Midlothian and Meadowbrook both fell in razor-close semifinal games at the 10th Annual Henrico Holiday Hoops Tournament at Henrico High School Friday evening.
The unbeaten Potomac Panthers, favorites to emerge from 5A North with a shot at a state title in March, survived the relentless pursuit of Brandon Cheeks and Meadowbrook, escaping with a 66-64 victory. Cheeks finished with his season average of 23, almost sure to punch a ticket to the All-Tournament Team with 49 points in two games. Khylil James added 11 points and five boards, fighting the tall trees of Potomac all night, led by 6' 9" senior center Trey Porter. Good defensive scheming by the Monarchs limited Porter to nine points, but Randall Haynes burned them inside and out for 17 points.
Cheeks and the Monarchs face another All-Tourney Team hopeful with Midlothian guard Korey Turner and the Trojans providing the opposition in Saturday's 3rd Place Game. The Trojans' upset bid of defending state Group AAA champion Henrico, the host team, fell short, as the Warriors prevailed 74-71.
SPECIAL NOTE: HCS Media Network will provide LIVE, EXCLUSIVE online radio coverage of both the Midlothian/Meadowbrook and Potomac/Henrico games Saturday evening! Airtime is 5:15pm, just click on the link at the top right side of this web page!
HCS Media Network presented a tripleheader of hoops from the L.C. Bird Holiday Hoops Tournament, seeing the homestanding Skyhawks boys roll to victory while the Manchester Lancers struggled.
But the big news of the day from this tournament was the Brunswick County girls team knocking off host L.C. Bird 48-47 in the first game of the day. The Bulldogs remained unbeaten, but this is an upset with a 2A East team defeating a 5A South favorite on their home floor. Juanita Eshelman hit the game-winning three pointer with just seconds to play. Taja Cole, who scored 16 for the Skyhawks, had a shot for the win at the buzzer, but it hit the rim and bounced away.
L.C. Bird must regroup to face another area powerhouse, Highland Springs, who destroyed Nansemond River Friday evening 79-36 and led by as many as 50. The Skyhawks/Springers showdown will be the final game of the Holiday Hoops Tourney at 6:30pm at Chuck Tester Gymnasium.
GIRLS: Manchester 48, Matoaca 27 (consolation game in Prince George Tournament)
Midlothian 69, Warwick 56 (Trojans score 25 in 4th quarter to pull away, was down 30-22 at halftime!)
Hopewell 44, Clover Hill 42 (consoliation semis at Clover Hill Holiday Tournament)
BOYS: John Handley 64, Manchester 39 (Lancers now 3-4, face W.T. Woodson at L.C. Bird Saturday, 1:30pm)
L.C. Bird Holiday Hoops Tournament Saturday (Day 3) Schedule:
Girls: Nansemond River vs. Midlothian, 12noon
Boys: Manchester vs. W.T. Woodson, 1:30pm
Girls: Brunswick vs. Warwick, 3pm
Boys: John Handley vs. Stafford, 5pm
Girls: L.C. Bird vs. Highland Springs, 6:30pm