by Cameron Deloatch, i64sports
The first matchup in the 5A semifinals was one that you didn’t want to miss. #1 Green Run was matched up against #5 Nansemond River. This time of the year, you can’t pay attention to the rankings because you will be upset.
Green Run guard Jacob Cooper struggled to put the ball in the basket in the first half, but he came up big time in the second. He controlled the pace and was able to score all 12 of his points in the second half. Cooper collapsed the defense all second half, which created easier opportunities to score and create.
The engine for the Stallions, per usual was Ashley James. James used his cat-like quickness and athleticism to slice through and finish up and over the defense. James led Green Run with a game-high 28 points.
But Nansemond River did not make it easy for the top-ranked Stallions. Justin Fatherly poured in a team-high 26 points for the Warriors. Every time Green Run would hit a shot, Nansemond River came right back to answer.
Late in the fourth quarter, the two teams jockeyed for the lead until Green Run finally saw some daylight. The Warriors then took it down the full court and Jamal Boone was fouled. Boone knocked down two clutch free throws to tie the game at 63. Green Run had to inbound the ball from the underneath their own basket with 3.7 seconds remaining on the clock.
James took the inbounds pass, and launched from just past halfcourt. SPLASH! The buzzer sounded and the Stallions earned their bid for the Class 5 state tournament.
Green Run will play Maury at the Norfolk Scope tomorrow for the 5A regional championship. Tip-off is scheduled for 8:00pm.