Saturday, December 28, 2013

HOLIDAY HOOPS: Atlee, Hanover Boys Fall; Atlee, Hanover Girls Victorious....

An easy Friday for the Atlee girls basketball team as they advance to their division finals in the 2013 Ronald Curry/Boo Williams Classic in Hampton with a 61-26 win over Currituck County (NC). The Raiders, winners now of four straight, will face Bayside in the finals Saturday at 4pm, 64-62 winners over Phoebus in the other semifinal.

Meanwhile, at the Clover Hill Holiday Tournament, the Hanover Hawks advanced to the championship with their second-straight two-point win, a 41-39, grind-it-out victory over Appomattox Regional Governor's School. Hanover, now 3-6, faces Conference 20, and former Capital District foe, Glen Allen in the championship game. The Jaguars (7-3) handled J.R. Tucker 62-40 in the other semifinal.

At the Henrico Holiday Hoops Tournament, both Atlee and Hanover fell in consolation semifinal action, setting up at 7th Place game between the Raiders and Hawks Saturday at 2:30.  Atlee was outrebounded by Hermitage 52-19 as the Panthers outlasted Atlee 80-63. Brian Miller poured in 33 points for more than half of the Raiders' offensive output. Both teams are now 2-6.

The second consolation semifinal was a much tighter affair: Hanover and Glen Allen, two teams that have already battled this season into overtime.  Correspondent Ryan Senavitis filed this report:

The Hawks took the court to play the Jaguars in the Henrico Holiday Hoops Tournament. The Jaguars seeking revenge as the Hawks knocked them off in the championship of the Conference 20 tournament in overtime, 56-53 on December 7th.

The Jaguars would waste no time, jumping out to an 11-6 lead. The Hawks, as expected, chipped away. With 1:04 remaining in the first, a jumper by Elliot would give the Hawks their first lead in the game. A late steal and jumper by Josh Harris made it 15-13 Hanover. Collin Dwyer nailed two free throws for the Jaguars to end period one in a 15-15 deadlock.

The Hawks would come out roaring with a 6-0 run to lead 21-15, at 3:11 to halftime. Glen Allen matched it to draw even at 21, then picked up the pace out of a Hanover timeout, going on another 6-0 lead to extend the lead at the half to 28-24. 

Glen Allen seized momentum as the second half begin, keeping the Hawks at bay. But Hanover helped the Jaguars' cause, missing key free throws and short shots inside the paint. Finally, Hanover got Cutch Ellis more into the offensive mix, and his jumper would tie it at 48-48 into fourth quarter action

Glen Allen played with increased intensity, but it would continue to be a battle as the Jaguars would lead 51-48 mid 4th quarter. Back and forth they went, just like they did twenty days ago on the Jaguars' home court. Hanover drew within one at 58-57, calling time at :50 in regulation. 

Coaches on both benches beseeched their players to "play smart". Hanover did not, committing a needless mistake, then later fouled Jaguar leading scorer Grayson Midulla. Midulla hit one free throw for a 59-57 Jaguars edge. 

Ellis responded, dribbling down the court, hitting a jumper to tie the game at 59 with just 11.6 seconds remaining. But Derrick Johnson would hit a floater for Glen Allen and was fouled. Glen Allen led 61-59.  Johnson added two more for security, finishing with 12 as the Jaguars survived, and exacted some revenge, 63-59. Midulla led the Jaguars with 23 points. Ellis led the Hawks with 17, but credit Glen Allen on shutting down point guard Jalen Elliott, limited to only nine. Josh Harris added 12 points off the bench.  

Glen Allen will advance to play Hermitage in the 5th Place Game at 4pm Saturday, while Hanover will play county rival Atlee for the second time in nine days for 7th Place at 2:30, both games at Henrico High School.

(Editor's Note: As for Glen Allen and Hanover?  They play two regular season games on January 13th (at Hanover) and February 7th (at Glen Allen). It's also very conceivable the Hawks and Jaguars could meet a fifth time in the Conference 20 Tournament come mid-February, when the season is on the line. Expect all four...or to be as close as the first two.

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