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Region I, Division 3 basketball: Yellow Jackets teams advance to semifinals

BY TAFT COGHILL JR.

It may be easy to overlook Bruce Johnson’s contributions to the James Monroe basketball team.

He isn’t a double–double machine like Yellow Jackets’ senior center Te’Quan Alers. And he doesn’t always have scoring bursts like JM guard Julian Bumbrey.

Still, the 6-foot-3 forward plays a vital role for the Yellow Jackets as they try to make a run to the Group AA, Division 3 state tournament.

The Yellow Jackets took a step toward that goal Tuesday night with an 87–64 Region I quarterfinal victory over visiting Southampton.

Johnson’s assignment was to slow down Nick Doyle, the Indians’ three-time all-Southside District performer. Doyle finished with a game-high 34 points, but 24 came in the second half with the game well in JM’s control.

“Starting off, I did what I had to do,” Johnson said. “I stopped him and we got a good lead. After that, he could shoot all he wanted as long as they didn’t get the win.”

The Yellow Jackets (23–2) will host Lafayette on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. with a trip to the state tournament on the line. The Rams defeated Culpeper 88–69 on Tuesday.

Against Southampton (13–10), JM was paced by 25 points and 16 rebounds from Alers. Bumbrey added 18 points, four rebounds, four assists and four steals.

Johnson scored just six points, but the senior said his mindset going into the game was to play defense.

“Bruce does a great job,” Yellow Jackets head coach Antonio Coghill said. “We as a team know we’ve got to have somebody like that. He scores, rebounds and plays defense. He does everything you want as a coach.”

The Yellow Jackets led by 21 points at halftime, and the second half was a formality.

Indians coach Will Melbye, a former head coach at Washington & Lee, said his team was missing three starters.

“We made some mistakes,” Melbye said, “that made them look better than they are.”

James Monroe now turns its focus to Lafayette. Coghill said it should be easy to get his players’ attention because of the way the Rams handled Culpeper, which beat JM in one of three meetings this season.

“When we heard that, we knew that [Wednesday] in practice has to be serious,” Johnson said. “There’s no playing around now. It’s do or die.”

    Southampton 10 10 15 29 — 64

    James Monroe 24 17 22 24 — 87

    Scoring

    Southampton (13–10): Nick Doyle 34, Travon Ellis 7, Michael Frazier 4, Tyshawn Jackson 8, Jamal Johnson 11, Hayden Spalding 0. Totals: 24 11-16 64.

    James Monroe (23–2): Te’Quan Alers 25, Alex Baker 3, A’darius Brown 0, Julian Bumbrey 18, Jaamir Bumbrey 11, Torreik Ferguson 5, Marcus Finnie 10, James Fleet 0, Bruce Johnson 6, Robert Lamar 0, Tommy Nguyen 2, Tony Scott 4, Ben Henderson 3. Totals: 35 10-14 87.

    Three-point goals: Southampton 5 (N. Doyle 3, T. Jackson 2). James Monroe 7 (A. Baker, Julian Bumbrey 3, Jaamir Bumbrey, T. Ferguson, B. Henderson).

GIRLS BASKETBALL

JM 80, PRINCE EDWARD 42

Senior guard Keyontae Williams paced the Yellow Jackets with 26 points, nine rebounds and five steals as they advanced to the Region I, Division 3 semifinals.

The Yellow Jackets (19–7) will host Poquoson on Thursday at 6 p.m.

Head coach Julian Bumbrey was able to rest several of his key players on Tuesday as the Yellow Jackets built a comfortable lead.

“I don’t want to say it was like practice because I don’t want to down the other team,” Williams said. “But it was like one of those fundamental games.”

James Monroe played without starting forward Akira Jones, who may be out an extended time with ankle and knee injuries.

Sophomore Cara Lambert received significant playing time in her absence, and recorded seven points and eight rebounds.

“That’s going to be big for us,” Bumbrey said of Lambert’s contribution. “She’s strong and she hustles.”

    P. Edward 11 12 8 11 — 42

    J. Monroe 25 23 19 13 — 80

    Scoring

    Prince Edward (5–17): Samantha Applegate 6, Daneisha Bowles 8, Lucia Davis 8, Tamera Langhorne 7, Lindsay Lesueur 4, Shantiqua Lewis 2, Jasmine Smith 6, Ashlee Todt 0, Pashion Banks 1. Totals: 16 8-17 42.

    James Monroe (19–7): Ciante Brown 2, Danielle Bumbrey 11, Cara Lambert 7, Sierra Leacock 14, Rhonda Lincoln 0, Brianne Stephenson 10, Lyric Swain 4, Myasia Williams 2, Brittany Williams 4, Keyontae Williams 26, Jazmyn Moore 0. Totals: 32 13-22 80.

    Three-point goals: Prince Edward 2 (S. Applegate 2). James Monroe 3 (D. Bumbrey, K. Williams 2).

Taft Coghill Jr.: 540/374-5526

tcoghill@freelancestar.com

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