Boys Varsity Basketball
The season ended in “Johns-town” on Friday night at the hands of the Woodbridge Vikings, but they didn’t go down without a fight. The win gave the Vikings a ticket to the Conference Tournament Finals on Saturday afternoon at Hylton. Those two teams will move on to the 6A South Regional Tournament on Tuesday.
The Forge ran into a hot shooting buzz-saw in the first half as the visitors buried six BOMBS from long range. Late in the quarter and trailing 11-8, the Vikings Kohlby Washington tied the game with a shot from beyond the arc. The two teams went to the bench at the break with the Eagles trailing 13-12.
The second quarter was all Vikings as hot shooting was helped by Eagle foul trouble helped Woodbridge take over the game. Two consecutive charging calls on Senior Clarence Miles and Junior James Shellington and another 3 pointer from Washington gave the Vikings a 21-12 lead with 7:04 to go in the half.
The Eagles played the majority of the second quarter with the main offensive players sitting on the bench in foul trouble. At one point in the stanza, the Forge really didn’t have a consistent scoring threat on the floor…..and it hurt. Late in the quarter the Vikings went on a 13-3 run to go to the locker room leading 38-19.
Coming out in the second half Shellington opened the Forge scoring and the offense clicked going o n a 6-3 run early, but with 4:31 left in the third, they still trailed 41-25. Two lob passes by Freshman Josh Sarratt found Shellington and Dom Bogier for a pair of buckets and the home team started to show signs of life.
Late in the third Carion Eaton went on a 5-0 run of his own, cutting the deficit down to 56-35 and the team and their fans were into it as the 3rd quarter buzzer sounded.
Shellington and Eaton combined for a quick six to start the fourth. When “Big Game” James hit two free throws the Eagles had cut the lead to five at 46-41 and the noise in “Johns-town” was deafening by the chants of “DEFENSE” from Eagle Nation.
Eaton scored on three consecutive Eagle possessions and the lead was down to 51-48. After a Viking miss on the next possession, Miles was fouled down at the other end but missed both free throws and Woodbridge got a running scoop shot from James McNeal and the Vikings had a 53-48 lead with just under 3 minutes to play.
Coming out of the timeout, the Forge turned the ball over when Sarratt tried to pass to Bogier at the top of the key but Dom tripped on the play and the pass sailed over his head and out of bounds for a turnover. That seemed to take the air out of the building as the Viking Ibrihim Kamara hit a shot giving his team a 55-48 lead. Miles came down and hit the last points of the Eagles season cutting it to 55-50 with 1:52 left.
Forced to foul and get the ball back, the Eagles could only watch as Viking Senior Cameron Robinson hit 8 shots from the charity stripe to seal the win and send his team to a championship showdown with Hylton on Saturday.
The Eagles finish the season with a record of 16-8 and plenty to be proud of. The state championship reign may be over as we say goodbye to Trevon, Carion, Clarence and Dom, but good things are also ahead. This team wasn’t defending a State Championship this year, it was looking for a 3-peat. NOBODY can take away the rings, the banners, or the feeling of the last few years, but we can all look forward to a bright future.