Tuesday, January 11, 2011
After defeating host Tabb 63-57 Monday night, Walsingham Academy (13-2) improved to 3-0 against Bay Rivers District opponents this season. Prior to Monday night’s win, the Trojans had defeated York 65-49 and Lafayette 65-51, both on the road, which head coach Billy Barnes says shows development in his boys basketball program.
“Many years ago we had a tough time competing,” Barnes said about his experiences against Bay Rivers district opponents. “They’re all very well coached and play hard. We’ve grown our program over the years and we feel like we can compete with them each year.”
Walsingham did more than hang in with the Tigers (10-3, 8-1 BRD), who coming in were ranked second in the Division 4 state basketball poll. The Trojans controlled the flow from start to finish and never trailed over the entire 32 minutes.
It was the third time is as many seasons the two sides squared off, but after scrimmaging one another during summer and the preseason, Barnes said he and Tabb head coach Doug Baggett are very familiar with each other’s system.
“It was a typical Walsingham-Tabb game,” said Barnes. “We both have so many good players that you can’t focus on one guy. We’re very similar, which makes it a challenge to defend. They probably know our plays better than we do and vice versa.”
After falling behind early 12-2, Tabb’s Will Baggett provided a spark when he stole a pass at mid-court, which led to an uncontested layup. He and Joe Nelson came off the bench to score the final seven points in the quarter for Tabb to cut the deficit 16-10.
Corey Brown’s seven second-quarter points kept the Trojans ahead 30-25 at the half.
In the third period, Baggett’s three-pointer with 45 seconds left tied the game for the first time since the opening tip. Brandon LaRose’s layup as time expired gave Walsingham a 43-39 advantage after three quarters.
After a Shaquille Rodney baseline jumper, Baggett’s third three of the game tied the contest once again, 46-46. Baggett, who was crucial down the stretch for the Tigers, finished with a game-high 17 points on 4-6 shooting from beyond the arc.
Cy Cole and Jayce Beck would exchange three pointers on back-to-back possessions, tying the score at 49 with just over four minutes to play.
After two LaRose free throws, Baggett hit his fourth three-point attempt of the night to pull the Tigers within one, 55-54.
Brown then hit a floater in the lane, which was followed by two more LaRose free throws that extended the Trojans’ lead to 59-54. The most pivotal play of the game came on Tabb’s ensuing possession when Beck stepped in front of driving Quenlin McCormick to draw the offensive foul.
Cole would add one more three-pointer late, but it was to no avail as Walsingham went on to win 63-57.
Despite a valiant fourth quarter effort from Baggett and the Tigers, Walsingham never faltered.
“What I was most proud of was that we held our composure,” said Barnes. “There was no panic. When they made their runs, we just kept playing and never got frazzled.”
Brown led Walsingham with 15 points and LaRose added 14. Baggett’s 17 points led the Tigers and Allen James scored 12.
“I was very pleased with our patience and our decision-making tonight,” said Barnes. “That’s something that has developed over the course of the season for us.”
Tabb (10-3, 8-1 BRD) – 10 15 14 18 – 57
Walsingham (13-2) – 16 14 13 20- 63