by Cameron Deloatch, i64sports
The Class 5 Region A boys championship was an exciting contest from the very beginning, featuring two of top teams in Hampton Roads, top seed Green Run and #2 Maury. Both teams survived close matchups that came down to the final possessions to reach Tuesday’s championship game.
In the first half, neither team could create an edge. Green Run’s Jacob Cooper did an excellent job of breaking down Maury’s defense to create shots in the paint. The Stallions’ Ashley James also had a very productive first half, including an emphatic finish on an alley-oop pass.
But Maury’s Bryan Phillips was there to negate Green Run every time they tried to go on a run. Phillips also got to the rim with ease and even extended his range and knocking down a three. At the end of the first half, the score was tied at 27.
A minute into the first half, James drove baseline where Matt Mensia was there to take the charge. Some incidental contact caused a cut to Mensia’s face, which delayed play for approximately 15 minutes. When the game resumed, the Commodores gained some momentum and took the lead.
After that, Maury never looked back.
Junior forward Clarence Rupert and Matt Mensia got it done for Maury in the second half. Rupert scored 11 of his game-high 15 points after intermission, while Mensia was huge for Maury on the defensive side to lead the Commodores to victory. James, who came into the matchup scorching opponents, was limited to 12 points, while Cooper also contributed nine points and five assists.
Both teams have already earned state tournament bids. Maury will face L.C. Bird at Norview High School on Friday at 7:00pm. Green Run will travel to Richmond to face defending state champion Varina at Glen Allen High School. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30pm.
On the girls side…
Princess Anne continued its dominant stretch through Class 5 Region A, dismantling #3 Hampton 82-47 to capture another region crown.
Aziaha James led Princess Anne with 25 points, which according the 757teamz.com, constitutes the Lady Cavaliers 11th region title in 13 years. The last time Princess Anne did capture the region title was two seasons ago when another Beach District school, Salem (VB), took home the crown.
Hampton’s Cierra Bell scored a team-high 16 points for the Lady Crabbers. Princess Anne will take on L.C. Bird in the Class 5 state quarterfinals this Friday. Tip-off is scheduled for 6:00pm at Salem High School. Hampton will travel to Glen Allen High School to face Highland Springs, also scheduled for 6:00pm.