, 2014

Tournament underdogs have their day;
Northumberland boys win championship

by Lisa Hinton-Valdrighi

Fourth-place Northumberland pulled off the big upsets last week to win the Northern Neck District tournament championship.

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The Indians whipped first-place Colonial Beach, 67-48, in a semifinal game last Wednesday, then came from behind for a last second win over Essex, 50-49, in the tournament final last Friday.

Wesley Jackson walked away the hero for Northumberland, sinking two free throws — the first to tie and the second to take the lead — with 13 seconds to play in the game. Jackson finished with 16 points to lead three double-digit scorers for the Indians.

Northumberland had taken a one-point lead in the first quarter but allowed Essex to pull away with a 15-7 run in the second to go up 25-18 at the half.

Northumberland started to chop away at the Trojans' lead midway through the third when Keith Bryant hit a field goal to pull the Indians within two, 33-31, then was fouled on Northumberland's next possession and sank the second of two free throws to cut the margin to one.

The two teams traded shots for the first five minutes of the fourth before Kyle Elmore hit a three-pointer to give the Indians their first lead since the first quarter, 43-42.

The Trojans answered with a shot to take a 44-43 lead before Aaron Lewis sank a free throw to tie at 44-44 with 2:19 to play.

Elmore then came up with a steal and lay in to lift the Indians, 46-44. Northumberland pulled down a defensive rebound and Jackson was fouled at the other end to go to the line for a one-and-one. He hit both to give the Indians a 48-44 lead.

DJ Ashlock came up with a shot and a stick back for four quick points for the Trojans, tying the score at 48-48 with under a minute to play. With 27 seconds left, Tompkins hit one of two free throws for a 49-48 Essex lead before Lewis stole the ball under the Trojan basket and signaled for a time out as he fell to the ground. Jackson was fouled on the possession and hit the go-ahead shot at the line.

Bryant scored 11 points for Northumberland and Lewis added 10.

Keith Bundy and Tompkins scored 17 points each to lead Essex and Ashlock chipped in 10.

In a semifinal game, Essex took the lead for good late in the second quarter and went on to edge Lancaster, 50-45, last Wednesday.

Ashlock had a stick back at the buzzer to give the Trojans a 23-21 lead at the half and visiting Essex held on for the win.

Bundy hit a three-pointer with 2:20 to go in the third to give Essex its biggest lead of the night at eight points, 35-27.

Jovante Smith sank a field goal and Tykwon Redmond sank two at the line to pull the Devils within four, 35-31, to end the quarter.

Northumberland High’s boys basketball team upset the district’s top seed, then edged Essex to win the Northern Neck tournament championship. Photo by Lisa Hinton-Valdrighi

Lancaster stayed as close as three until five minutes to play when Bundy made a three-pointer the old fashioned way with a shot and free throw to give the Trojans a 40-34 lead.

Lancaster went on a 7-2 run, which included a steal and layup by Colding and three points by Taj Smith, to get as close as two, 44-42, with 1:49 to play.

Essex put up a quick six unanswered for a 50-42 lead and Lancaster's Trevon Taylor hit a three-pointer with two seconds to play to end the scoring. T. Smith scored 13 points and Colding had 12 to lead Lancaster. Taylor added 10.

Tompkins led the Trojans with 12 points and Bundy scored 10.

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