The Gazette Virginian Holiday Classic kicked off on Friday afternoon at Halifax County High School. The Bluestone Barons varsity boys team took on the Person County Rockets out of North Carolina in the first boys game of the day. Halifax took on Gretna in the night cap. After a solid first half performance, Bluestone wasn’t able to hang with Person down the stretch and the Rockets won the game by a score of 58-39.
Bluestone got off to a great start, jumping off to a 10-2 lead before Person stormed back to end the first quarter tied at 12. The second quarter started the same way, with Bluestone jumping out to a lead early on and then Person coming back. The only difference in the second was that Person kept going, ending the half with a 30-24 lead. Bluestone’s starting point guard, Larry Bullock injured his ankle in the quarter and did not return to the game and this was an obvious loss for the Barons. Bullock is the floor leader and he has been a strong presence for the team all season long.
Coming out for the second half, Person clamped down on defense and only allowed 15 Baron points. The loss of Bullock may have played a factor for the issues on offense, but credit Person County for executing on both ends of the floor. The Rockets extended their lead to 12 after the third quarter, and it never got close for the rest of the game. Da’Trione “Dai Dai” Shearin and Michael Harris led Bluestone with 10 points each and Nic Abernathy followed with 8. Abernathy was never able to get into a rhythm from behind the arc and was held in check by the Person defenders. Michael Harris was in foul trouble most of the game, limiting the senior big man from his usual dominating performances. JV standout Trevon Tucker played quite a few minutes for the Barons, scoring 4 points and getting a couple of blocks as well.
Person was led by Tae Bailey with 14 points, followed by Dre Newman with 12 and Jaylen Black with 8.
The Barons were back on the court Saturday at 4:30 in the consolation game of the tournament but results were not available at press time. A full recap will be in next week’s paper.