The second-seeded Brunswick High School varsity girls basketball team played their hearts out but fell 87-37 to top-seeded John Marshall HS in the Class 2, Region A title game on Friday night at Huguenot HS in Richmond.
The victory improved the Lady Justices to 19-6 while Brunswick, the Tri-River District champions, fell to 22-3 on the season.
Both teams will advance to the Class 2 state tournament as John Marshall will play host to Region B runner-up Strasburg while Brunswick will hit the road to play Region B champion Clarke County (23-5) on Friday evening at 7 p.m. at Strasburg High School.
The Lady Justices outscored their three opponents in the regionals by a total of 295-63 after topping Nandua 100-18 and Nottoway 108-8 earlier in the tournament.
“We had 27 turnovers tonight,” Brunswick coach Terry Stith said after the game. “I think we had been looking at the scores and mentally, we never had a chance coming in here.”
Stith said his team would need to get back to doing what they have been doing all season in their state quarterfinal game against Clarke County.
“We’ve got to clean up our play and work from inside to outside and I think we will be fine,” he said.
John Marshall jumped out to a 5-0 lead to start the game on a bucket by Jaedyn Cooke, an East Carolina commit, but Brunswick’s Ajanai Smith answered with a trey to get the Lady Bulldogs on the scoreboard at the 5:29 mark.
A bucket by Alexandria Harrison, the Tri-Rivers District player of the year, cut the JM lead to 10-5 at the 3:00 mark of the opening quarter.
Harrison scored on back-to-back buckets including completing a 3-point play to cut the JM deficit to 16-10 at the 1:31 mark but the Lady Justices ended the stanza on a 5-0 run to take a 21-10 lead.
John Marshall’s pressure defense continued to cause multiple turnovers and the Lady Justices increased their lead to 32-12 on a bucket by Zuri Hall at the 4:53 mark.
Isavela Toledo hit two free-throws at the 3:50 mark cut the deficit to 32-16 but the Lady Justices ended the quarter on a 13-0 run to take a commanding 45-16 lead to the halftime break.
Things did not get better in the second half for the local team as JM kept their press on the entire game and outscored Brunswick 29-11 in the third quarter and 13-10 in the fourth to seal the lopsided victory.
Harrison led all scorers with 22 points for Brunswick while Cooke led JM with 18 points, Z. Hall scored 16 and Kayden Jones added 15.
John Marshall……21 24 29 13 - 87
Brunswick………..10 6 11 10 – 37
John Marshall – Y. Hall 11, Early 4, Z. Hall 16, Jones 15, Crutchfield 4, Pickett 13, Rose 5, Cooke 18.
Brunswick – Seward 2, Toledo 2, L. Hill 2, Smith 1, A Hill 3, Smith 3, Simmons 3, Harrison 22.
The Lady Bulldogs got a stiff test from third-seeded Poquoson HS last Thursday night in a regional semifinal game but pulled away in the fourth quarter for a 49-38 victory.
Poquoson came into the game and double-teamed Alexandria Harrison in the post for most of the night but the junior standout could not be stopped as she led all scorers with 23 points.
Brunswick got off to a good start in the game as a bucket by Lakera Hill gave the Lady Bulldogs a 9-5 lead and Harrison scored on a nice post move to extend the lead to 11-7 at the end of the opening quarter.
A runner by Brianna Simmons and a bucket by Toledo extended the lead to 15-9 at the 5:04 mark of the second quarter.
Poquoson closed the deficit to 18-15 late in the second stanza but Simmons hit a trey right before the buzzer to give Brunswick a 21-15 halftime lead.
A bucket by Harrison at the 3:12 mark of the third quarter gave the Lady Bulldogs a 28-23 lead but Poquoson close the stanza on a 9-2 run to take a 32-20 lead on a trey by Seia Pickford.
Brunswick tied the game on a bucket by Harrison at the 7:07 mark of the fourth quarter but the Lady Islanders got a trey from Annabelle Simmons to take a 35-32 lead.
The Lady Bulldogs answered with a 9-0 run behind six points from Harrison and a trey by Toledo to open up a 41-35 lead and cruised down the stretch to the big victory.
Simmons finished with nine points for Brunswick in the game while Smith and Toledo added eight and seven points apiece, respectively.
Simmons led Poquoson with 18 points.
Brunswick……11 10 9 19 - 49
Poquoson………7 8 17 6 - 38
Brunswick – Toledo 7, L. Hill 2, Smith 8, Simmons 9, Harrison 23.
Poquoson – Jones 3, Pickford 6, Jackson 4, Smith 3, Simmons 18, Dunlap 4.
Clinging to a 42-37 lead going into the fourth quarter against visiting Amelia in a regional quarterfinal contest last Tuesday night, the Lady Bulldogs went to Harrison in the paint as the talented junior scored nine straight points to help Brunswick open up a 51-42 lead on their way to a 58-47 win in Lawrenceville.
Harrison was a beast all night in the paint as she also scored 11 points in the second quarter to help the Lady Bulldogs take a 28-23 halftime lead.
L. Hill scored five points in the opening quarter for Brunswick and knocked down a trey while Smith also hit a 3-pointer to give the Lady Bulldogs an early 14-8 lead.
Harrison finished with 29 points to lead all scorers while Hill scored 17 and Smith added 11.
Alana Medley led Amelia with 13 points while Gierra Patterson added 10.
Brunswick…….14 14 14 16 - 58
Amelia…………8 15 14 10 – 47
Brunswick – L. Hill 17, Smith 11, Simmons 1, Harrison 29.
Amelia – Marshall 4, Arrington 9, Medley 13, Wiggins 5, Rather 6, Patterson 10.