New Kent Charles City Chronicle

News for New Kent County and Charles City County, Virginia | May 18, 2024

Jamestown short-circuits New Kent’s post-season hopes

By Alan Chamberlain | February 27, 2008 10:35 am

Losing in the Bay Rivers District basketball tournament quarterfinals didn’t figure into the post-season play scripted for New Kent’s Trojans. Sometimes, however, things don’t go as planned.

Jamestown’s sixth-seeded Eagles upset the host Trojans, the tourney’s number three seed, 73-70 as quarterfinal play got under way on Feb. 18.

The loss cast the Trojans into wait-and-see mode, meaning their Region I playoff hopes hinged on the two top seeds, Tabb and Poquoson, reaching the tournament final. But if a lower seed managed to sneak in, the Trojans’ season would be over.

Unfortunately, the latter scenario played out with Lafayette claiming the third and final Region I spot out of Bay Rivers. New Kent’s season ended at 18-6.

“We don’t deserve to go,” New Kent coach Ed Allen said after the loss to Jamestown.

“I’m so disgusted,” he added. “I guess we thought that since we beat them easily down there, we could do it again.”

Three nights earlier, New Kent had little problem in dispatching Jamestown 70-53 on the Eagles’ floor. But the Trojans only had to look back a few weeks to Jan. 11 and recall what the Eagles accomplished at New Kent. Jamestown handed New Kent an 81-64 setback.

“Part of it’s mental, and they were more ready to play than we were,” Allen said. “They beat us to loose balls and they got rebounds. They out-rebounded us 23-11 in the first half.”

And the visitors out-shot the Trojans. Jamestown used a 65 percent accuracy mark from the floor to wipe out a 19-12 lead New Kent held after one quarter. With the hosts shooting a dismal 29 percent in the second period, the Eagles forged ahead to a 40-31 halftime edge.

The advantage grew to 12 midway through quarter three. A serious dent in the Jamestown lead did not appear until a Nick Sickal free throw followed by Steven Allen’s three-point shot reduced the deficit to a workable 54-48 margin heading into the final quarter.

Everett Christian’s trey with five minutes left pulled New Kent within two at 63-61. Moments later, a Christian steal led to Justin Williams being fouled in the act of shooting. Williams drained both free throws to tie with four minutes to go.

Jamestown’s opportunity to vault back in front ended when Christian tied up the Eagles’ Steven Bennett on a drive to the basket. The possession arrow pointed to New Kent, and the Trojans took advantage of the turnover with Christian pumping in his third trey of the quarter. With 3:38 to go, New Kent owned a 66-63 lead.

But the Eagles answered quickly with Jay Erwin scoring in the lane to cut the gap to one. An Eagle steal ended in a Winston Mattheisen basket to put the visitors back in front, but fouled with 2:23 to go, Allen sank both of a double bonus opportunity for a 68-67 Trojan lead.

Allen called time and deployed his team in a diamond-and-one defense — Dorrein Akrie guarding Bennett one-on-one — as play resumed. The strategy worked as Jamestown came up empty on a three-point try and the Trojans grabbed the rebound. New Kent immediately spread the floor on offense.

“During the time out, we said we’d only shoot lay-ups and we’d probably get fouled,” Allen said. “We just didn’t get the shot we wanted out of the stall.”

New Kent took the clock down inside two minutes before Sickal missed a short-range jumper in the lane. The Eagles rebounded and converted at the other end as Mattheisen scored in the lane, putting his team back in front 69-68.

But with 48 seconds left, Williams grabbed an offensive rebound and stuck it back for a 70-69 New Kent lead. The advantage, however, lasted only until the Eagles’ Josh Hathaway launched a trey out of the corner for a 72-70 Jamestown lead with 29 seconds to go.

New Kent was not without its chances to pull out the win in the final moments. With 10 seconds left, Allen was alone in the corner for an open trey that missed the mark. The ball landed in Williams’ hands for another open look near the top of key, but again the shot failed to drop.

Bennett grabbed Williams’ miss and was fouled with 2.3 seconds on the clock. He sank one of two double bonus free throws, giving New Kent a last ditch attempt to tie, but the hosts could not get off a shot before the buzzer.

“That was just a terrible way to end after coming from 12 points down to take the lead,” Allen said. “I guess [Jamestown] wanted this more than we did.”

Sixteen points from both Christian and Sickal led New Kent. Michael Owens tossed in 14 while Allen finished with 11. Williams contributed six followed by Akrie’s three and two each from Donovan Gipson and Paul Kearney.

Bennett pumped in a game-high 18 points for Jamestown (13-8).