Friday, February 28, 2014

THE WRAP: Heartbreak Redux: L.C. Bird Eliminated By Henrico....

It only matters if you lead after 32 minutes. Holding the edge, sometimes comfortably for 31:52 just isn't enough. That is the hard, hard lesson L.C. Bird basketball will stew upon throughout the offseason, knowing that with the 5A South Regional Semifinal, and a trip to the State Tournament in their hands, they couldn't hold on.

It was a combination of strategy adjustment by the Skyhawks that some may call "playing not to lose" as fans were heard to say after the game filing out, and a Henrico Warriors defense that found an extra level in the final five minutes, that gave the Warriors the opening to come back, then seal the game with one shot and one defensive stand.

The record book will show the game as Henrico 58, LC Bird 57. What it won't show will include how the Skyhawks ran circles around the Warriors in the first period, how C.J. Miles became an outside-shooting house of fire, connecting for 14 points in the first half, including four treys, and 22 for the game. It also won't show how the Skyhawks came out for the second half with a three-point lead and, in 4:21 of game action, outscored Henrico 14-6 for a 42-31 lead. At the time, Henrico was not executing their offense, not getting the ball to DeMonte Buckingham, settling for three-point attempts that mostly missed the mark.

This is when Buckingham took over, showing why he's already being heavily recruited by the likes of VCU, UVA, Virginia Tech, and others from major conferences, though just a sophomore. In consecutive possessions, Buckingham found the position to grab the board and score the putback. That fueled a 9-4 Warriors run to cut the Skyhawks lead to 46-40. After another Warrior basket, they turned on the 94-foot press.

Bird was able to break it, getting the ball to Miles who drained a trey. Ryan Pearson answered with one of his own just before the horn sounded. 49-45 Skyhawks with a quarter to go.

Each team scored twice early on, Buckingham cutting a then 7-point lead to 4 on the "And One" down low, then the game seemed stuck awhile on 53-49. Bird opted to slow things down and kill some clock. Some teams can do this and not lose their rhythm. This was not the case with Bird, who did not return to their high level of performance as the waning minutes wore on. Intensity? Yes. Fighting spirit? Oh, yes. But the decision to pull the ball out changed the complexity of the game.

Mario Haskett was fouled, and he missed the front end of the one-and-one. Bird fought and forced a turnover, so they called timeout with 3:04 left, still a 53-49 game looking for yet a new way to extend that advantage. Ten seconds into the next play, Henrico's defense force the Skyhawks to burn yet another timeout.

Finally back in play, Williams hit a jumper for a 55-49 lead. Buckingham answered. 55-51 with 2:00 left. At that moment, a turnover by Bird gave Buckingham the chance to take the game over.

He did.

His "And One" just five seconds later cut the Bird lead to 55-54. The Skyhawks answered with two, 57-54, then the Warriors found Marquis Johnson in the left corner baseline, who launched, and nailed the tying three-pointer. 57-57 with 1:30 to go.

At this point some fans courtside got out of hand. Security, officials and police quickly restored order. The teams took the "timeout" to gather and strategize. It was Bird's basketball. But not for long.

Moments after the inbounds pass, the Warriors stole the ball. Just over a minute to go and head coach Vance Harmon decides, in a 57-57 tie where he's not led the entire game, let's hold for the last shot and get out of here.

One problem, though. LC Bird only had committed four fouls in the half. So, at 11.1 seconds left, the Skyhawks fouled, forcing an inbounds pass, quite tricky with everything on the line. Henrico got it in to Buckingham who was immediately fouled. We do it again. Ball is passed to Buckingham and Williams fouls him down low. With 8.1 seconds left, the sophomore went to the line, a State Tournament berth resting on his shoulders.

His young, but broad shoulders haven't minded the load this year, game after game. Buckingham made one of two free throws, Bird rebounding the ball down one with 8 seconds left.

Kenny Williams took it all the way down the court, first down the left side, then crossing the court looking for an opening up the middle. Nothing there. As the clock winds down he settles for a jumper from 14 feet right of the circle, and it missed. The horn sounded and Warrior Nation began its celebration.

For the second year in a row, L.C. Bird saw its season end at the hands of Henrico.

C.J. Miles led the Skyhawks with 22 points, while Kenny Williams added 19.  ChesterfieldCountySports.net and HCS Media Network salute head coach Troy Manns and the Skyhawks for an incredible season!
















(The final four pictures show the final play of the game as Kenny Williams drove coast-to-coast to find a seam for a game-winning jumper. His shot went off the mark, ending the game at 58-57, Henrico.)

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

2014 Conference 3 All-Conference Basketball Teams!

Congratulations to the following student-athletes for being named All-Conference 3 performers in the 6A South Region for boys and girls basketball:

BOYS:

FIRST TEAM:
Zane Najdawi, Cosby
Andrien White, Thomas Dale
Jon Stenger, James River
Donovan Dowling, Varina
Christian Kirchman, Patrick Henry-Roanoke
D'Andre Kellam, Franklin County
Tyus Esworthy, Patrick Henry-Roanoke
Ethan Adams, Franklin County

SECOND TEAM:
Quintreil Chung, James River
Collin Fleischer, Thomas Dale
A.J. Holliday, Thomas Dale
Dexter Dowling, Varina
Cortez Ogden, Patrick Henry-Roanoke
Brandon Kellam, Franklin County
Bradley Parcell, Franklin County
Tret Terry, Patrick Henry-Roanoke

GIRLS:

FIRST TEAM:
Dorothy Adomako, Cosby
Tyra Whitehead, Cosby
Jocelyn Jones, Cosby
Skye Jefferson, Cosby
Zarkia Mattox, Franklin County
Miranda Crockett, Franklin County
Casey Ripp, James River
Kierra Bell, Varina

SECOND TEAM:
Dyamond Jefferies, Varina
Jordyn Day, Varina
Kiara Rogers, James River
Samantha Gonzalez, James River
Monique Jones, Thomas Dale
Ryan Woods, Patrick Henry-Roanoke
Destani Mitchell, Franklin County
Taylor Greenway, Franklin County

Conference 3 Girls Player of the Year: Dorothy Adomako, Cosby
Conference 3 Girls Coach of the Year: Rachel Mead, Cosby

SNAPSHOTS: L.C. Bird Basketball in 5A South Quarterfinals!

With Shaka Smart in the house ready to offer L.C. Bird junior sensation Kenny Williams, Williams and his teammates responded with a second half runaway, eliminating Deep Run 73-55 in the quarterfinals of the 5A South Region Tuesday night at Hermitage High School in the West End.

Here is a look at some of the action from Tuesday night.

(BONUS: To watch our interview with Kenny Williams, go to HCS Media Network's YouTube Channel by CLICKING HERE!)












Sunday, February 16, 2014

PHOTO GALLERY: 2014 5A South Wrestling Championships!

Congratulations to Matoaca for winning the inaugural 5A South Wrestling Championships, coming from behind in the championship round to best Princess Anne by four points, 176.5 to 172.5. Great Bridge (163), Kellam (147.5) and Lee-Davis (119) rounded out the top five. L.C. Bird was 15th with 37 points.

Some snapshots from our live Twitter coverage tonight, some of which you didn't see....













Friday, February 14, 2014

SCHEDULE CHANGES AND UPDATES (as of Noon SATURDAY)

What a crazy week!  Let's get you caught up on everything we know about rescheduled tournaments and basketball tournament brackets and schedules.....

1) 6A South Wrestling Tournament (Cosby, Thomas Dale, James River) is now a ONE-DAY event held Sunday 2/16 at Colonial Forge High School in Stafford County. The school is seven miles off I-95 Exit 136; that's 60 miles north of downtown Richmond.

2) 5A South Wrestling Tournament will be held Saturday and Sunday, starting at 2pm Saturday, 1pm with semi-finals and consolations Sunday, at Clover Hill High School in Chesterfield.

3) 4A South Wrestling Tournament is now a ONE-DAY event on Saturday with weigh-ins at 9am, first round at 11am, semifinals at 4pm, finals at 8pm at Woodrow Wilson High School in Portsmouth. Take I-64 east to I-664, then take Exit 11B to Route 337 East, go just over three miles and turn right on Elmhurst Drive to arrive at the school.

4) 5A South Track & Field Championships will now be held on Saturday 2/15 AND Monday 2/17 at Boo Williams Sportsplex in Hampton. NEW SCHEDULE can be found by CLICKING HERE.
(NOTE: 6A South Regionals aren't until next weekend, 2/21 and 22, while 4A South Regionals are Wednesday and Thursday 2/19 and 20, both at Boo Williams SportsPlex.)

BASKETBALL:

CONFERENCE 3: Girls Bracket is out and Cosby, at 18-0, is the #1 overall seed. They and #2 Franklin County, get first round byes.

Thomas Dale travels to play Varina in a #5 vs. #4 game Monday at 7pm. The winner plays at Cosby in the Conference semifinals Wednesday at 7pm.

James River will host Patrick Henry-Roanoke on Monday at 6pm in a #3 vs. #6 game. The winner goes to Franklin County for a semifinal Wednesday at 6pm.

Boys Bracket is out with Patrick Henry-Roanoke the #1 seed, Franklin County #2, both getting first round byes.

First Round MONDAY is #5 Thomas Dale at #4 James River at 7:45pm, #6 Varina at #3 Cosby at 7pm. The Knights/Rapids winner goes to PH-Roanoke Wednesday 7pm, while the Blue Devils/Titans winner goes to Franklin County Wednesday at 7:45. The championship will be at the highest seed remaining on Friday night.

CONFERENCE 12: The Meadowbrook boys and Prince George girls receive the #1 seeds and subsequent byes. #2 seeds also get byes; they are Matoaca for the boys and L.C. Bird for the girls.

BOYS FIRST ROUND: (Tuesday at L.C. Bird; all tournament games at Bird):
#6 Clover Hill vs. #3 L.C. Bird, 6pm (Winner plays Matoaca Wed. 7:30pm)
#5 Prince George vs. #4 Manchester, 7:30pm (Winner plays Meadowbrook Wed. 6pm)

GIRLS FIRST ROUND: (Tuesday at Clover Hill; Semis Thursday at CHHS, Finals Friday, 6pm at Bird)
#6 Matoaca vs. #3 Meadowbrook, 6pm (Winner plays L.C. Bird in semis, 7:30pm)
#5 Clover Hill vs. #4 Manchester, 7:30pm (Winner plays Prince George in semis, 6pm)

CONFERENCE 20: The Monacan girls and Hanover boys have earned #1 seeds in their respective brackets and a bye from first round competition on Tuesday.

BOYS FIRST ROUND: (games are at higher seeds in first round Tuesday)
#7 Monacan at #2 Midlothian
#6 J.R. Tucker at #3 Glen Allen
#5 Caroline at #4 Dinwiddie

GIRLS FIRST ROUND: (games are at higher seeds in first round Tuesday)
#7 Dinwiddie at #2 Glen Allen
#6 Hanover at #3 Caroline
#5 J.R. Tucker at #4 Midlothian

All boys and girls semifinals and finals will be played at Glen Allen High School.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

SUPER SATURDAY!

Just scratching the surface of the day in sports!

--LC Bird and Matoaca with big girls basketball victories, while Meadowbrook took care of the Skyhawks in boys action.

--Matoaca won the Conference 12 Wrestling Championship

--Manchester swept the Conference 12 Boys and Girls Track Championships:
      --Jada Cunningham (Clover Hill) was named Girls Runner of the Year...
      --Jonniece Scott (Manchester) was named Field Athlete of the Year...
      --Josh Willard (Clover Hill) was named Boys Runner of the Year...


Here are a few sights from the track event, captured Saturday evening.....






Saturday, February 1, 2014

JUST ADDED: HCS Media Network to air Cosby/Monacan Girls, Round 2 LIVE!

The Cosby Titans remain unbeaten, while the Monacan Chiefs' only loss so far this season was when they traveled to face the Titans.

Revenge will be on Monacan's mind when they welcome the Titans to end the regular season on Thursday, February 13th and HCS Media Network will be there to broadcast the game LIVE!

If you can't make it out, join us for the action beginning at 7PM EST.  Listen live on the Mixlr player here at ChesterfieldCountySports.net or bookmark THIS LINK to listen to ALL HCS Media Network broadcasts on your smartphone, tablet, or Kindle Fire!