3-Peat For Brunswick

SHS Boys Fall In State Title Game, 56-31

Posted: March 9, 2013

RICHMOND – One look at his younger sister was all Brunswick High School junior B.J. Stith needed to all but guarantee a victory.

“When I saw my sister cry, it was time to go,” said Stith, who watched Spotswood beat Bria Stith and the Bulldogs for a girls’ state championship just before taking the floor. “When I saw the tears in my sister’s eyes, there was nothing Spotswood could do to beat us. Nothing.”

It didn’t take long for Brunswick to enact some revenge.

Four seconds into the game, junior guard Isreal Stith found 6-foot-6 forward Stephen Vassor for an alley-oop dunk, and the high-flying Bulldogs cruised to their third straight Division 3 state championship 56-31 over Spotswood at the Siegel Center Saturday afternoon.

“This team was saddled with expectations the entire season, and these kids answered the bell every single time,” BHS coach Bryant Stith said, calling this state title “the best – and it’s not even close.”

Stith said that was because Brunswick was the “odds-on favorite” throughout the season, which created a new kind of pressure the Bulldogs had not experienced. But there was little doubt of Saturday’s outcome.

“Opening comments: Brunswick’s good,” SHS coach Chad Edwards said to start the postgame press conference. “…We scored 31 points tonight. We’ve scored more than that in a quarter at [times] during our season this year.”

A bitter end to a historic Spotswood season came with a bitter shooting performance. The Trailblazers – who made 49 percent of their shots in a 21-win regular season – went 13-for-48 from the floor (27.1 percent) and had eight shots blocked.

Crowding the paint on defense early on, Spotswood was victimized on the perimeter. Isreal Stith drilled three 3-pointers on Brunswick’s first six possessions.

The Bulldogs (28-2), who shot 59.1 percent from the floor in the first half (13-of-22), closed the opening quarter on an 11-2 run to go ahead 19-7.
“We played more zone tonight than we’ve probably played all year,” Edwards said. “I usually say zone is a four-letter word. We prefer to play a lot of man, but we felt like the zone was the most effective way to try to limit their inside game.”

Senior 6-foot-7 forward Brandan Stith – who has signed with East Carolina – and Isreal Stith each scored 15 points to lead Brunswick.

Junior point guard Tucker McCoy paced SHS with 11 points, including a 3-pointer that cut the game-long deficit to 32-22 with 3:44 left in the third quarter. But Brunswick outscored the Blazers 24-9 the rest of the way.

It was still a season to remember for Spotswood (28-2). The Blazers set single-season school records for wins and scoring, with 1,890 points (63 ppg), in reaching the championship game for the third time.

“I’m so glad I was able to come here and have the experiences that I did,” said senior swingman Hyrum Weiler, who transferred to SHS two years ago after riding the bench in Georgia. “Even though we weren’t able to get a ring, I wouldn’t trade these experiences for anything.”

Spotswood was trying to become the first school to win boys’ and girls’ Group AA basketball titles in the same school year since Waynesboro in 1991.

“It’s over. The run’s over,” said SHS senior forward Austin Nicely, who fouled out in the fourth quarter after defending Brandan Stith all afternoon. “But at the beginning of the year, if you sorta would’ve told us we’d have this opportunity…I don’t think any of us would’ve turned it down. Right now, of course, we’re disappointed. I’m disappointed. My career is over.”

Reminded by a reporter that Spotswood’s season-opening baseball game was scheduled for Monday, Nicely and McCoy – the Blazers’ top two pitchers – smirked and shook their heads. They don’t expect to play, but they know it’s back to work.

Meanwhile, Edwards will return to the drawing board looking to replace five seniors, including the leadership of two starters: Weiler and Nicely.

“I’m extremely proud of these guys,” Edwards said. “There’s one step left to take and we challenged the younger guys to let this disappointment motivate them in the offseason. Hopefully, it will.”

BRUNSWICK
 

I. Stith 5-8 2-2 15, Hardy 2-4 1-4 5, B.J. Stith 3-10 3-5 9, Bra. Stith 5-7 5-8 15, Vassor 5-8 2-3 12, Williams 0-0 0-0 0, Owens 0-0 0-0 0, Ferguson 0-0 0-0 0, Marks 0-0 0-0 0, Burke 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 20-37 13-22 56.

 

SPOTSWOOD
 

McCoy 4-10 0-0 11, Davis 1-6 0-0 2, Nicely 2-6 1-2 5, Garber 0-4 0-0 0, Weiler 4-10 1-3 9, Kier 2-6 0-1 4, Saylor 0-0 0-2 0, Lasam 0-5 0-0 0, Hinke 0-1 0-0 0, Lokey 0-0 0-0 0, Blandon 0-0 0-0 0, Detamore 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 13-48 2-8 31.

 

Brunswick     19 13   8 16 – 56

Spotswood      7 10   7   7 – 31

 

3-Point Goals—Brunswick 3-8 (I. Stith 3-6, Hardy 0-1, B.J. Stith 0-1), SHS 3-18 (McCoy 3-8, Davis 0-2, Garber 0-2, Lasam 0-5, Hinkle 0-1). Rebounds—Brunswick 37 (Hardy, B.J. Stith, Vassor 8), SHS 22 (Weiler 5). Assists—Brunswick 15 (I. Stith, B.J. Stith, Bra. Stith 3), SHS 4 (Davis 2). Turnovers—Brunswick 15; SHS 11. Fouled Out—SHS (Nicely). Total Fouls—Brunswick 15, SHS 18.





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