LCA defeated Turner Ashby 53-41 The game was tied four times at the end of the third quarter the score was 33 to 33. The Bulldog went up by 12 points In the first half but Ashby fought back
To cut the lead to 5 Points 53-41 In the fourth quarter with 5 minutes to go. the game was tied 33 - 33 in the third quarter Avery Mills Hit two three-pointers Putting LCA up 39 to 33 Start of the fourth quarter. Maisy MillerA transfer from Florida had 22 points for LCA For the win.
Raevin Washington a 6’8 Junior for Ashby had 18 points loss. Avery Mills was the top
score for LCA with 32 points. The next game for LCA is Spotswood for the Championship game for Region 3 Playoffs Saturday at LCA
Two arrival teams met tonight at Heritage in Lynchburg VA. Heritage scored the first six points to
Jefferson Forest has two points. they tied the game five times both teams were fast-breaking in
the first half. Halftime score Jefferson Forest 36 Heritage 35. start the second half of the game
Jefferson Forest took control of the game by slowing down the offense to give the ball to Kelka Alwal to score 22 points to win. Kelka hit four jump shot in a row.
Pharrell Washington keeps Heritage in-game with his 25 points.
Heritage Pioneers and Phoebus Phantoms were destined to see each other again. It was the second matchup in a state championship title game since 2018 when the Pioneers won 24-20 at Williams Stadium on the campus of Liberty University.
This matchup was touted as revenge or pay back by the Phantoms and they entered the game as a juggernaut. This Phoebus squad entered the game as the current VHSL 3A
Champs and wanted to keep the title.
Heritage had the luxury of playing just a few miles from their school and had not left Lynchburg during this playoff tournament. They were coming off a dominating 43-0 over Christiansburg and looked to claim their second crown on five years.
Heritage took the opening kickoff and made some noise. The Pioneer drove into the redzone. The Phoebus defense was knocked around but held on 4th and goal from the three-yard line as Jaciere “Hov”Bateman’s pass fell incomplete and the Phantoms’ defense was able to prevent any scoring with 7:47 left in the clock. The Phantoms’ offense was playing without their starting QB Nolan James injured in last week’s play. The Heritage defense was ready and caused a three-n-out to force a short punt to give the Pioneers’ offense great field position in Phoebus territory.
Heritage was able to move the ball again and then failed on another fourth down attempt.
WR Jordan Bass caught a beautiful pass from QB Jayden Earley and did the rest in the 83-yard catch and run. The extra point was good and Phoebus took the early lead, 7-0, with 3:12 left in the clock in the first quarter.
Following the touchdown, Heritage tried to jump start the offense but once again the Phantom’s defense was too much and Heritage punted for the first time of the game. The punt from Bateman pinned the Phantoms on their own 12-yard line.
The Phantoms knew if one time is good then two times is better. The Phantoms hooked up the Early to Bass connection for another big time TD to break the Pioneers’ spirit. This time the play covered 75 yards and another PAT made the score 14-0 with a second left in the first quarter.
The next time Phoebus got the ball was because their suffocating defense made Heritage punt again. Phoebus took their first possession of the second quarter and continued the scoring streak. With 10:02 left in the clock, TyReon Taylor took the handoff from the six-yard line and punched in the third TD for the Phantoms.
The next Phantoms' touchdown was an 18-yard pass from Earley to Zayvion Rogers following a drive starting at the Phoebus 45-yd line. The extra point kick was missed and the score stayed 27-0 with five minutes before halftime. The Pioneers attempted to get the offense started but on the first snap after the kickoff a fumble from the offense gave Phoebus another possession when Rogers fell on the fumble at the 22-yard line. It was just another play before Taylor found paydirt on a 22-yard carry untouched for his second score of the game. The score was 34-0 following the extra point kick.
Heritage struggled on offense and even with good field position they only got a few yards at a time and unable to collect first downs against this dominant defense of Phoebus. The ball was punted back to Phoebus with 74 seconds left attempting to add more points to the scoreboard.
Heritage found life with an interception. The first big play from Heritage was Tayvion Clark intercepting the Easley pass at the Phoebus 17-yard line. The Pioneers were sniffing the redzone and looking to put their mark on the scoreboard.
Phantoms took the opening kickoff of the second half but Heritage was not ready to quit. The Pioneers forced a turnover and created some momentum as they looked to score and flip the field position. The Pioneers took the ball into the redzone and were breathing in the goal line. Jaciere Bateman was able to push the ball across the endzone and Markus Gafford added the extra point. The new score was 34-7, Phoebus.
The Pioneers defense stood up again with the momentum and the offense moved ahead back into Phantoms’ territory. The Pioneers had to play with desperation and on fourth down just inside the the 30-TD line, the Pioneers pass was completed but to the wrong team. Five star recruit, Jordan Bass, picked the ball off and cruised into the endzone from 84 yards away. The two-way athlete undercut the Heritage receiver and took the errant pass for a pick six. 41-7 was the new score in the third quarter with a little over four minutes left.
As the game continued into the fourth quarter, Phoebus took possession and they continued to pad stats and add points. The running attack added another touchdown when from 12 yards away, scores and the subsequent extra point made it 48-7 with 6:45 left in the game.
The Pioneers were attempting to score another to respond but a Bateman pass was tipped then intercepted again causing the Pioneers defense to head back to the field.
The Phantoms chose to take the ball and ended the game with consecutive kneel downs to secure back-to-back championships with a 48-7 victory. The Phantoms end the season at 15-0 and will move up to Class 4A next year. The Pioneers should not be ashamed as they finished at 12-3 on the season.
The Player of the game was Jordan Bass, a 5-star recruit of the Pittsburgh Panthers. He was hard to stop but easy to spot. The WR/DB scored twice on offense and also had interception for a TD.
Altavista came from behind to beat Jefferson Forest 60-52 at Forest. The Colonels played a
pressing defense all 4 quarters of the game. The game was tied 7 times.
The Colonels got going in the second quarter with Ryan Hart hitting two 3-points to close the gap by 2 points, Forest 29- Altavista 27. At the start of the fourth quarter, the Colonels put pressure on the ball, creating problems for Forest trying to get the ball down the floor.
Ryan Hart's shooting helped to turn the game around in favor of Altavista for the win.
The top scorer for Colonels was Christian Garvin with 17 points. Jefferson Forest top scorer was Kelka Alwal who had 5 points including 4 highlight dunks.
The Heritage Pioneers were looking for history. The Pioneers were riding high after the momentous defeat of arch rival LCA and now had a chance to get back to the VHSL Class 3 Title game with a victory over the visiting Christiansburg Blue Demons. They had not been to a title game since 2018.
These Blue Demons were also riding high and finally got over the hump by beating #1 seed the Lord Botetourt Cavaliers, a team that had ended their playoff hopes several years in a row. Christiansburg is only a few years removed from an 0-10 season (2017) but things have changed for the better as they were looking for a chance at a state title.
The game began with Heritage on offense after a three-and-out, the Pioneers punted. The ball was misplayed by the return man from Christiansburg that was recovered by Heritage. Heritage wasted no time when QB Hov Bateman connected with Tavion Clark on a beautiful 53-yard pass for the first score of the game. The point after attempt by Marcus Gafford was good and Heritage led 7-0 with 10:18 in the first quarter.
Markus White ran a post pattern and Bateman’s pass was on the money. White used his jets to coast into the endzone with an 84-yard reception and the big plays were all in the Orange and Blue. The second touchdown at 4:02 in the first quarter gave the home team a 14-0 lead.
The Pioneers were stopped after the first possession but couldn’t do no wrong with three straight scores in the following three possessions. Another touchdown on a 1-yard run from Bateman followed a successful mix of runs and passes. The score pushed the lead to 21-0 with 7:33 left in the second quarter.
The Pioneers drove back into the Blue Demons’ and found the endzone again with another touchdown pass as Bateman to Emery Kelso went for 11 yards at the 3:55 mark. The extra point bounced off the upright and fell back to the endzone. The Pioneers led 27-0.
The Pioneers defense turned back Christiansburg again and made one last drive before halftime. The Pioneers drove successfully into the Blue Demons’ redzone again late and were able to kick a 22-yard field goal by Gafford to take a commanding 30-0 lead into the as time ran out on the half.
The Blue Demons were determined to start the second half with a plan to score. Christiansburg gained momentum and yardage using their powerful single wing offense to drive into the Heritage redzone. As they made positive advancement towards the endzone, they milked the clock but could not score. Heritage forced a turnover on downs and kept the Blue Demons off the scoreboard. The Pioneers got the ball back with under six minutes left and started a methodically drive ending in another touchdown at the 11:55 mark in the fourth quarter. The kick was missed after the five yard run by Rajan Booker-Felder. The score was 36-0 for the Pioneers. Heritage received another gift when they recovered the ensuing kickoff at the eight yard line of the Blue Demons. The golden opportunity allowed the Pioneers to take an insurmountable lead when Booker-Felder scored his second consecutive rushing touchdown. The next PAT by Chase Dickle was good and the Pioneers were rolling at 43-0 with over eight minutes left in the game.
Heritage scored on six consecutive possessions between the first quarter until the end of the game. The last possession resulted in running out the clock and Heritage preserved the shutout by a score of 43-0.
The EC Glass Hilltoppers were overjoyed with the big victory over the Salem Spartans. They were back in City Stadium at home with a chance to get back to the state title game for the first time since 1996.
Kettle Run High School was fairly new to the scene in VHSL Class 4 only since 2015. They were not in existence the last time the Hilltoppers competed for a state title. However, the 13-0 Cougars are not intimidated by the history of Glass and boast an offense scoring almost 37 points a game in the playoffs.
The game started with defenses in control. The Cougars stopped Glass on the opening possession and Glass returned the favor with an interception by Michael Osei III. The Hilltoppers did not get much from the possession as they went three and out in offense. The Glass offense was stuck in neutral or sometimes backwards. The Cougars found success pinning the Hilltoppers into long fields and few yards. The cause Glass to punt on all six of their first half possessions.
The Cougars offense was much more productive than their counterparts. The champions of Region 4C was able to crack open the stingy Glass defense and produce two touchdowns to take a 14-0 lead into the half. Both TDs were courtesy of passing from QB Huntley. His precision and accuracy threaded the beautiful touchdown passes as the EC Glass defense could not keep up. Both scores took place in the second quarter after a scoreless first 12 minutes.
The Cougars capitalized again on mistakes by Glass. First, the opening kickoff went out of bounds producing great field position and then Kettle Run marched back into the endzone for a 20-0 score. Another EC Glass penalty gave Kettle Run a shorter kickoff starting point which they chose an onside kick and recovered at the Glass 35-yard line. The EC Glass defense was ready and able and turned the Cougars away. The momentum was carried over as QB George White connected with WR Sam Tracey and finally the Hilltoppers could cheer with the long TD pass. A missed PAT kept the score at 20-6 with 4:35 on the game clock in the third quarter.
As Glass looked to mount a comeback, they were turned away after an interception by White in the endzone with a little over 1 min in the third quarter. The mistake allowed Kettle Run to gain possession and they scored 10 consecutive points to put the game basically out of reach.
The Glass faithful were still encouraging the Big Blue and another White pass to Tracey became another touchdown. This time the duo connect for a 40 yard house call and after a 2pt conversion, Glass cut the lead to 30-14 with 3:18 left in regulation.
In the end, Kettle Run will continue their undefeated season with a date in the VHSL Class 4 title game versus Dinwiddie, the 2021 state runner-up.
This is the rematch that the people have wanted. The top two seeds in Region 3C are not only Seminole combatants but also favorites for the Class 3 title in two weeks at Liberty University. The winner would have the chance to stay in Lynchburg as the host of the semifinals and possible state finalist to be played in Liberty University's Williams Stadium.
The Bulldogs nearly lost to Heritage on a defensive minded 12-6 victory that saw the Pioneers winning 6-0 at the half. Heritage was not able to hold the lead but they have anticipated a chance for revenge and it happens tonight.
LCA was sailing undefeated until they were defeated in the regular season finale by EC Glass. The Bulldogs took the loss as a lesson leaned and have applied their bite on their playoff opponents as they have knocked off fellow Seminole brethren, the Rustburg Red Devils and then put up 50 on Turner Ashby last week. The Pioneers have been equally as effective with a 42 point average in two games and a shutout to boot. One of their conquest included defeating their Timberlake Road neighbors, the Brookville Bees, in their last game.
This game was a struggle and each play was critical. Gideon Davidson, the outstanding playmaking sophomore, was absent with an injury so the effort fell on his teammates. The LCA defense played greats and produced an safety and the offense got a field goal to take an early 5-0 lead. Heritage was able to get some offense and finally move down the field completing their first pass of the game that got then down the field and eventually scored a TD to take a 6-5 lead when the extra point kick hit the upright and fell back to the field. With less than eight minutes in the second quarter, Heritage had grabbed the lead.
With just over 4 minutes left, the Bulldogs drove the field and on the feet of Jaylin Belford, LCA took an 11-6 lead after the two-point attempt failed. Heritage took the ensuing possession and responded like a team on a mission. In a little over three minutes time, the Pioneers found the endzone again but failed on the two-point conversion. The score was 12-11 heading into the halftime break.
LCA started with the ball and didn’t keep it very long to begin the third quarter. The Pioneers took over and drove methodically into the redzone. They reached the three-yard line before settling for a 24-yard field goal by Marcus Gafford. The three point gave the Pioneers a 15-11 lead.
The Bulldogs were driving looking to retake the lead. As they closed in on the redzone, their hope was deflated. An errant pass was intercepted by a Heritage defender who took the pick back near midfield. With the ball and momentum, the Pioneers wasted no time and with under six minutes to go, they offense struck again. Heritage took a long run to the house and increased their lead to 22-11 with about 3 minutes and 20 seconds left. The game was far from over as LCA scored within about a minute, leaving a little over two minutes left.
The onside kick was recovered by Heritage so the the Bulldogs went on defense. They responded by forcing a three and out leading to a punt from Heritage. The last few seconds saw LCA get to the Heritage 32 yard line with two Hail Mary attempts for a chance to score. Both passes sailed out of the endzone and the last pass fell out of bounds as time expired. The celebration was on and the jubilant Pioneers had survived holding on for a breathtaking 22-17 victory to capture the Region 3C title. The Pioneers will face the Christiansburg Demons for a chance at a state title berth. LCA ends their season at 11-2.
The EC Glass Hilltoppers have waited for this moment for a long time. The Hilltoppers, had not been to the state tournament in 27 seasons and now they would have destiny and history in front of them as they prepared to knock off another 7-time state champion, the Salem Spartans, who always seem to be the team battling for the crown.
In the Region 4D championship, the Hilltoppers hold home field advantage at historic City Stadium, the site of many great gridiron contests. EC Glass comes in of two high scoring performances, averaging nearly 48 points in the playoffs. The offense is led by QB George White. The Hilltoppers’ signal-caller has set records at his school and looks to get Glass back into the state tournament. He will be joined by the outstanding talents of RB Michael Thomas and WR Vari Gilbert. This is a rematch of the 2019 regional championship won by Salem. This is the third trip for Glass to this game in five years.
Salem may have started slow this year but their youth and talent have come together at the right time. This program is not new to winning but will be a slight underdog as they
are on the road for the second consecutive week. The Spartans tossed a shutout in the first week of playoffs then in a barnburner, defeated the #1 seeded, Louisa Lions, 54-37, in the Lions’ den. They are averaging 48 points in the playoffs so this game could see fireworks from start to finish.
The game was an old-fashioned defense struggle as the offenses tried but could not prevail against the forces of the defense. The Hilltoppers were finally able to break through with the offense halfway into the second quarter. The running game found a crease and powered in from the five-yard line to take a 6-0 lead after the missed PAT. The Spartans attempted to answer however the Big Blue Wave from EC Glass held their form to give the offense another possession before the end of the quarter. With 42 seconds left before halftime, the Midtown Boys scored again and took a 14-0 lead after the 2pt conversion.
As the third quarter took place, the Spartans understood they had to make a statement. They did with a scoring drive on their first possession of the second half. By cutting the score in half, 14-7, Salem grabbed some much needed momentum and looked to shut the Hilltoppers down.
EC Glass did not flinch and they responded when White found his target for a 46-yard strike to put the lead back up to 14 at 21-7 with a little over 5 and a half minutes remaining in the quarter.
As the game moved into the fourth quarter, the Hilltoppers were stopping the Salem offense, the Spartans needed a break. They got it when a Salem blocked the EC Glass punt and returned it for a momentum changing TD. The first turnover was huge because the Spartans made it count. The quick touchdown gave the Spartans six more points and made the score 21-13.
The back and forth continued when EC Glass struck again with another TD pass from White. This time it was a 59-yard connection and made the score 28-13. With the clock moving, the Spartans continued to battle and they scored again with under six minutes left. They scored again on a 74-yd TD gallop and converted a two-point conversion to close the score to 28-21 and all they needed was a stop.
EC Glass knew how Salem was historic for winning close games and making comebacks. The Hilltoppers took their time and made key play after key play while burning the clock. The biggest play was converting a fourth-and-1 inside the redzone. This foreshadowed the inevitable as Glass punched in a final touchdown with about 14 seconds left to seal the deal and claim the Region 4D crown. They head into the Class 4 state semifinals as the host team to face Kettle Run High School. Salem concludes another exciting and successful year at 10-3.
Stars: QB George White with 2 TD passes.
RB Mike Thomas, 134 yards rushing, 1 TD
WR Vari Gilbert, nearly 200 yards of total offense
LB Michael Osei III with two interceptions.
The time of year when the clocks fall back and daylight savings’ time disappears can only mean one thing: The playoffs are here.
In Central Virginia, the fans are treated to teams at public and private schools battling for state supremacy after getting their bumps and bruises from the rugged battles through district and regional play.
In the six different class divisions that the VHSL offers, very few areas in the state can make the claim they have teams at four different classifications competing in the state tournament.
In Division 1, the Altavista Colonels (14-9) were regional runners-up. A former champion, this team was seeking their second title in program history.
In Division 2, the Appomattox Raiders (22-2) qualified for their first ever state tournament as their regional runner-up. They had been close in the past but finally made it to the big show to chase a title. The Raiders did not taste defeat until they entered the regional finals.
The Division 3, two-time defending state champs, the Rustburg Red Devils (19-3) were looking to go three-peat as they made it to the regional championship. The team was new in many ways with a new coach and graduating half the team from last year, the defending champs still were a threat.
The final representative from the area was the EC Glass Hilltoppers (16-11) who finished second in their region of Division 4 and were looking to add to their school’s highly decorated championship trophy case.
All these teams were worthy but unfortunately each team fell in the state quarterfinal round of their respective tournament. A great season from each team came up just a little short of the ultimate prize.
The private school was also represented by 2021 VISAA Division III champ, the Timberlake Christian Tornadoes. This team had a fantastic season starting 12-0 and entered the state finals with only two losses. Their effort to repeat fell a little short as well with a 3-1 loss to StoneBridge. The Tornadoes finished at 28-3.
On this last regular season football Friday, the first Friday in November is center stage for what is becoming a great rivalry in the Hill City. The presence of Lynchburg Christian Academy as a constant threat in the Seminole District and on the Class 3 level cannot be understated. This program has gained a reputation for being in the mix since joining the public school ranks back in 2015. They are still looking to lock down that elusive football title after finishing runner-up in 2021. The EC Glass Hilltoppers are the oldest and most historic program in Lynchburg with multiple titles but no rings in four decades.
Each year The LCA, EC Glass and Heritage programs are a three-headed monster with each vying to be the best in the district and grab bragging rights over their counterparts.
That holds true again this year as LCA is the #1 team in the state and undefeated at 9-0. The Hilltoppers (8-1) have just one loss (to Heritage) but could claim a share of the Seminole Crown with a win tonight creating a tie at the top with all 3 Lynchburg teams.
The Bulldogs boast perhaps the state’s best running back in sophomore Gideon Davidson. The all everything athlete boasts multiple Division 1 offers and leads a talented offense with threats at all levels.
EC Glass counters with an offense averaging nearly 38 points a game led by the pure arm talent recording breaking signal caller QB George White, who is arguably the best passer in the area and all-time passer in EC Glass history.
Each team is ranked number 1 in their respective playoff brackets and will lose no ground with a loss due to the strength of their schedules.
This game is a great tune-up for the VHSL playoffs which begin next week and both squads will use this as a springboard for momentum as they seek to capture respective state titles in the Class 3A and Class 4A divisions.
The Bulldogs initial game drive produce no points as the Glass’ defense was more than up to the challenge. A poorly executed punt from LCA gave EC Glass great field position at the LCA 35-yard line. The Hilltoppers took advantage of the gift and put together a great drive that resulted in a score to take a 7-0 lead halfway they the first period. The Bulldogs were determined to get their points as well however the Big Blue defense would not back down. After another failed LCA possession, EC Glass drove the ball methodically down the field and the end result was another touchdown. This score was the work of Vari Gilbert, who danced and shimmied into the endzone on a three-yard burst to increase Glass' lead to 14-0.
The Bulldogs took the next possession with the goal of scoring before the half. They found their most success however they could not complete the mission. As the Bulldogs got into the redzone, they were up against the clock and the defense. Their last-ditch effort only got the ball to the EC Glass three-yard line as the halftime horn sounded.
The second half started with EC Glass driving to a momentum changing play got the Bulldogs a much-needed break. A fumble recovery led to a long return by LCA into Glass’s territory. The new life was a catalyst as LCA scored 14 unanswered to tie the game at 14-14. The Bulldogs lost Gideon Davidson to injury in the 1st quarter but his teammates rallied to tie the game in his absence.
The Hilltoppers were stunned but rebounded with a great ground effort as the closed the game on a 12-0 scoring finish. The scores were setup by the passing game from White who then turned to the ground game to finish off the Bulldogs.
With the upset, Glass claimed a co-championship of the Seminole District and solidified the number 1 seed in Region 4D. LCA may not be undefeated but are still the team to beat as the top team in Region 3C.
The battle on this lovely fall Thursday night was a great matchup of two of the city’s finest football teams. The undefeated LCA Bulldogs were holding home field advantage but the visiting team only drove a few miles to Williams Stadium.
The Heritage Pioneers were undefeated in Seminole District play and looking to boost there playoff position as both Pioneers and Bulldogs will be battling for VHSL 3A supremacy.
With the high quality of coaching on both sidelines, Frank Rocco and Brad Bradley, commanded two of the best teams in the state and this was a battle of massive proportions.
Heritage struck first after both teams couldn’t score on their initial drives. The Pioneers drove the field with a great mix of run and pass to the tune of a touchdown pass of nine yards on third down. Hov Bateman to Terrell Washington was the connection as the QB found his man and Washington dragged two defenders into the endzone. The touchdown drive left about three minutes in the first quarter for LCA to respond. The point after attempt kick was unsuccessful and the score was 6-0.
The Heritage defense had a tough task with the likes of Gideon and Caleb Davidson spearheading the high-powered offense and the powerful offensive line making lanes. They were up to the challenge holding the Bulldogs to zero points in the first half and securing a big turnover in the endzone when LCA was driving when attempting to answer the Heritage touchdown.
The Bulldogs’ defense was no slouch and stepped up to the plate to stymie a Pioneers’ drive when they intercepted a Hov Bateman pass and gave themselves great field position with about six minutes left in the second quarter. Both teams traded possessions with no points being scored and the Pioneers leading 6-0 into the half.
The ground game was the big factor for both teams. Heritage got strong contributions from Bateman with 63 yards and RB Rajan Booker who added 50. The Bulldogs made noise with the area's leading rusher in Gideon Davidson who collected 81 rushing yards in the half.
A strong first half by the Heritage defense kept the LCA powerhouse offense at bay but the secon half was a different story. The legs, hands and feet of Gideon Davidson ignited the change the home team needed. The all world sophomore running back knew the assignment and got the ball early after halftime. He caught a pass and carried the ball several times on the opening drive in the third quarter. The last carry going was special as he went for 32 yards to the house. The momentum shifted to the Bulldogs and they had a new life with a 7-6 lead at the 10 minute mark in the third quarter.
A quick three and out by the Heritage offense just gave LCA more opportunity to crack up the offense. The Bulldogs stuck to the game plan of ground and pound and it paid off as the Davidson duo push the ball to the Heritage 28. It was here that LCA used the run to suck in the defense before the play action pass for Joe Borches to TE Carson Meadows for a 28-yard touchdown pass. The extra point pushed the score to 14-6 and LCA was officially rolling.
The Heritage defense finally got a stop and the ensuing punt was a plus for a heritage as it was woefully short and stopped on the LCA 33-yard line giving Heritage great positive field position. The drive was great until they were stopped on fourth down inside the redzone. The Bulldogs were able to provide a great defensive stand and LCA breathed a sigh of relief as the score stayed 14-6 going into the fourth quarter.
The Bulldogs and Pioneers traded blows after the LCA TD pass and neither team was able to score. The Pioneers had one last gasp with about 1:30 left but a Sam O’Reegan interception of an errant Hov Bateman pass sealed the hard fought victory for the Bulldogs.
The win improves LCA to 7-0 on the year and a firm grip as the #1 team in the Seminole and Class 3A. The Pioneers fall to 5-2 and suffer their first loss in district play.
The EC Glass Hilltoppers entered Lancer Stadium with momentum after a win last week. The homestanding Amherst Lancers were perfect on the year and on Homecoming Night, they were excited to keep their winning streak alive.
The opening drive was a good start for the Hilltoppers until they turned the ball over on a fumble after gaining a first down on teh fourth down pass play. The Lancer defense created the turnover on a strip of the Glass receiver.
Amherst Lancers started their initial drive with a first down but a critical holding penalty took a touchdown off the board. The Lancers' punt was a sign of not taking advantage of opportunities all evening.
EC Glass was able to breakthrough and score twice on the stingy defense of the Lancers. By scoring 14 points, the Hilltoppers took a 14-0 lead into the half.
Amherst was poised to gain control in the second half but each time they made progress, EC Glass had an answer. The rally fell short and the Hilltoppers never relinquished the lead. The boys from midtown, made the trip up 29N and took the trophy back with a 24-7 victory handing Amherst their first loss of the season.
Both teams now have identical 5-1 records on the season and start the second half of the season going in opposite directions.
When you think of dominance in the Seminole district, the Lynchburg Christian Academy Bulldogs have claimed the top spot in the last couple of years. Lynchburg’s newest public school is no stranger to winning but their championship success is from the private school ranks. LCA has made an effort to change that as they have reached the state semifinals in the VHSL 3 class in the last two seasons including a runner-up finish last year on their home turf at Liberty University. They keep knocking but haven’t knocked the door down.
On the other side of the field is a common state contender and multiple champion in the same division. The Brookville Bees has enjoyed success for decades and can claim to be at the top of the district year in and year out. The Bees are no strangers to big games and they are usually the hunter and not the hunted. This showdown between two undefeated district brethren early in the season, is an indicator of the league’s depth.
The schools only separated by about five miles took the battle to Stinger Stadium for this fall evening in Campbell County. The Bulldogs were not fazed by the maroon and gold nor the buzz of the home field crowd. The Bulldogs with many red clad fans of their own, took the game over from the onset and never looked back. The Bulldogs have an assortment of weapons on offense and a great display of talent in both sides of the ball. The biggest name many be sophomore running back Gideon Davidson who can electrify the crowd with his speed, vision and moves. His stellar play has caught the attention of multiple college coaches and several high-profile universities.
Brookville and LCA entered the second quarter with the Bulldogs up 14-0 on the strength of touchdown passes by QB Joe Borchers. The scoring opened up with a TD pass to Gideon Davidson (56 yards) on the team’s first offensive play and then a second TD scoring pass to Jaden Skates, a transfer from Heritage High School, who caught a 61 yarder. Borchers, a transfer from powerful IMG Academy, made his passes count and led his team to five consecutive scoring drives on the first five possessions.
The second quarter was more of the same with 21 more points from Davidson as he scored on a two- yard run, a 34-yard TD rush and finally a 3-yard scamper. LCA took a 35-0 lead into halftime. With a comfortable lead, the running clock went into effect in the second half.
The second half only confirmed what the fans had seen from the onset. The Bees could never muster a threat nor any real challenge. Drake McDaniel did score on a QB sneak to give Brookville some life. The score was 35-7 midway through the third quarter. But LCA continued to make points and eat up yards when Borchers and Skates connected for another long pass play setting up a fifth TD for Davidson who finished with a combined 200 total yards. At the end of the fourth quarter, the Bulldogs' work was done and it resulted in a convincing 47-7 victory.
The win makes LCA a perfect 5-0 and the loss drops the Bees to 4-1 and a notch below LCA in the race to capture the Seminole district crown.
The annual Jug Bowl Battle or HillCity Showdown is ready for a spectacular evening on this mid-September Friday. The 2022 edition engages two teams with high octane offenses and a desire to gain a leg up in the Seminole District race.
The midtown representatives from EC Glass High School are 3-0 on the young season and looking to take back the Jug Bowl. The Hilltoppers last held the little brown jug back in 2017. The Pioneers of Heritage will make the trip from Timberlake Road to City Stadium looking to maintain the tight grip they have of this highly coveted trophy and bragging rights. In the previous 60 games played between the oldest high schools in Lynchburg, these combatants were nearly even in overall success.
The Hilltoppers lead 31-28-1 in the storied history of the series. There was a tie in 1985. However, recent success belongs to the Pioneers who have walked away with the victor’s trophy 13 of the last 14 battles.
This game will always be competitive and with the players sharing not only the gridiron but many times bloodlines as well. The game runs deeper than the white lines in City Stadium and with so many memorable games in the past, this one is had the same entertainment value.
Both teams turned the ball over when entering the redzone looking to score. The Pioneers turned the ball over first but Glass returned the favor when a timely hit by Marcus White (nine tackles) jarred the ball loose and created a fumble. It was recovered by Heritage at the 10-yd line putting an end to a promising Hilltoppers' drive inside the redzone.
As both teams struggled offensively, the defenses dominated until near the end of the half. This is when Heritage finally broke through the defense of EC Glass. The Pioneers secured another interception as White made another outstanding play, snagging an one-handed interception in the endzone as Glass was progressing once again into the Heritage defensive end. This was the second pick at the expense of George White, the Hilltoppers’ signal caller. This time the Pioneers did not waste the gift. With another trip into the redzone, Heritage executed a beautiful pass play as QB Bateman hit WR Trayvion Clark on a 16-yard pitch and catch. Glass was able to block the point after attempt but the damage was done with 38 seconds before halftime and Heritage taking a 6-0 lead.
There was very little change after halftime. The defenses did not give up much and they continued to turn away every effort presented by the offense. The game entered the fourth quarter as it has entered the third quarter with Heritage ahead 6-0.
Quarterback Jaicere Bateman was the hero for Heritage football team as he added a 10-yard rushing touchdown in the 4th quarter to go with his touchdown pass earlier. He transferred from EC Glass and the Pioneers are happy he did. Bateman, had been coached by his father his entire playing career until he entered high school. The lessons and hard work paid off.
The hero on defense for Heritage was junior Marcus White, who had nine tackles and three interceptions and two broken up passes. There were many college scouts in attendance and they were treated to a show with the play of White and Bateman.
Jaciere Bateman concluded the scoring with an impressive 32-yard TD run up the middle with under two minutes to play to seal the victory. Bateman finished with over 200 total yards by himself to propel the offense. The 12-0 lead was more than enough points. After another Glass failed possession, the Pioneers eventually take the final kneel downs to run out the clock and capture another Jug Bowl win. The Pioneers’ defense were the MVPs on the night. The orange jerseys flying around on defense forced five turnovers. They recorded four interceptions, (three by Marcus White) and a critical fumble recovery. The little brown jug will stay in Big Orange Country for another year.
It was an uphill battle for Heritage all night they came from behind to win the game. Both teams put up a lot of points. Heritage took the lead in the first quarter with Booker 6-yard run for a touchdown. William Fleming fumbled the football on Heritage 10 yardline before the Pioneers took the ball to score. Rajan Booker and Zach Steele, the running backs for Heritage, dominated the game. Steele scored on a 50 yard TD run. Fleming running back Malachi Coleman, a sophomore who also runs track, had a 94 yard run for TD.
Next week Heritage will face Dinwiddie at the City Stadium in Lynchburg VA
BEDFORD — Daryl Robertson stood in the auditorium at Liberty High School on Wednesday evening and answered questions about his new football program. He thought back to 2002, when he was a freshman on what would become the school's only football state championship team.
"Everybody in the community knew who was on the team," Robertson recalled. "Everywhere you go, people would support you. I think if we get back to that, back to that community support and getting people excited about Liberty, then that brings kids out."
The 34-year-old Robertson, a 2006 LHS grad, was formally introduced as the school's new football coach Wednesday. It was a historic moment: the first Black head football coach in Seminole District history standing in front of players, parents, staff and media members.
There have been many Black assistant coaches in the Seminole, but until this week, none had ever been named head coach in a district whose history stretches back decades and decades.
"It did take a long time," Robertson said. "I think it's a responsibility on me, just because I'm the first. But at the same time, my responsibility is to improve my football team, to make things happen on the football field. If I take care of my business on the football field and what I'm doing in coaching, then that takes care of my responsibility as far as being the first Black coach. But I know there are a lot of people that are happy just because it's a first. Anytime it's the first of anything, people are happy. It's been a long time coming
William Fleming head coach Jamar Lovelace, formerly a defensive coordinator at Brookville and E.C. Glass, praised Liberty High for the hire.
"I've said for a long time that whoever the first Black coach is in the Seminole District is gonna be carrying a trophy for a lot of guys," Lovelace said. "He's carrying a trophy for me, he's carrying it for a lot of other coaches who have coached in the Seminole District. It's a super special moment. I think it's been time, and I think it's been overdue. I don't think there's a better guy to come home and take over his program."
Robertson had been an assistant at Glass two years by the time Jeff Woody took over in 2015. Woody brought Lovelace with him from Monticello, where the pair had spent the two previous years after leaving Brookville following the 2012 season, and Robertson (defensive line) and Lovelace (defensive coordinator) oversaw three seasons of rebuild at Glass.
When Lovelace took the William Fleming job in 2018, Robertson went along and became the school's defensive coordinator.
"He's a very passionate coach," Lovelace said. "That's the first thing his guys are gonna see. He's still athletic and he can get down in a stance and show you exactly what you need to do. I think that's a very valuable commodity these days. ... And we've had five, six guys come out [to join the team] every year based off just their relationship with him. So I think he's gonna be a big recruiter."
Robertson also coached for four years at Glass with Jermne Johnson, currently the school's defensive coordinator. Johnson began looking back into the history of Seminole schools a few years ago, and started telling people an interesting fact: no school associated with the district had ever hired a Black head football coach.
"I just think it's monumental, honestly," Johnson said. "I don't know that people understand, or that we will recognize, the significance of it at this moment. It may be something we look back five, 10 years from now and recognize the significance of. ... You would think this kind of opens up the door for other qualified African American candidates, but time will tell. But it's awesome for Coach Robertson, awesome for Liberty and awesome for the Seminole District.
Area briefs: Jefferson Forest shuts out Millbrook baseball
RNiedzwiecki Jun 7, 2022 Updated Jun 8, 2022 0
FOREST — Jefferson Forest struck for seven runs in the bottom of the second and went on to eliminate Millbrook 8-0 in the quarterfinals of the Class 4 baseball tournament on Tuesday.
The Pioneers (21-4) were held to six hits and could not recover from the disastrous second inning where the Cavaliers (21-4) took advantage of five hits and three walks to rough up Millbrook ace Jerrod Jenkins. Landon Mitchell's three-run triple capped the big inning.
Jefferson Forest's Breckin Nace came in after the first out and held the Pioneers scoreless for the next 6.1 innings. Nace allowed six hits and two walks, while striking out eight.
William Croyle led Millbrook with two hits. Nate Brookshire, Carl Keenan, Brandon Mullins and Micah George had one each. Aiden Henry pitched three scoreless innings of relief, allowing three hits with a walk and a strikeout.
Jefferson Forest will face Hanover (21-2) in the semifinals on Friday. LCA beat Christiansburg
10-7 advance to play in State Semifinal in Spotsylvania
As the calendar turns to Memorial Day, the stakes are high for all spring sport teams. To the victors go the spoils but even a loss can be a victory in these regional elimination tournaments.
The blood, sweat and grind has led to the build up of teams looking to start the journey to capture the state title.
In high school, softball, soccer, tennis, lacrosse and track and field are now center stage for viewing. Who can outlast their opponent and sometimes the weather, may find themselves able to hold the golden chalice or in common terms, the VHSL Star Championship for their respective sport.
A summary of the teams and their current status as the visions of barbecue and celebrations filled the weekend for most sports fans and their collective favorite teams.
This time of year in Central Virginia usually sees excellence on the ball diamonds or the soccer fields. This year was no exception as not 1, not 2 but 3 area teams were crown champs.
The Jefferson Forest Cavaliers have qualified for the VHSL Divison 4 Baseball State Tournament.
Evan Mace started the scoring with a hit single to center field to score the first run in the bottom of the second inning for a quick 1-0 lead over the visiting Salem Spartans.
Coach Ryan Gilleland replace starting pitcher Dallas Smith in top of seventh inning the score was 1-1. Dallas Smith was spectacular with strikeouts of 10 batters and only giving up 1 run in nearly seven innings of work. Coach Ryan Gilleland inserted reliever Luke Gouldthorpe shut down the Spartans from taking the lead.
In the bottom of the frame, JF was able to push home the winning run and win Region D with a final score of JF 2 - Salem 1.
With the win, JF will host a state quarterfinal game on Tuesday, June 7th while the Spartans must continue their season on the road which is where they have been the entire postseason.
Appomattox Raiders - Division 2 Champions
The success in softball was also big enough to spread over to the baseball field where the Raiders capture their 1st ever baseball championship with a 4-2 win over John Battle. The Raiders were nearly as perfect as the ladies only losing one time to their rivals the Rustburg Red Devils. The Raiders ride the effort of their big time starting pitching and clutch defense to finish the season with eight straight victories. The win was even sweeter and Coach Joe Caruso was able to being home the trophy with his baseball team family and his personal family. Coach had his two sons, one an assistant coach (Dylan) and the other, dual threat star (Alex) to cherish this life changing accomplishment with him.
Lynchburg Christian Bulldogs - Division 3 Champions
The LCA Bulldogs have been a force once they made their entrance into the public school realm. in 2015. The former private school dynasty was never short on talent or winning. They claimed several championships as perennial contenders in the VISAA. They continued to knock on the door as a Seminole District member with a trip to the Division 4A finals. However, they could not break open the proverbial door until now. The Bulldogs claimed their first VHSL crown in dramatic fashion with a 6-5 walk-off win. In a rematch of last year’s state semifinals loss of 4-3, LCA knew how much this game meant to their program.
The Abingdon Falcons were looking to spoil the LCA victory march. The Bulldogs had won seven straight but needed some divine intervention to grab number eight. They entered the last inning down 5-3. After a sacrifice fly made it 5-4, the game was on the line. Lane Duff was staring at an 1-2 count with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning. The Bulldogs were down a run and down to their last strike. The junior, Duff, was not fazed and delivered a clutch single. It was just what the team needed to bring home the game tying and game winning runs. The Bulldogs had finally brought in the elusive VHSL championship and claimed some revenge with a win by a single run. The result was the reverse from last year’s lost to this same Abingdon team.
There will be new state champions crowned in this year's Dvision 4 and Division 3 tournaments respectively. The defending Division 4 champs, the Amherst County Lancers and the Division 3 champs, the Rustburg Red Devils, both saw their seasons come to a premature end.
The Lancers lost to their archnemesis, the Jefferson Forest Cavaliers. The Lancers had beaten the Cavaliers three consecutive times on the season but could not get it done in the Region 4D quaterfinals. The Cavaliers shocked the Lancers at the home field for Amherst by scoring 2 runs in the top of the 7th and allowing only 1 hit.
The Red Devils also lost to a familiar foe when they took on the Brookville Bees in Regions 3C quaterfinal action. The visiting Bees shocked the Red Devils by a score of 3-1 and put an end to a fantastic career of Seminole District Pitcher of the Year, Eden Bigham, who will continue her pursuit of greatness as a University of Virginia Cavalier in the fall.
Appomattox Lady Raiders Softball - Division 2 Champions
The Lady Raiders were Queens of the Diamond in Division 2 for a second year in a row. They earned there way with outstanding pitching and timely hitting. The formula for success resulted in an exciting 1-0 victory over Page County. The catalyst was Courtney Layne, the 2A Player of the Year, who is arguably the best pitcher in the state. She was was masterful in the circle. She pitched her second consecutive perfect game, no-hitter to clinch a state title and it was back to back pitching gems in her last two games. The University of Virginia recruit capped another perfect season and ran the Lady Raiders’ unbeaten streak to 40 games, spanning all the games since Covid shutdown the 2020 season. In Division 2, if it ain't broke, don't fix it!
Jefferson Forest Boys - Division 4 State Runner-Up
The Boys' Soccer Team from Jefferson Forest Cavaliers made a magical run into the Divsion 4A Championship game. It was the same place they finished last year at the state runner-ups. This game was just as exciting as Jefferson Forest and Western Albemarle battle for 80 minutes in regulation. That finished at a 2-2 tie so more soccer was needed. The teams slugged it out for four more overtime sessions. That was still not enough time to determine a winner. Finally, it came down to penalty kicks. The most dramatic and nerve-wrecking finish in all of team sports was at the feet of one player 12 yards from victory or defeat from the opposing goalie. Of course it would not be easy as was the case for the firs two hours of soccer. This shootout was won by a single made goal as Western Albemarle survived in the penalty kick phase to win the final stanza by a score of 4 makes versus the 3 makes from Jefferson Forest.
Another heartbreaking championship defeat for the Cavaliers but rest assured they will be back and their toughness and fortitude was on display at the ultimate stage.
Heritage came back in the bottom of five when Matt Cassidy hit a three-run single to center field to score three-run to make the score 6-3 in the bottom of five with Randolph- Henry in lead. Randolph came back to score 7 more runs to win 13-3
WP: Jeff Algier. LP: Nate Cash.
Highlights: R-H — Ben Gibbs 2-5, 2 R; Daniel Powell 4-5, 3 R; Tucker Webb 2-4, 2B, RBI, 2 R; Camden Tucker 1-3, 2 RBIs, R; Brayson Arrington 2 RBIs, R; Jaydon Gee 1-4, 2B, RBI, R; Algier 5 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 6 Ks. HHS — Kenai Booker-Felder 1-1, R; Matt Cassidy 1-3, 3B, 2 RBIs, R; Jimmy Smallshaw 1-3, 2B, R; Cash 4 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 Ks.
Records: Randolph-Henry 1-0. Heritage 1-1. EM-SPORTS 3/15/22
Jamar Smith A freshman was the spark plug for his E.C.Glass track team he won 55 meter
On the first run at 4-State Championship at Liberty indoor track complex. Oakes From Heritage have commitment to Stanford won the long jump title on the first day of class3 state track and field championship. Jamar Smith time in 55 meters was 7.9.4 seconds Rodney Smith who coaches EC Glass track team Jamar Smith is his son. EM-Sports 2/28/22
Glass boys opened the postseason with a win over Pulaski 66-42 in the Region 4DQuarterfinals at McCue Gymnasium on Friday night. Glass Junior points guard O'Maundre Harris led the way with 20 points and eight assists. Eli Wood had 10 rebounds and eight points for Glass. the Hilltoppers hit 12-3 pointers against Pulaski and shot 66% on two-point attempts 14of 21. Glass
use pressure defense it causes Pulaski a lot of turnovers in-game. the Hilltoppers 20-2 led 51-19
at the end of the third-quarter DJ Best emptied his bench in the fourth quarter.
Region 4D Girls quarterfinals E.C.Glass Jamiyah Henry score the first three-pointers from the corner to put Glass on the scoreboard first. Henry finished the game with 25 points against
Blacksburg. and Emily Williams chipped in points, and Jordyn Wright- Goods
grabbed 18 rebounds and scored nine points as the top-seeded. A junior point guard
Jeriyah Osborne had 7points and five assists for Glass. the Hilltoppers had seven 3-
pointers, in-game. Glass advances to the region semifinals. EM-SPORTS 2/18/22
The EC Glass Lady Hilltoppers had been the closest things next to perfect over the last three years. They had won the Seminole District three years with an unblemished record and they were looking to capture their second district tourney title.
The Lady Bulldogs wanted to make all that go away. They had already lost twice to EC Glass and they knoew how important a win would be in this final game and for the regional playoffs.
The young LCA team got off to a great start and then outscored EC Glass 18 to 8 in the second quarter. The defense was able to suffocate EC Glass guard Jamiya Henry who went 0 of 3 from behind the 3 point arc and she didn't record a single field goal at all. The points came from her success at the free throw line, where she was 4 of 6.
The young, powerful duo of Brooklyn Jenkins and Avery Mills, it was a sign of the future is now. The two young stars of LCA combined to go 14 of 22 from the field where LCA shot 19 of 34 and 55.9% as a team. EC Glass did not hit a single three-point (0 of 11), and shot 12 of 51 from the field 23.5 % on the game.
Avery Mills had 28 points. The super sophomore has already received several Division 1 offers but has committed to Liberty University. Her teammate Jenkins, just a freshman, scored 13 points. The two ladies combined to outscore EC Glass by themselves 41 to 30. LCA had 14 rebounds on the defensive boards in contrast to Glass who recorded 11 rebounds on defense. The leading scorer for the Hilltoppers was junior Jeriyah Osborne who had 13 points.
Nelson won Dogwood District a rematch of a game that took place just three days ago
the game went back and forth. the governors went undefeated run through Dogwood District. Coach Marvin Martin said I hope that we can continue to win. This is Martin second year been head coach at Nelson. After spending a decade on the sideline as an assistant coach Nelson basketball team. Nelson had a balanced attack with scored Martin with a team-high 17 points and Purvis, McGarry had 14 points. Willoughby chipped in nine for Nelson, Purvis had 10-rebounds for Governors win 61-38 and Hunt had 18 points for Altavista loss. EM-SPORTS 2/15/22
The playoffs are here. The Seminole District Boys’ tournament is one of many districts holding postseason tournaments as the playoffs start up.
This edition featured the top 4 teams and looks to reward a tourney champ after an exciting season. The matchup between the LCA Bulldogs and the Heritage Pioneers is the third matchup in the last two weeks.
The Pioneers have made a great second half run that included knocking off the previously defeated Bulldogs in district play. The Pioneers snagged the second seed so they hosted this matchup which is the rubber game between these two city rivals.
The Bulldogs entered as the third seed but only 1 game separated these rivals. The game belonged to LCA and man of the hour was Sully Holmes. Sully Holmes who has been a three sport star in his time at LCA has already been awarded a baseball scholarship from Liberty University. A dynamite pitcher, Holmes, can bring the heat on the basketball court as well. He hit his season average with the 22 points he scored versus Heritage in a game that meant the winner goes to championship game.
Holmes put his 42 inch vertical to good use with four dunks and an array of moves throughout the contest. He was not the only player making noise. Kyle Ferguson, the scoring king from Heritage, converted on five three-pointers in the game. Holmes and Ferguson went back and forth throughout the game. In a game that was closer than a blade of grass was tied at 25 at halftime, The Bulldogs, remembering the sting from last week’s lost, did not forget the pain and let the memory drive them to make all the critical plays.
LCA pushed all the right buttons and the defense turned up the pressure. When the final horn sounded, the Bulldogs’ bark was as big as their bite and they pulled away with a 58-45 victory.
Superstars showed up and Holmes did just a little more in the matchup with Ferguson. Ferguson finished with 19 points. Pioneers will prepare for region play while LCA looks to knock off the mighty EC Glass Hilltoppers for the tournament title they won last year.
Holmes and his teammates will look to take out the Hilltoppers and keep their tourney crown from 2021. On the same night, the EC Glass Lady Hilltoppers, will look to continue their unbeaten streak in district play when they face the LCA Lady Bulldogs with a chance to beat them for a third time and go back to back as the Seminole District Tourney Champs.
Both games will be held at EC Glass Hilltoppers' gym on Wednesday, February 16th with the ladies first at 5:30 and the guys to follow afterwards.
LCA is a team on a mission. They have been knocking on the door trying to capture the elusive VHSL Football state title. As a private school, the Bulldogs captured multiple titles but this would be their first crown as a public school. They will have their hands full because the Phoebus Phantoms are a powerhouse. The Phantoms did most of their damage in the vaunted 757 area and now are looking to add to their school's seven state titles with a victory today. This is their chance to win the 8th state title in the last 20 years, one of the most dominant teams since the turn of the century.
In this matchup, the unstoppable force versus an irresistible object would be on display. The LCA Bulldog offense was impressive. The team with their powerful offensive line and skill positions had outscored their playoff opponents 202 to 26. The talk of their dominance had been talked about all season, but Phoebus was not impressed.
The Phantoms had not only secured two shutouts themselves, but they had put up 143 points and only surrendered a total of 10 points in four games.
This game featured not only some of the best talent in all the state but multiple players with Division 1 offers to colleges up and down the East Coast.
The Phantoms were the underdogs and considering the Bulldogs were playing in their home stadium, the odds looked stacked against them.
The start was slow for both teams as the defense dictated the tempo and kept the offenders baffled. Finally, LCA broke through and when QB Davis Lane hit TE Dillon Bowers with a 7-yard touchdown pass for the first points in quarter number 1.
Phoebus was shook but regrouped in the second quarter. They flashed some quick offense with a scoring drive of a little over two minutes that culminated with a pass from Wagner to Mayo of 16 yards. With a failed paint after attempt, the Phantoms trailed by 1 (7-6) but then a big break became turning point going into the half. With LCA trying to score drive the field right before halftime, the defense from Phoebus made a play and it was big. Bass used his ball skills and picked off an errant pass from Lane back to the house. The momentum changing pick six not only deflated the Bulldogs but gave the Phantoms a huge lift and the lead. A subsequent two-point conversion made the score 14-7. 14 points in the last three plus minutes was the story of the half and an upset was brewing.
LCA was stunned and had not trailed at any time in the playoffs and hardly at any time all year. Their will and mental game was being challenged. They believed they were destined to win the title that escaped them a year ago.
The third quarter was a continuation of dominating defenses and two teams fighting tooth and nail for every inch. The third quarter rolled into the fourth quarter with no change in score. However, LCA was not unmoved.
The Bulldogs put together a solid set of plays and moved into the Phantoms’ redzone. Then Lane hit his favorite target Bowers on a beautiful pass and catch. This combination found the endzone from 18 yards out and the extra point tied the game at 14. This game was a classic in the making and who knew how it would end.
Phoebus had gone ice cold on offense. They struggled to get first downs and didn’t put a much impact on the Bulldogs’ defense. The Bulldogs were poised to make another successful drive. As they began what could be a game winning drive, LCA had to cover over 80 yards to get back into the endzone.
The Phantoms once again called on their defense and they answered the call. With a little more than three minutes left, Davis Lane did the unthinkable. He tossed another interception. The insult to injury was that it was returned for the Phantoms’ second defensive touchdown of the night. Donald Gatling found a crease and raced 18 yards to paydirt. The Phantoms once again went for two and made it count. The score was now 22-14 late in the game and time was getting short. This backbreaking turnover was just what the doctor ordered for a Phoebus team who leaned on their defense to make plays and keep the high-octane Bulldogs off-balance.
LCA had one more try. They drove down into Phoebus’ territory and they were posed to make a last effort to attempt to tie. The last ditched effort fell short and the Phantoms were able to celebrate with another football crown. The LCA Bulldogs were gamed and a tremendous season came to an unexpected finish.
The Bulldogs (13-1) completed the year as runner-ups and their only loss happened at the wrong time. Phoebus (14-1) only suffered one loss as well to VHSL Division 6 powerhouse, Oscar Smith, who won the 2021 state title vs Madison High today.
Phoebus took advantage of the three interceptions even though LCA outgained them in total yardage and time of possession. Both defenses were tremendous and the old saying that “defense wins championships” could not have been truer.
The playoffs are an exciting time for all players and fans. The coaches may say otherwise but to accomplish the mission, everyone must be committed and focused.
In VHSL Class 3 action, Rustburg battled Tabb in search of back-to-back state championship gold. The Red Devils put up a very convincing effort from start to finish. They opened the first set with a 25-15 victory. That was followed by a 25-17 win in set two. Tabb showed grit winning set three, but Rustburg bounced back to win the match and it’s second consecutive Class 3 state title with a 3-1 win.
Rustburg has won 44 out of 45 matches in this championship year. They have been undefeated in district play over that time span and lost only two sets during the entire playoff run starting with the Seminole District title up and culminating with the VHSL Class 3 title.
Timberlake Christian wins their first outright VISAA Division 3 Volleyball Championship. This program has always been close but could not get over the hump until this year. The team has won multiple VACA state titles but this was the one trophy missing in the trophy case. That box has been checked.
In a highly contested title tilt, the Tornadoes found themselves facing a common nemesis, the StoneBridge Cavaliers. StoneBridge was riding a 17 match winning streak into the championship contest. This match was a repeat of the same teams, in the same round from two years ago when the last VISAA tournament was held. In that match, StoneBridge bested Timberlake by a score of 3 sets to none.
It seemed the memory had not faded and the tornadoes were on the move to erase that stunning defeat and make history of their own. With a powerful combination of passing, great shot blocking and timely kills, Timberlake avenged the 2019 loss to the Cavaliers(24-3) with the same score of 3-0 to secure that elusive state championship.
Each set was a little more difficult than the previous as the final scores were 25-11, 25-23 and 29-27.
This victory is sweeter than all the others combined as the Tornadoes completed the season with a 22 match winning streak and an overall record of 27-3.
EC Glass and Brookville locked up in a great late season battle as the regular season slowly winds down. On this wonderful and crisp fall evening, the air was thin and the sense that summer was slowly seeping away, provided fans a new backdrop for how the season was slowly transforming.
This series is always a great battle as the schools are roughly 10 miles apart but the competition could easily be a backyard brawl.
The Hilltoppers(7-1) and Bees(5-2) were both sporting impressive records as each team looked forward to this Friday night showdown.
The Hilltoppers didn’t wait to get the home crowd at City Stadium riled up. In the first quarter, Markevus Graves found a seam and used his vision and speed to race into the endzone from 24 yards away. The running back’s touchdown gave the Hilltoppers the early lead and was the catalyst for the offensive explosion.
The Bees attempted to answer back but EC Glass repelled every Brookville effort. The Hilltoppers continued to push the ball down the field and QB George White was the main reason. White complete touchdown passes in back to back drives and help catapult the Hilltoppers into a 28-0 halftime lead.
The Hilltoppers dominated in all phases of the matchup. While the offense set the scoreboard on fire, the defense didn’t disappoint either. In addition to limiting the high scoring Bees to only one touchdown and 18 yards in the first half, the defense added some points to the scoreboard. Owen Dunlop made good with his hands, picked off an errant Bees’ pass and took an interception for a 23-yard TD to the promise land.
With the victory, Glass all but assures themselves of an opening round home game when the Division 4D regional playoffs start in two weeks. They have on big test left as they face the undefeated and #1 LCA Bulldogs for a chance to tie for the Seminole District title next week. Brookville will look to bounce back and solidify their home field advantage for Division 3, Region C play in the week after next. They take on fellow Campbell County school, the Rustburg Red Devils in the season finale.
QB George White 144 yards passing and 3TDs
Eli Wood with two TD receptions
Q Foster with two touchdowns rushing
324 total yards on offense
Defense gave up 104 yards and intercepted 3 passes
EC Glass JV and Life Christian Academy played a tough defensive game. Then in the third quarter a Jack Doss fumble gave the football to Life Christian on the 15-yard-line. Then Life Christian scored as Markel Dabney went for a 15-yard TD run. Glass JV turned the ball over several times and Life Christian was able to stop Glass on the goal line to prevent a score. Davion Thomas also ran for a touchdown of 7 yards for Life Christian.
EC glass finally got on the scoreboard with an interception by Jamal Smite who took the turnover in from 80 yards for the only Hilltopper score.
It is only 2 miles. It doesn't seem like much but it depends upon who you ask. In the rivalry that is the shortest distance between two Seminole District teams, the battle of Timberlake has produced some of the most exciting games between the Heritage Pioneers and the Brookville Bees over the years.
This Friday night was no exception.
The Pioneers were looking it stay on top of the pack in the Seminole and stay undefeated in the district. Heritage (5-1, 3-0 Seminole) was led by QB Kameron Burns who did his best Houdini impression to get the Pioneers on the board first. He scrambled and dodged would be Bee tacklers until he unleashed a missile that Keshaun Hubbard pulled in for a 45-yard touchdown to open the scoring as the clock hit zero in the first quarter.
Brookville (3-2, 1-2) responded quickly and had to improvise to get their first lead. QB Blake McDaniel hit wide received Addison Ellis for a 6-yard pass and catch to give the Bees their first score. The PAT attempt was more adventurous. The snap was bobbled and the holder, Jaylyn Marshall scrambled, and outraced all the Pioneer defenders to the corner of the endzone to give Brookville an 8-7 lead. The Bees held kept their lead until late until the fourth quarter when the excitement and drama was cranked up several notches.
Each teams' defenses took over as the dominant forces in the second half. Each offense could only score on one possession after halftime but it was enough to tie the score at 15 adn force overtime. The first second half blow was struck by Brookville. McDaniel and his passing arm Ethan Robey on a 28-yard TD strike. The successful PAT kck this time made the score 15-7 and the Pioneers were struggling to find any offense in this low scoring battle. Burns would respond with about 8 minutes to play in regulation. His quick feet were again responsible for creating another TD. As he was in the pocket looking to pass, he used his vision and speed to find a crease and darted into the endzone from 12 yards away. The kick after was good and both teams were now in a tug-of-war that would lead to an exciting conclusion.
The first overtime saw Brookville make the most of their possession with a 10-yard bullet from McDaniel to Michael Viar. The Bees went for two and took a 23-15 lead. Heritage did not back down and the Burns to Hubbard connection was good again. The touchdown making duo also connected for the tying 2-pt conversion and another overtime was going to be required to break this 23-23 tie.
In the second overtime, RB Deuce Crawford found paydirt and he scored from the line of scrimmage, the 10-yard line and the Pioneers took their first lead since the first quarter of 30-23. Brookville knew what they had to do but those next 10 yards would seem to be the longest of the night. The Bees got down to their last chance and when McDaniel pass was broken up by Pioneers' Darius Brown, the visitors from Lynchburg could finally rejoice.
It was a stinging defeat for the Bees who played tremendous but couldn't find that last completion to catch the Pioneers.
Burns finished with 157 yards on 10-13 passing and one interception. He ran for 1TD and passed for two scores. His main target, Hubbard, caught both both touchdown passes and the tying 2-pt conversion in the first overtime.
Brookville outgained the Pioneers with 383 total yards to 224. The running combo of Silas Rucker and Tayshaun Butler produced identical yardage of 106 yards for each. McDaniel completed 9 out of 17 passes for 154 yards and 3 TDs with no picks.
The Rustburg Red Devils continued their dominance in the 2021 season. The Red Devils recently received their long awaited 2020 State Championship rings which came via their VHSL 3A state tourney title during the Spring of 2021.
The Red Devils hosted the Lady pioneers from Heritage High School. The home team went undefeated in Seminole District play in the spring and they weren't ready to up their consecutive winning streak. They wasted little time controlling the net and the points. The Lady Red Devils jumped out to an early double digit lead in both the first two sets as they cruised to a quick 2-0 lead.
Rustburg seamlessly tried multiple combinations through the third set. Heritage who didn't lack for effort, stayed close in the third set and made several great passes to earn key points but fell short in the third set.
The Red Devils continue their winning ways and continue to strive for another state championship as they maintain their perfect district record. The Pioneers will build on the momentum from late in the match as they continue their season with hopes of stringing together a few more wins.
The Central Virginia area is highly blessed with great student athletes. On the last Saturday in June 2021, three area teams battled inspite of the obstacles that the Covid-19 pandemic had presented. No VHSL Championships took place in the Spring of 2020. However, that didn't matter as each of these teams were locked in to their respective state championship title games. The disruptive academic year and a delayed sports season would not prevent these Queens of the Softball Diamond from shining the brightest when it mattered the most.
APPOMATTOX RAIDERS, CLASS 2 STATE CHAMPIONS
There was a plethora of blue and white in the stands and hills surrounding Randolph Henry’s Softball field. The Appomattox community showed up in full force to support their Lady Raiders. In this highly anticipated matchup of the last two teams standing in VHSL Class 2, the fact both teams were undefeated added more spice to this final game. The 35-mile drive was the all that stood between these two dominating programs as they looked to decide the state championship. Freshmen pitcher Danner Allen and her batterymate, fellow freshmen catcher, Summer Jones, were the combination to beat. Leading their team to a perfect 15-0 record as they looked to claim their first state title in four tries.
The Lady Raiders countered with scintillating sophomore pitcher, Courtney Layne who also could boast of having an undefeated team behind her at 14-0. The game was a pitchers’ duel with each hurler doing their best to keep the opposing batters unbalanced and shaking their heads. Layne saved the best for last as she pitched her fourth perfect game of the season. The offense was provided by the timely hitting of Macee Hargis’ triple that drove in Kelsey Hackett, who crushed a double in her at-bat.
The back-to-back hits broke the scoreless tie. Hargis then added some insurance with her heads up running when she scored on a wild pitch. The Raiders softball team counted on the arm of Layne and she did not disappoint striking out 14 batters. Her exceptional pitching was the catalyst to the Raiders capturing 2021 VHSL Class 2 Softball State Championship title today with a 2-0 win over the Randolph-Henry Lady Statesmen.
It is the first softball state championship for Appomattox County High School since 1987, when current Raiders head coach Janet Rawes was a member of that team coached by Mary Tolley.
RUSTBURG LADY RED DEVILS, CLASS 3 STATE CHAMPS
It is never too late to score but it sure can make you nervous. The VHSL Class 3 Softball title was a matchup of superlative pitching. The Rustburg Red Devils went with their ace, Eden Bigham, an UVA commit and the host of New Kent put the ball in the hands of Gracie Ellis, who has committed to Randolph-Macon College. The pitchers did not disappoint in this matchup going pitch for pitch and strike for strike. This pitchers’ duel was worth the hype but unfortunately someone had to lose. This same matchup of teams took place earlier in the spring when Rustburg defeated New Kent on the volleyball court for the state championship. De ja vu' anyone?
New Kent Trojans were hoping to capture its first state softball championship; while the Red Devils had earned the title three times during the 1990’s. Coincidentally, the star of those teams is the current coach, Katie (Phillips) Bigham, also known as the Rustburg's head coach and mother of Eden. Bigham, the owner of four perfect games this year was looking to repeat what her mother had accomplished and win a state title in a Red Devil uniform.
The weather was not always pleasant as rain fell on and off throughout the early part of the game. Enough rain fell to delay the game in the third inning, but that was only a small pause it what turned out to be a classic battle. The critical moments took place in the seventh, when a single to right field by Emily Coates was followed by a stolen base. As she stood on second, she then got bunted over to third from a successful sacrifice by Maggie Mayhew. Coates was able to score on a sharply hit single by Carly Hudnall. The ball landed in front of the center fielder who was not able to throw Coates out in time.
That was all Bigham needed as she shutdown the Trojans in the final frame as she had done all game lone. Bigham struck out the side even while allowing only the second hit of the game, when Addi Rowe ripped a single into right field. Her effort was in vain because Bigham wouldn’t let that hit interrupt her rhythm or her focus. Bigham collected 16 strikeouts and punctuated the final out of the game with her signature mix of pitches that resulted in a celebration following another strikeout. The heartbreaking loss moved the Trojans' record to a fantastic 15-2. The win closed out a perfect 17-0 season for the Red Devils.
AMHERST LANCERS, CLASS 4 STATE CHAMPS
The Amherst Lancers made the drive to Hanover Hawks’ field with confidence and nerves of steel. This team was about to make history as the first Amherst Lancer Softball team to play in a state championship game. They also had to go on the road again where they found success in the semifinal round defeating Tuscarora, 3-1 in eight innings. The Lancer faithful was in a tizzy in anticipation in hopes that the Lady Lancers could win the State 4 Softball Championship.
However, as they experienced on Wednesday in Leesburg, good things come to those who wait and wait and wait.
The Lancers were overwhelmed and dominated in the first 3 innings. The Hawks’ sensational sophomore pitcher, Julia Cuozzo, had no problem the first time through the order. She struck out the first 7 batters and then a lengthy summer thunderstorm appeared. It was about the only thing that could slow down Cuozzo. After about an hour delay, Cuozzo picked right back up and fanned the next two batters, bring her total to nine in a row.
Pitcher Dylan McNerney, Cuozzo’s sophomore counterpart, answered the challenge but did it in a different manner. McNerney danced in and out of trouble but was equally as effective and received tremendous team defense behind her. This was no more evident than in the third inning, when an attempted bunt and run turned into an inning ending double play. The bunt was popped into the air when catcher Maddie Jennings secured the out then smartly gunned down the runner at third base trying to advance.
Amherst finally got a hit in the fourth inning, however as became the theme, Cuozzo would strike out batters when it mattered the most. As the game got late into the night and the fans were standing in anticipation of the first team to crack, the game went into extra innings just to add to the tension felt inside and outside the field.
Finally, two errors by Hanover gave Amherst new life and they would not spoil this golden opportunity. Courtesy runner Cheyenne Wall, with two outs, scored base on an errant throw to first base to give the visitors a 1-0 lead. A wild pitch moments later would bring home Maegan Lloyd, extending to lead to 2-0, adding some extra cushion and a small sigh of relief.
McNerney was fantastic striking out 10 batters and surrendering only two hits, to keep the Lancers (15-2) in it. Julia Cuozzo was even better in the circle, allowing only three hits and striking out 17 batters in the losing effort however her fielding and throwing errors would be the team’s downfall.
After a near four-hour battle, the sweet taste of the win produced the first ever softball championship trophy in Amherst County program history to sit in the display case. The victory also halted the 15-game winning streak of Hanover (15-1) who was looking to capture first Virginia High School League state softball title since 2006.
On a great day of championship contests involving some of the best teams in Central Virginia, the EC Glass Boys' Lacrosse kicked off the day with a 10:30 morning clash. The first state title bout on this Saturday pitted EC Glass vs Dominion High School in Class 4 Boys Lacrosse.
The Hilltoppers were playing in their fourth consecutive championship. They had won the crown in 2018 with a victory was over Dominion High.
Dominion was not only looking for revenge but they were looking to complete an undefeated campaign with a road victory. The Titans from Sterling, Virginia got off to a fast start surprising the home standing Hilltoppers.
With precise passing and fast paced offense, Dominion scored often and doubles up the Hilltoppers 6-3 going into the half. The second half would prove to be just as exciting as the tables were turned.
EC Glass played with great sense of urgency and pushed Dominion to the edge. Even though Dominion held a 10-7 lead going into the fourth period, the crowd could sense that EC Glass was very close to making this match closer than the score indicated.
The Hilltoppers scored the last two goals of the third and hoped to keep Dominion of the core board. Dominion was reeling but did strike first in the last period to take a commanding 11-7 lead. EC Glass was playing with their backs against the wall for the first time since basically the opening game of the year. The Hilltoppers responded and closed the gap to 11-10 in a thrilling fourth quarter rally.
With 77 seconds left in regulation, the next face-off would be the deciding factor. Glass was riding the momentum of three consecutive goals and the next would tie it up. Dominion was looking for something to turn away the huge wave of excitement and emotion on the side of the home crowd and secure victory.
Glass did all they could to score and Dominion turned away the final Hilltopper attack with under five seconds left, stripping the ball away and hurling it skyward to the other end of the field where it landed harmless on the turf as the final horn blared out. They did all they needed to outlast the hard-charging Hilltoppers. In the end, Glass was unable to find the equalizer and Dominion had exacted revenge from the 2018 title game loss.
With the loss, EC Glass (8-2) saw their 8-match winning streak come to a heartbreaking end. The Titans, who also won the title in 2016, completed a remarkable undefeated season at 12-0.
The Brookville Bees like all football teams couldn’t wait to finally start their football season.
Even though it was February and unseasonable warm, the excitement and energy in Stinger Stadium was a welcomed relief from the pandemic that had gripped the country.
This game was even more special because the Bees had a chance to get started on Thursday night and welcomed Seminole rival, the LCA Bulldogs, into their home field.
LCA struck first when QB Davis Lane, a transfer from JF, rushed in for a TD. Leading 7-6, the Bulldogs were ready to strike again but a key defensive play led to the biggest play of the game. Tayshaun Butler converted an overthrown Davis pass into a breathtaking pick six. He went 100 yards weaving in and out of traffic ang gave his Bees a lead instead of looking at a larger deficit right before the half.
The lead was short lived because LCA jumped back out on top in the third quarter with a short TD pass by Davis. This would be the last lead for the Bulldogs. Brookville scored 2 more touchdowns in the third quarter to break the game open after falling behind 14-12.
BHS quarterback Drake McDaniel threw for 146 yards, by completing 5 of 8 passes. His counterpart, Davis Lane, rushed for the opening TD and tossed a TD. However, he was limited to 98 yards on 7-16 passing with 2 interceptions.
The Bees were led by running back Silas Rucker's 44 rushing yards and wide receiver Nik Dunford who tallied 106 yards off just two catches including the 65-yd touchdown catch that gave the Bees a lead that would not relinquish.
A rivalry can mean many things. It is a competition or conflict. It can be a battle of wills or
a struggle to the finish. The HillCity Showdown between the Heritage Pioneers and EC Glass Hilltoppers is a highly anticipated contest that takes place in front of jam packed fans and standing room only gyms. In 2021, the stands are nearly 100% empty but the intensity and energy didn’t change.
In Round 1 of this crosstown rivalry, the Pioneers made their way into McCue Gymnasium looking to wipe away the defeat from LCA Bulldogs earlier this week. The Hilltoppers were just excited to finally play their first basketball game and nothing would be better than beating those guys from Heritage.
The game was tight in the first quarter with lead changing hands 11 times until Glass pulled away to 15-11 advantage. Both teams picked up the pace and offensive efficiency as each scored 18 points allowing Glass to maintain the lead, 33-29 at the half.
First year Heritage coach, Tony Crews, could be seen imploring his guys to match the intensity of their opponents. Even as both teams struggled at times, the desire and will to win could not be ignored. The buttons Coach Crews pushed in his coaching debut of this rivalry indicate that he created the right combination in the third quarter. The Pioneers erupted on offense and clamped down on the defense. Kyle Ferguson took the game over in the second half with his array of long-distance marksmanship and his athletic finishes in the paint. The junior sharp shooting guard finished with 27 points including 4 three-pointers in the second half when the Pioneers came roaring back from down four points to outscore their arch-rivals 38-18.
Ferguson got help from senior guard Jacobi Lambert who had 10. Darius Brown and Bre’Andre Horsley added 12 apiece and helped the visitors in blue dominate the boards getting multiple second chance points and curtailing and hopes of a comeback from EC Glass.
The Hilltoppers now 0-1, could not capitalize on their early success and the Ferguson Train steamrolled them late in the game. The Hilltoppers strived in vain but foul trouble and poor shooting characterized their second half woes. Three Hilltoppers scored in double figures as Zach Smith scored 12, Aidan Treacy chipped 11 and Camp Conner finished with 10. Pioneers are now 2-1 on the young season.
by EMSPORTS 1/14/2021
Finally, those had to be the words coming out of the Heritage Pioneers' locker room when they got to hit the hardcourt on Monday, Jan. 11th. Most local baskeball teams had started in earnest with games in the first week of new year, however, Lynchburg City Schools were on pause based on the decision from the school board.
When the Pioneers got a chance to break out of their practice gear and play an opponent, they were on the road to face defending Seminole District champions, the LCA Bulldogs. There was little time to ease into the new season. The Bulldogs were a worthy foe and the game proved as much.
Heritage struck first and got their season off to a good start following a basket by Darius Brown. The lead was refreshing and gave off good vibes for the start of the season. LCA didn't waste time in getting the ball, then the shot and then the lead when Sully Holmes made a 3-pointer to turn the deficit around. The shot would give the Bulldogs the lead and Heritage never led again.
Senior forward Haddon Smith led LCA with 19 points, senior guard Seth Hildebrand added 17 to give the homestanding Bulldogs another victory and spoil Heritage's season opener.
Both teams battle with each team shooting very well from behind the three-point line. LCA was successful on making eight attempts while Heritage was more impressive making 11 treys. Heritage's pressure defense was disruptive as well causing numerous turnovers but when LCA was able to get to the rim, they capitalized on Pioneers' fouls. The Bulldogs finished 17 of 24 from the free throw line.
Heritage junior Hussain Williams added 11 points and hit three 3s. LCA’s Sully Holmes chipped in with nine points.
With the win, LCA evens their record to 1-1 an looks forward to a busy slate of games with Rustburg visiting on Tuesday then a short drive to Timberlake to battle the Brookville
Heritage will continue to build on this performance and a quick turnaround when Brookville comes knocking Tuesday and a trip to Liberty on Thursday. Both these games are a tease as the HillCity Throwdown in circled on the calendar for Saturday, Jan. 16th. That would be the crosstown rivalry battle with E.C. Glass on Saturday.
by EMSPORTS 1/12/2021
With the close of 2020, many people looked forward to new beginnings. The hope and expectation of sports returning on the high school level became a reality when the 2020-2021 VHSL basketball season opened up with several games in the Seminole District. The JV and Varsity teams from the local high schools finally got to battle on the court and begin their journey to capture a state title.
Winter sports began for VHSL-member schools elsewhere Dec. 21, which means area teams are already three weeks behind schedule. There are still some teams that have not been given clearance to play such as E.C. Glass, Heritage, Liberty and Jefferson Forest all currently are prohibited from playing games by the Lynchburg and Bedford County school boards. In this new shortened season, every game really matters because the playoffs will be starting in less than a month.
For the two local games, Brookville made the trip to county rival Campbell County rival, the Rustburg Red Devils. Liberty Christian Academy made the bus ride up highway 29 to take on the Amherst County Lancers.
In the battle of the Bees versus the Red Devils, both teams struggled from the field. As could be expected, offense was choppy and the defenses were dominant. With the state restrictions due to the pandemic, the roar and shouts of fans has been replaced with the louder sound of coaches shouting and squeaking of sneakers. Brookville and Rustburg traded empty possessions and missed more shots than points. At the end of the first quarter, Brookville held a slim 6-5 lead. The two squads eventually found some momentum and more shots found their way into the basket. At the end of the half, the teams were tied at 17 at halftime.
The teams started the second half slow, however, the Bees made the necessary adjustments and found their rhythm outscoring the home team 12-2. Entering the fourth quarter, the Bees increased their double digit lead to 15 points in the fourth quarter and the deficit was too much for Rustburg to overcome. The Bees left the Red Devils behind and secured a 46-35 win on the road.
In Amherst, the Lancers were playing a Bulldogs team that was affected by the Covid-19 virus as several key players and starters did not make the trip.
Initially, both teams traded shots and turnovers until LCA was able to get their motion offense working and then drill some shots from the outside. The Bulldogs ended the quarter with two free throws to take a 14-7 lead into the second quarter. The Lancers come out with more energy in the second quarter and push the tempo. The energy and quality of play picked up from both teams but LCA never relinquished the lead and were ahead 26-22 going into the halftime break.
Amherst continued to show more energy and more fight and it seem to wear the Bulldogs down with multiple offensive rebounds to keep possessions alive. The interior defense from Amherst was able to limit the size advantage from the Bulldogs and the Amherst guards pressured the Bulldogs into untimely errors.
LCA made one final push in the fourth quarter to tie the game up at 42-42 with about four minutes left in the game. From that point, the Lancers flexed their muscle and speed and a 10-0 run sunked the Bulldogs. The final score was a 53-47 victory for the home standing Lancers.
In what has been a challenge for all teams, schools and fans, it was a great relief to see that high school basketball has returned even in a limited form, to bring some excitement and joy to the Central Virginia area.
by EMSPORTS 1/8/2021
EC Glass was in the midst of a magical season. The Lady Hilltoppers under the guidance of first-year coach A’nitra Thomas, has gone undefeated in the Seminole District. These same Hilltoppers were nearly unbeatable at home. As the #1 seed in the region, they had hosted all their playoff games and thus hosted the Region 4D championship.
Many teams had walked in McCue Gymnasium and were run, literally and figuratively, out of the gym as a result of the Glass high-pressure full court defense and relentless energy. The Pulaski Cougars were no ordinary team. This group of Lady Cougars, held the #2-seed. They had faced stiff competition and battled in hostile, enemy territory before. This Cougars’ outfit were also mentally tough. The team returned several experienced players from the 2019 4A State runner-up squad.
This team lost in this same game a year ago, however, different year and a better result.
Pulaski was more than prepared for the EC Glass pressure and picked apart the defense with solid ball-handling and efficient half court passing leading to high percentage shots. The Lady Cougars took the lead early and held a 16-10 lead after the first quarter. When EC Glass got over aggressive, the Cougars broke their backs with breakaway baskets and used their size advantage to control the boards. The Cougars expanded the lead to 34-21 at halftime.
Mya Hamlett, the Region 4D player of year, did all she could in her final home game. Hamlett pumped in 23 points and every time Pulaski looked to blow the game out, Hamlett kept the team within striking distance. The Hilltoppers came out of the locker room on fire and put Pulaski in notice. The strong offensive push drew the game to 47-38 entering the final quarter.
Eventually, the more experienced Cougars won on great ball movement and making too many plays for the Hilltoppers to overcome. Once, Pulaski push the lead back to double digits, they never got threatened again.
Another glaring issue was the woeful shooting of EC Glass from behind the three-point line. The home team converted less than 5% of their long distance tries. This put too much pressure to score some easier buckets and thwarted the comeback effort.
The win provides the Cougars another home game as they will host Millbrook in the state quarterfinals. EC Glass shall hit the road in their quest for a state title, as they travel north to face Loudoun Valley. Both games shall take place on March 6th.
LYNCHBURG VA E.C.GLASS A RUN- UP IN THE DISTRICT TOURNAMENT 4-D 2/28/20
Can the sequel be better than the original? This is a question many people asked when they anticipate the next installment in a movie or a book. This certainly can be said about the Hill City Rivalry when EC Glass and Heritage get together in basketball Everyone who was looking forward to this game knew the most heated rivalry in Seminole District basketball always brings out the best in everybody.
This matchup was highly anticipated since Heritage knocked off Glass less that a few weeks ago. What made this game even more heated was both teams were tied in the district.
The Pioneers started off strong defending their home court. The Pioneers made shots and kept Glass at bay to take an 18-11 lead. The Hilltoppers regrouped and reloaded for the second quarter. EC Glass turned the tables and turned up the heat. The pressure and timely shooting gave them the in the quarter but at the half, Heritage was able to hold on to the tiniest of leads, 30-29.
With the crowd packing the seats to the rafters and the cheerleaders in full spirit, the second half was going to be on fire.
After halftime, neither team disappointed. Both teams increased their defensive intensity and forced turnovers and bad shots. As was the case in the first quarter, Heritage made a few more plays and increased the lead to 45-41 entering the fourth quarter.
Glass knew they needed to play better than they had in a long time. Heritage was winning big in battle on the boards and was not completely stopped by the vaunted Hilltoppers press.
Whatever Coach Best said in the huddle worked. EC Glass locked down Heritage all over the court. It seemed wherever a white jersey went, one or two jerseys met him there. All of the defense paid off as Glass outscored Heritage 11-7 in the final quarter to force overtime.
Of course, a game of this magnitude deserved more time to determine a winner. It nearly was finished in regulation. Jacobi Lambert scored a lay-up to knot the score at 52 with 50 seconds remaining. Glass had nearly a minute to score but guard Rayvon Graham, missed a game-winning shot with eight seconds to go.
In the extra period, the fatigue showed as both teams missed relatively open shots. Even worse, Glass only converted five of 12 free throws giving Heritage many chances to snatch victory. Neither team led by more than seven points the entire evening. However, the Pioneers took only seven shots in the overtime but could only muster five points. Glass scored 11 points which was enough to earn the 63-57 win.
Seniors Rayvon Graham and Savion Austin both scored 19 points each leading the Hilltoppers charge. Jacobi Lambert of Heritage, led all scorers with 22. He was the only Pioneer in double figures. He had 20 points before halftime and his last bucket tied the game before overtime.
The win was the fourth in a row for Glass while the Pioneers have now dropped back to back contests. EC Glass improves to 9-3 in district while Heritage stands at 8-4.
by EMSPORTS 2/03/2020
Senior Night has arrived at Jefferson Forest High School, and the stakes couldn't be much higher for the Cavaliers. The Heritage Pioneers were the opponent but this was no ordinary game. Only one game separated the two teams in the tightly contested Seminole District with Heritage (tied for 1st) at 8-2 and JF(tied for third) at 7-3. The winner would secure a top four spot in the Seminole race to be in the district tournament next week. This also was the first of two battles between both teams in a span of 10 days.
The crowd was livid and full of energy. The Cavaliers had the boost they needed and too much height for Heritage to overcome. The first half was a battle with each team throwing their best and counterpunching back and forth. Heritage trailed by just one point at the halftime at 24-23, courtesy of 10-1 run.
JF could give you the look of a forest. 6-foot-4 center John Isenhour, 6-foot-8 center Timothy Peters and 6-foot-5 senior Mike Green created matchup problems for the shorter Pioneers. The starting frontcourt of Peters and Isenhour repeatedly played keep away from Heritage and the two combined for 18 points, with Isenhour scoring 10.
The other member of this towering trio, Green, did his damage from the outside. With his team looking to stymie the Pioneers' run, Green knocked down a dagger 3-point shot from the corner that effectively took the air out of the Pioneers. JF led by as many as 15 in the fourth quarter before HHS cut the deficit to nine with under two minutes remaining. The Pioneers had too big a hill to climb in enemy territory to pull off the victory.
At JF, Heritage’s Jacobi Lambert led all scorers with 16 points and Kyle Ferguson added eight for the Pioneers.
JF junior guard Jordan Everhart led his team with 11 points, while Peters chipped in eight and Green had six.
Forest pulled into a tie with Heritage but the season is far from over. Both teams are chasing LCA for top spot in the Seminole. Both teams will not have to wait very long when the rematch takes place in the fieldhouse at Heritage High School on February 10.
by EMSPORTS 1/31/2020
GATE CITY SLAMS THE DOOR ON RE LEE, WINS STATE TITLE GOING AWAY
If you have never heard the name Mac McClung, get to your nearest computer or tablet and look for him on Google or Youtube. Mac McClung or the Mac Attack is a human highlight waiting to happen. Mr. McClung did not disappoint in the state title game versus powerhouse Robert E. Lee-Staunton. In the 80-65 victory, Gate City captured their first ever boys’ basketball state championship, McClung dazzled the Siegel Center with an array of scoring moves and high-flying, slam dunks to score a VHSL championship record, 47 points. The record broke the old mark set by Cave Spring’s JJ Redick.
McClung will continue his basketball career with the Georgetown Hoyas next season. On this remarkable career, he also set the VHSL career scoring record with 2800 points, besting the previous record set by Caleb Tanner (Floyd County) back in 2014.
In all the years, EM Sports has seen VHSL championships, Mac McClung may be the most exciting, most explosive basketball player to have participated on the biggest stage. Many great players have battled for the championships at historic venues like U-Hall in Charlottesville, Salem Civic Center, Vines Center at Liberty University and currently at VCU’s Siegel Center, but known were as impressive as Mac McClung. He would split opposing double teams, throw down rim-rattling dunks and leave the crowd in a frenzy with his breathtaking moves. He was no slouch on defense either because his jumping prowess allowed him to rise up to the level of taller players and dispatch their shots off the backboard or into the crowd. Mac McClung get do it from the outside with his smooth stroke from behind the three-point line or just gracefully make his was into the paint which usually meant the final exclamation point was his customary slam dunk.
Mac McClung will be known for making a lot of defenders dizzy and reaching for air. McClung, confidently handled the ball with ease and his quickness made him a nightmare for bigger opponents. The last points that McClung scored were very fitting of his career. In the final seconds of the Gate City championship celebration, McClung found himself with the ball in his hands and in flight to the basket. A reverse dunk completed his high school career in a fashion complimentary of a player who was head and shoulders better than anyone during his career.
BY EMSPORTS 03/11/2018
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