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Boys Basketball: Chargers speed up the game, stop Cavaliers

By STEVE FRANZELLO

The Chancellor boys basketball team likes to play at a frenetic pace and push the ball up the court as quickly as it can to create scoring opportunities.

Against visiting Caroline on Friday, that up-tempo pace and a wave of depth were key factors in the Chargers’ ability to sprint to an early lead over the Cavaliers and post a 72–58 Battlefield District victory.

The win came on the heels of the Chargers’ 81–80 loss to Culpeper in double overtime on Tuesday and improved their record to 8–2 in the district and 12–6 overall. Caroline fell to 7–10, 3–6.

“Our philosophy from the beginning has been to play as fast as we possibly can and then bring in our backups,” said Chancellor coach J.P. Gibbons. “To play at that kind of pace, you need 10 or 12 people to contribute to be successful.”

The Chargers’ depth played a big role in their success against the Cavaliers, who were willing to run at the same pace. After falling behind 27–12 in the first quarter, Caroline was able to stop the bleeding and trimmed the deficit to six points twice in the second half.

Nine players scored for Chancellor, which took advantage of eight turnovers by Caroline in the first quarter to build its early advantage.

Chris Holmes set the pace with 14 points. Forward Donald Fryar added 12, and Quincy Hayes and Ben Watkins 11 each. Reserve Darius Sanders wasn’t far behind with nine.

Hayes and Sanders were big sparks in the early fireworks. Hayes pulled down five rebounds in the first eight minutes and Sanders netted all nine of his points in the big run.

The fast start was a big key for the Chargers, especially in the middle frames, when Caroline outscored them 31–24 and cut the lead to 35–27 at the half, then pulled to within 53–47 with six minutes left in the game.

Joe Bouldin, who scored a game-high 19 points, Jaron Moore (13) and Frank Jones (10) helped ignite the Cavaliers’ comeback.

But a strong showing by Fryar on the backboards and some timely shooting by another reserve, Charles Tillery, helped put the finishing touches on Chancellor’s 12th win of the season.

“We’re starting to come together a little more now,” Holmes said. “The chemistry is getting better. We’ve had some key injuries, but we’re working through it and getting better when we push the ball more.”

The biggest key injury that Holmes was referring to is the one that was suffered by one of their top scorers and leaders, guard Ryan Greer, three games ago.

Greer, who was averaging 14 points a game, tore his ACL against Liberty and is lost for the season along with his strong floor play.

“We’ve had to reinvent our team some since losing Ryan,” Gibbons said. “We’ve needed for a lot of people to step up and contribute in his absence, and tonight they did.”

Those contributions came in timely spurts against the Cavaliers and ultimately proved to be the difference in the game.

Early in the second quarter, Caroline put together a 10–2 run behind the shooting of Moore and Bouldin, and began to chip away at the Chancellor lead. But Holmes and Alex Hamm kept the Chargers in front with their hustling play.

In the second half, it was a combination of Gibbons’ starters and reserves that kept the Chargers in control. In the fourth quarter, they squelched Caroline’s comeback hopes with a decisive 12–5 advantage on the glass.

“We played hard,” said Cavaliers coach Antoine Johnson. “We’ve got 10 seniors on this team, but we’re still trying to get everybody on the same page at times.”

Both teams continue their district schedules on Tuesday. Caroline entertains Eastern View, while Chancellor travels to Courtland.

    Caroline 12 15 16 15 — 58

    Chancellor 27 8 16 21 — 72

    Scoring

    Caroline (7–10, 3–6): Breland Allen 3, Devin Allen 0, Sydney Bates 0, Joe Bouldin 19, Devonte Freeman 0, Will Howard 3, Fronte Jones 10, Kamen Mickens 4, Delvin Mines 0, Jaron Moore 13, Bevontae Morris 4, Miles Smith 0, Chris Thomas 2. Totals: 22 9-12 58.

    Chancellor (12–6, 8–2): Anthony Alexander 0, Darrin Baker 0, Chazz Brown 0, Donald Fryar 12, Alex Hamn 2, Quincy Hayes 11, Tre’von Henson 0, Chris Holmes 14, Josh James 5, Chris Patterson 2, Dairus Sanders 9, Charles Tillery 6, Ben Watkins 11. Totals: 24 22-31 72.

    Three-point goals: Caroline 5 (B. Allen, J. Bouldin 4, W. Howard). Chancellor 2 (C. Holmes 2).

Steve Franzello: 540/374-5440

sports@freelancestar.com

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