osborne had 8, Smith 4, and King and Bristow 2 apiece.