Lee Edges HHS

Posted: February 6, 2013

HARRISONBURG — In a game pitting two of the top scorers in the Valley District, one was honored for scoring 1,000 career points – but the other led his team to victory.

Harrisonburg High School senior Seth Kardos scored 25 points – he needed eight to get to 1,000, and play halted to honor him after he reached the milestone in the second quarter – but R.E. Lee’s Shai Matthews scored 24 of his 29 points in the second half in the Leemen’s 63-59 road victory.

Both teams leaned heavily on their do-it-all stars. Kardos, who came in averaging 19.1 points per game, scored 13 of his team-high total in the second half, but Harrisonburg (9-12 overall, 5-6 in the Valley District) lacked an interior presence apart from the slashing guard/forward. Matthews, meanwhile, who came in averaging 24.1 points, had just five at halftime but scored 24 in the second half, as the Leemen consistently ran its offense around the senior guard.

“We turned the ball over more than we normally do, but we did compete and had a chance to win at the end,” said HHS coach Scott Joyner, who acknowledged his team has a difficult time guarding quick players like Matthews.

“We talked about defending him, and we had a box defense ready for him, but I just don’t understand the way we played defensively at times,” Joyner said. “I don’t know how you lose a guy like that.”

Both teams started out cold at the outset, with neither team scoring in the first three minutes. HHS clung to a 27-25 lead after a first half that featured no runs of more than four points.

Matthews caught fire in the third quarter, scoring the first 11 Leemen points and finishing with 17 in the period. He later igniting a 10-0 Lee run in the fourth that turned a 51-49 deficit into an eight-point lead.

Senior guard Brian Rodriguez scored 14 for HHS and Damien Sampson added 13. Sampson connected on 3 of 12 three-point attempts after missing his first six. No other Streaks’ player scored more than two points.

Afterward, Joyner reflected on Kardos reaching 1,000 points.

“I was only here for about 390 of those points, but he’s just a terrific player,” said the first-year HHS coach. “I’m proud of him. He’s a good kid, a hard worker, and he’s one of the tops I’ve seen.”

Harrisonburg had trouble keeping Matthews away from the bucket late in the game, committing 11 second-half fouls to just three for Lee.

“I just think that we can’t really win a game when we’re giving a team that many free throws,” Kardos said. “Matthews was getting a lot of open looks, and that run in the fourth quarter was just too much for us to overcome.”

Play was stopped with 6:41 left in the second quarter at the first dead-ball whistle after Kardos scored at the 7:10 mark for his 1,000th career point. He was awarded an honorary basketball.

“I definitely would have rather won, but it was nice to be recognized for that,” Kardos said of the feat.

The win put the Leemen over .500 in the Valley at 6-5 and evened them overall at 10-10.

“This rivalry has meant a lot to me since I was a little kid, and I’m extremely pleased to come out and get a win,” said Lee coach Jarrett Hatcher, who said tonight was the first night he’s had his squad at full strength this season.

“I think it’s no secret to anybody we play that Shai does the bulk of our scoring,” Hatcher said. “With [senior forward] Dylan Horne back it gives us an added dimension as well, so we’ll hit the reset button after Friday and look forward to the district tournament.”

The seven-team Valley District tournament begins next week. The Blue Streaks are tied with Turner Ashby in the league standings with one regular-season game remaining as the two teams vie for a bye in the Division 4 bracket of the tournament.
Lee will compete in the D-3 bracket, which has no bye.

R.E. LEE

Whitelow 3 1-2 7, Matthews 7 11-14 29, Anderson 0 2-2 2, Sheffey 1 0-0 2, Crawford 3 2-4 8, Horne 4 2-3 10, Cook 2 0-0 5. Totals 20 18-25 63.

HARRISONBURG

Rodriguez 5 2-2 14, Kardos 11 3-4 25, Alford 0 1-2 1, Sampson 5 0-0 13, Phillips 1 0-0 2, Royer 1 0-0 2, Shifflett 1 0-0 2. Totals 24 6-8 59.

R.E. Lee                 9    16    23   15   —   63
Harrisonburg     12    15    22   10   —   59


3-Point Goals—Lee 5 (Matthews 4, Cook), HHS 5 (Sampson 3, Rodriguez 2). Fouled Out-None. Total Fouls—Lee 5, HHS 17. Rebounds—Lee 22 (Horne 8), HHS 29 (Kardos 7).

JV score: 53-35 HHS.



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