Winter sports roundup: Basketball title hopes end for Hanover teams
The last hope for a Central Region basketball title to come to Hanover County ended Tuesday night when Colonial District Tournament Champion Patrick Henry ran into a buzz saw against the Cosby Titans.
Patrick Henry center Amber Lee battles for a rebound with Petersburg’s Kamaria Green.
The Titans, using a combination of menacing half-court pressure defense and an offense predicated on utilizing their height inside, pulled away from Patrick Henry in the second half for a comfortable 68-31 victory in Chesterfield.
Summer Price led Patrick Henry with 14 points, while Amber Lee added 11. Senior Jasmine Pinder, in her final game with Patrick Henry, scored two points on free throws and had six rebounds and four steals. Patrick Henry finishes 21-6, and has seen their season end one game short of the Final Four at the Siegel Center at the hands of Cosby two years in a row.
The Patriots made the quarterfinals of the tournament with a 47-39 win Monday night at home over Petersburg, Price leading the way in that contest with 25 points. Price, who has a year of eligibility remaining, will come back in November with 1,082 career points, 598 short of the all-time school record of Taylor Huber (1,680 points).
Also on Monday night, the Atlee girls were eliminated in first round region play by the same Cosby Titans, 91-34. Stephanie Staples and Shelby Hill each scored 12 for the Raiders, who finish the season at 11-11. The lone boys team in the tourney, Hanover, fell behind quickly in Chester at L.C. Bird and never could catch up, eventually falling 95-65 to end their season at 10-11. Trayvonte Brown finished his final game as a Hawk with 13 points, while freshman Jalen Elliott led Hanover with 21 points and six rebounds, showing there is a bright future on Chamberlayne Road.
Hanover’s J.D. Gregory finished fifth one year ago at the State Group AAA Wrestling Championships at 106 pounds. One year later and seven pounds heavier, Gregory returned to state competition and would not be denied, capturing the 113-pound state title with a 5-0 victory over Eastern Region champion Brandon Olsen of Indian River.
Gregory, a sophomore, used two takedowns, an escape, and relentless defense to secure the shutout. His teammate at 138 pounds, Corbin Allen, also made his state final, but fell to Matoaca’s Neil Richards by a 20-5 count to finish second in the state. Hanover as a team scored 75.5 points to place sixth in the state overall.
Other strong performances included fourth place finishes by Hanover’s Michael Flora at 126 pounds and Michael Engels at 152 pounds. Sawyer Barksdale of Lee-Davis finished fifth at 126 pounds while his teammate Chris Morris placed seventh at 120 pounds. Atlee’s Tanner Bazemore finished eighth in the 170-pound class, the best finish for the Raiders.
Patrick Henry’s Kristen Valasek finished 12th in the All-Around competition at the State Group AAA Championships held this past weekend in Clifton. Atlee’s Skylar Lambert, runner-up to Valasek in the region tournament two weeks ago, placed 17th, while Patrick Henry freshman Keion Greenhow was 20th.
In the team competition, Atlee finished sixth in a group of eight schools, defeating their Central Region rival Mills Godwin, who placed seventh, 135.925 to 134.275. Godwin nipped Atlee by one-tenth of one point to win the Central Region title on Feb. 2.
Valasek’s strongest rotation was vault, where she scored a 9.4, followed by floor exercise, where she scored a 9.325. Lambert’s top performance came on the vault at 9.125.
The Atlee boys team placed 14th with 62 points, while the girls placed 24th with 28 points at the State Group AAA Championships, held this past weekend at George Mason University. Notable individual performances include Raider sophomore Brittany Wilkerson, who enjoyed a fourth place finish in the girls 500-meter freestyle in a time of 5:04.83, later finishing tenth in the girls 200-yard freestyle at 1:55.97. Senior Jesse Burnley, swimming at his future college home in Fairfax, placed fifth in the boys 100-yard freestyle with a time of 47.36, then finished ninth in the boys 50-yard freestyle at 21.90.
For Lee-Davis, Central Region Girls Swimmer of the Year, Jennifer Vieni made the finals of the girls 100-yard freestyle, finishing seventh at 52.92, then finished 12th in the girls 50-yard freestyle at 24.44. Hanover’s best performance was turned in by Sarah Browning, finishing seventh in the girls 500 freestyle.
Oakton High of Vienna won the girls championship with 275 points, while Robinson Secondary School of Fairfax won the boys team title with 218.5 points.