Boys Varsity Basketball
Each morning at Colonial Forge, an administrator will tell the students about the Stafford County Word of the Month. After last night’s game with Gar-Field, that word will officially change to CARDIOLOGIST, because that’s exactly who was needed after the Eagles defeated the Indians 60-59 in the first round of the Conference 4 Tournament.
The win gave the Eagles their 16th win on the year (against 7 losses) and advanced them to the semi-finals of the tournament on Friday night against the Woodbridge Vikings at home. The start time that game has not yet been determined.
The home team jumped out on the Indians early with a 6-2 advantage in this one thanks to the early offense of Senior Carion Eaton and Junior James Shellington. Sophomore Troy Bernal made it 8-2 good guys on a put back in the lane before the visiting team got its feet underneath them. The Indians actually tied the game at 8 midway through the quarter but Bernal and Freshman Josh Sarratt hit a couple of free throws apiece to give the Forge at 12-8 lead. On their next possession Shellington hit a runner to give the Eagles a 14-8 lead with 1:41 left in the quarter. Both teams were ice cold in that final minute with Gar-Field cutting the lead down to 14-12 at the end of one.
The second quarter both teams struggled with any kind of offensive flow. The Forge held a 19-14 advantage when their offense hit a snag only getting a bucket and a free throw from Senior Clarence Miles, and a free throw from Eaton in the final 4 minutes of the first half. The Indians were held to just 3 points in the second quarter as the clang fest took over with missed shots and turnovers. When the first half finally ended, the Eagles took a 23-15 lead into the locker room.
The Eagles came out in the third and on their first possession found Miles on a curl at the top of the key and he BURIED the BULLS-EYE to jump start the Forge offense 26-15. A few possessions later the GREEN got a bucket from Bernal and two free throws from Sarratt to give the Eagles a 10-point advantage at 30-20 early in the third. Each time you thought the Eagles would be in control, Gar-Field would hit a jumper to keep things close. The Indians Daem Kahn hit a jumper with 2:14 left in the third to cut the Eagle lead to 35-30 and after a Forge missed shot it was Kahn again with a running one hander in the lane to cut it to 34-32. Again both teams hit the skids again with missed shots and at the end of the third the home team was up just 37-34.
The final frame was certainly the most exciting and well played quarter of the game. The Indians Camden Stubblefield went off at the beginning of the 4th scoring the first seven points of the quarter for his team. His jumper at the top of the key with just under six minutes left gave the Indians their only lead of the game at 41-39.
The “good guys” would respond when Shellington and Bernal teamed up on consecutive possessions to give the Forge the lead 44-41 with 5:13 to go in the game. Coming out of the timeout the Eagle defense forced a 5-second call and Shellington hit short jumpers on the next two possessions. Shellington got a turnover and found Miles under the hoop for a quick score and the Eagles extended the lead to 50-41 with 3:13 left.
That is when the Indians perimeter shooting took off. Antwi Asante and Stubblefield providing the spark from the outside allowing the visitors to climb back into the game. That surge was answered calmly by Senior Dom Bogier who went NBN (nothing but nylon) on 4 key free throws giving the Forge a 58-53 lead with under a minute left.
That’s when things got dicey. Gar-Fields Andrew Johnson hit a 3 pointer in front of his own bench with 10 seconds left to cut the lead to 58-56. Out of the timeout, Eaton hit two free throws to make it 60-56 but the Indians Myles Jackson answered with a BULLS-EYE to make it 60-59 with 0.4 showing on the clock.
As soon as the ball went through the hoop, Eaton appeared to get assaulted under the bucket by Stubblefield who was called for the foul. When Eaton missed the first free throw he tried to clang the second one off the iron to run the clock out but missed. He gave the Indians one more possession, but on the inbounds pass the horn sounded giving the Eagles a ticket to the next round.
“We like those kinds of games, Eagles Head Coach Jason John joked with me in the locker room post game. It gives you something to write about”. THANKS COACH, although exciting, this one wasn’t much to write home about. The moral of this story is the Cardiac Eagles move on to play another day!