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Boys basketball: Bethel to face Warwick in PD title game
Kecoughtan's Ricardo Ratliffe, who scored 38 points, shoots over Bill Weaver. Photo by Diane Cebula/Daily Press
It's a 1-2 punch in Peninsula District semis
By Jason Jordan
NEWPORT NEWS — As Warwick High’s boys basketball team walked off of the court at Heritage after a convincing 70-43 win over Denbigh in the Peninsula District semifinals on Thursday, a group of fans stood at the door and thanked the Raiders for what they would see on Friday.
"Yeah that’s what we wanted to see," one fan said. "Round three is tomorrow. Bethel and Warwick, you’ve gotta love it!"
The Bruins’ 69-53 dismantling of Kecoughtan in the first semifinal set up the dream matchup at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Heritage between the top two seeds.
"What better scenario than for the fans to have No. 1 and No. 2," Warwick coach Ben Moore said. "It will be fun."
Added Bethel coach Craig Brehon: "Obviously they’ve had an addition to their team (Mike Davis). They’ve been right with us all year long at No. 2, so it would be a great matchup."
The two teams split during the regular season, each winning on the other team’s home court.
Tonight’s game won’t change the two teams' seeding in next week’s Eastern Region tournament – Bethel is the Peninsula's No. 1 and Warwick is No. 2, no matter the outcome.
"It wouldn’t be a situation where it would prove who the champion is," Brehon said. "We earned that already, but our kids would love to play them because we split. We woud love to see where we stand."
No. 1 BETHEL 69, No. 5 KECOUGHTAN 53
Jontel Evans led the Bruins with 21 points, Tre Lee added 14 and Bill Weaver chipped in with 11 to lead the Bruins past Kecoughtan.
After a 6-6 tie midway through the first quarter, the Bruins went on a 13-0 run and led 19-6. During that run, Bethel connected on 8-of-12 from the field and forced seven turnovers in the first quarter.
In the second quarter, Bethel’s guards penetrated at will and created easy layups and open jump shots. Evans led the charge with eight points in the quarter to give Bethel a 38-23 lead at halftime.
"It started with our defense," Brehon said. "Our guards got into the lane, and the sets that we ran allowed us to get penetration. Jontel was really aggressive, and that set the tone for us. Tre extended the defense and Paul (Meredith) had a good floor game. That gave us the separation that we needed early."
Kecoughtan forward Ricardo Ratliffe, who scored a game-high 38 points and grabbed 13 rebounds, tried to keep the Warriors in it, scoring 10 third-quarter points, but the Warriors weren’t able to stop the Bruins. Ratliffe scored 12 points in the fourth, but in the end the Warriors’ hole was too deep.
NO. 2 WARWICK 70, NO. 3 DENBIGH 43
Eric Dubose’s 20 points led four Raiders in double figures to help Warwick roll past Denbigh.
The Raiders’ guards – Dubose, Melvin Horne, Michael Davis and Anthony Wooten – ignited Warwick with an 18-6 run to open the game.
The four guards combined for 32 of the Raiders' 36 first-half points. Warwick led 36-22 at halftime.
"When the guard play flows like that," Moore said, "we’re hard to guard."
It seemed to get harder as the game progressed.
Still, Denbigh made a run in the third quarter behind eight points from forward Brian Hermann. But every time the Patriots got to within 12, one of the Raiders’ guards had an answer.
"They had a strong game," Moore said of the guards. "We really focused on trying to take them (the Patriots) out of their offense, because when they run their stuff, they’re pretty good. I thought we did a good job of taking them out of what they wanted to do."
Peninsula teams' first-round Eastern Region tournament matchups Monday night against the Southeastern District now are set, at least unofficially.
Bethel will play host to Southeastern No. 4 Oscar Smith. Warwick will meet Southeastern No. 3 Deep Creek in Heritage's gym.
Denbigh will go to King's Fork to play the Southeastern's second-seeded Bulldogs. Kecoughtan will head to Nansemond River to meet the Warriors, the Southeastern regular-season champs, who are considered a state title contender.
BETHEL 69, KECOUGHTAN
KECOUGHTAN (13-11): Ratliffe 38, Jackson 2, Dorsey 10, Brown 1, Maddux 1, Lee 1. Totals 20 11-18 53.
BETHEL (23-1): Evans 21, Weaver 11, Olivier 8, Meredith 8, Lee 14, Walker 2, Djim 1, Baoum 2, Jarvis 2 . Totals 24 16-23 69.
Kecoughtan 6171416 — 53
Bethel 19191516 — 69
3-point goals — Kecoughtan 2 (Dorsey 2), Bethel 5 (Lee 4, Meredith). Total fouls — Kecoughtan 17, Bethel 14.
WARWICK 70, DENBIGH 43
DENBIGH (14-10): Simmons 4, Spratley 7, Johnson 12, Hermann 10, Bethea 8, Franklin 2. Totals 17 7-12 43.
WARWICK (20-3): Dubose 20, Wooten 12, Davis 13, Conley 12, Horne 4, Cherry 4, Lewis 2, Bullock 1, Sykes 2. Totals 32 2-10 70.
Denbigh 814147 — 43
Warwick 18181816 — 70
3-point goals — Denbigh 2 (Bethea, Spratley), Warwick 4 (Dubose 2, Davis 2). Total fouls — Denbigh 11, Warwick 15.
Last edited by Sonny Dearth : 02-22-2008 at 12:09 AM.