By JONATHAN GREENE
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
Mount View and Patrick Henry (Roanoke) came into the opener of the Alpha Natural Resources Holiday Tournament with one loss between them.
The Patriots were unbeaten in 10 games while the Golden Knights only loss was by a point.
After 32 minutes, Patrick Henry handed Mount View its second loss with an 82-53 victory on Thursday night at Princeton Senior High School.
“Tomorrow night will be our sixth game in nine days,” Patrick Henry head coach Jack Esworthy said. “We had our first district game last night against Franklin County. It was a pretty tough game.
“We came in here, got on a 16-0 (run) and I thought we opened it up from there. We were able to play a lot of kids tonight which was really good. We’re looking forward to the championship game.”
The Golden Knights (4-2) trailed from the start following a Tray Crowder 3 less than 50 seconds into the game. The Patriots (11-0) kept the pressure up growing their lead to as many as 28 points on several occasions.
“I thought we were intimidated at the beginning,” Mount View head coach Gary Brown. “We turned the ball over quite a bit. We gave them a huge margin for us to overcome. I didn’t think we ever played well enough to get back in the game.
“They’re a pretty good team and we knew that coming in. I think we can play better than what we played. I was disappointed in our effort.”
After Crowder’s 3, Tyus Esworthy took a steal for a score then Marcus Banks drained a 3 of his own. The Patriots defensive pressure turned into lay-ups by Christian Kirchman and Esworthy before Austin Donithan threw it down to make it 16-0.
“It was nice,” coach Esworthy said of the early lead. “Coming into the game, we were originally scheduled to play Webster County. So we had a little bit of information on them.
“We came in blind on Mount View. We didn’t know what to really expect. Know they had some good shooters and had an athletic team. To go up 16-0, that really set the tone.”
Following at Mount View timeout, Paco Bonds hit Maurice Brown underneath for a basket. Jerry Sands added a drive to the hoop 20 seconds later. Brown finished the period with two free throws and a lay-up as the Golden Knights finished with a 10-2 run.
Donithan hit two jumpers to start the second and the Patriots took off on a 14-0 to rebuild their lead. A Sands jumper halted the run and Antonie Calloway hit two free throws. Patrick Henry answered with a three by Crowder on their way to a 40-16 halftime advantage.
“I told them after the game that they didn’t throw anything at us that we haven’t seen before,” Brown said. “They may be a little quicker. They may be a little longer. I thought we just didn’t do a good job handling it.
“We didn’t get to where we were supposed to go offensively. We’d call a press break and we’d be out of position. We were taking the ball up to the trap instead of trying to pass before you get to the trap. We made it easy for them.”
The Golden Knights kept trying to cut into the Patriots lead in the third quarter, but had little luck.
Donithan had a turnaround jumper, Banks then stole the inbound pass for an easy score and Donithan made it a 28-point lead with a fastbreak lay-up.
Mount View’s William Johnson connected from deep to stop the bleeding, but the Patriots had an answer every time. The teams traded baskets over the final four minutes of the quarters as Patrick Henry led 62-38 after three.
“We talked about the fact we need to play better competition,” Brown said. “We need to understand that instead of being fearful, you need to take on the challenge. You need to challenge yourself to overcome adversity, play harder, not make as many mistakes and if you do that, you can play against better competition.
“I thought we didn’t do that. I thought we were mentally weak tonight.”
Both teams went to their bench in the fourth quarter with the Patriots starters sitting out the entire period. Mount View never got closer than 24 points down the stretch.
Esworthy paced Patrick Henry with 13 points. Donithan and Crowder had 11 points each while Banks and Kirchman each added 10 points. Twelve different players scored for the Patriots.
“That was key,” coach Esworthy said of using his bench. “Last night was a hard-fought district game on the road. We’ve been on the road three nights including a two-hour ride today. I was able to rest my starters the whole fourth quarter so hopefully that pays off tomorrow night.”
Brown’s 18 points led Mount View. Teddy Hazzard chipped in with nine points.
The Golden Knights will play in the consolation game tonight against either James Monroe. Tip-off is set for 5:30 p.m. at Princeton.
“We’re going to be looking to play hard and try to rebound from this,” Brown said. “That’s what you do in any situation when you lose. You have to pick yourself off the ground, dust yourself off and try to play better the next night. That’s what we’re going to try to do.”
Patrick Henry will play in the championship game of the tournament set to tip at 7:30 p.m.
“I know a little about Princeton,” coach Esworthy said. “I don’t know much about James Monroe.”
At Princeton Senior High School
MOUNT VIEW (4-2)
Teddy Hazzard 9, Tashawn Vineyard 1, Jerry Sands 8, Antoine Calloway 5, Maurice Brown 18, Paco Bonds 5, William Johnson 7. Totals- 18 11-16 53.
PATRICK HENRY (11-0)
Tyler Pollard 6, Cortez Ogden 4, Tyus Esworthy 13, Marcus Banks 10, Tre Terry 4, Christian Kirchman 10, Tray Crowder 11, Rayvon Manning 1, Austin Donithan 11, Jimmy Butler 4, Xavier Nichols 3, Thomas Stockstill 5. Totals- 31 11-29 83.
Mount View..........................10 6 22 15 – 53
Patrick Henry........................18 22 22 20 – 82
3 pt field goals: MV 4 (Hazzard 3, Johnson); PH 3 (Crowder 2, Esworthy, Banks, Kirchman).