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Region I, Division 3 Basketball: Yellow Jackets boys, girls teams reach states
BY TAFT COGHILL JR.
The past two seasons James Monroe’s boys basketball team has reached the Region I, Division 3 semifinals.
But a loss to New Kent in 2010 was followed by a setback to Brunswick last season.
Thursday night, however, the Yellow Jackets erased those memories.
They finally got over the hump, and into the state tournament for the first time in at least 20 years with an 89–73 semifinal victory over visiting Lafayette.
The win clinched a berth in the Group AA, Division 3 state tournament.
The Yellow Jackets (24–2) will visit defending state champion Brunswick (24–2) Friday night for the regional championship.
“It feels good to get over the hump,” JM head coach Antonio Coghill said. “We finally played [a semifinal] at home. To get over that hump, it’s good for the program, good for the community. Now we’re looking forward to playing Brunswick.”
The Bulldogs defeated JM 67–33 last season. They’re coached by former University of Virginia star Bryant Stith.
His son, B.J. Stith, has orally committed to Virginia as a sophomore. Another son, Brandon, is a junior Division I prospect.
Coghill and his players said they’re better equipped to deal with Brunswick this time around.
“We’ve got more athletes [than last year], we’re playing with more energy and we’re playing better defense,” JM junior guard Julian Bumbrey said. “We’ve got a lot of heart on this team right here.”
The Yellow Jackets dispatched Lafayette (17–8) quickly last night.
Rams coach Tony Traver, who was ejected in the third quarter after two technical fouls, said some of his players suffered from food poisoning after their trip to Culpeper on Tuesday.
Senior center Te’Quan Alers led the Yellow Jackets with 24 points and six rebounds. Bumbrey added 19 points.
Senior forward Bruce Johnson scored 16 and grabbed eight boards, while senior point guard A’darius Brown contributed five points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists.
“They were quicker to every punch. They were quicker to every ball,” Traver said of the Yellow Jackets. “We were a half-step slow.”
Lafayette 15 16 18 24 — 73
J. Monroe 26 20 25 18 — 89
Lafayette (17–8): Logan Buchanan 8, John Fitchett 15, Ben Colley 3, Colton St. Cyr 23, Jaquan Hayes 7, Jeff Smith 4, Dewayne Johnson 6, Mark Rivera 5, Calvin Mitchell 2. Totals: 22 23-29 73.
James Monroe (24–2): A’darius Brown 5, Jaamir Bumbrey 13, Te’Quan Alers 24, Julian Bumbrey 19, Bruce Johnson 16, Torreik Ferguson 2, Tony Scott 3, Marcus Finnie 4, Alex Baker 3. Totals: 34 17–27
Three-point goals: Lafayette 6 (St. Cyr 3, Buchanan 2, Hayes). James Monroe 4 (Jaamir Bumbrey 2, Julian Bumbrey, Johnson).
JM 69, POQUOSON 51
JM 69, POQUOSON 51
James Monroe’s girls raced to an 11-point halftime lead en route to a trip to the regional championship game.
The Yellow Jackets clinched their first berth in the state tournament since 2009 with the victory.
They’ll also face Brunswick Friday. The Bulldogs eliminated them in the regional semifinals last season, as well.
“We feel good about going down there,” JM head coach Julian Bumbrey said. “Our goal is to finish this thing. We want to win the region.”
The Yellow Jackets were balanced on Thursday. While standout senior guard Keyontae Williams struggled to find her shot early on, her teammates lifted her. Williams finished with 16 points.
But senior guard Sierra Leacock and sophomore forward Brianne Stephenson paced the Yellow Jackets with 19 points apiece.
“We were all motivated that if we didn’t win this game it would be our last game,” Stephenson said. “We wanted the chance to play in the state tournament because we earned it.”
Poquoson 12 12 14 13 — 51
J. Monroe 20 15 17 17 — 69
Poquoson (10–14): Torrie Whitlow 2, Poppy Crawshaw 2, Brittany Frazier 6, Sarah Davis 13, Anne Bochman 2, Katie Doggett 9, Sydney Turner 11, Elizabeth Kincaid 6. Totals: 15 17-23 51.
James Monroe (20–7): Ciante Brown 0, Danielle Bumbrey 6, Ta’nesha Frye 0, Cara Lambert 0, Sierra Leacock 19, Rhonda Lincoln 1, Jazmyn Moore 0, Brianne Stephenson 19, Lyric Swain 0, Myasia Williams 6, Brittany Williams 2, Keyontae Williams 16. Totals: 23 18-23 69.
Three-point goals: Poquoson 4 (S. Davis, S. Turner 3). James Monroe 5 (D. Bumbrey, S. Leacock, M. Williams 2, K. Williams).
Taft Coghill Jr.: 540/374-5526