Page Beats East Rock In Semifinals
Posted: February 23, 2013
Page County's Kol Shuler shoots against the defense of East Rockingham's John Wright in Friday's Region B, Division 1 semifinal. (Photo by Michael Reilly / DN-R)
In Friday’s Region B, Division 1 semifinals at Eastern Mennonite University, the Panthers held East Rock without a 3-point field goal in a 63-46 win, vaulting Page to the state tournament and a date with Altavista at Spotswood High School at 6 p.m. Saturday night for the region crown.
“We mainly focused on who was going to shoot from the perimeter, and we tried to front the post and then have somebody from the backside to help out as well,” said Dofflemyer, a power forward who had 12 points and five rebounds.
The fifth-seeded Eagles, coming off a road win over Nottoway, couldn’t muster the same offensive output against the swarming Page defensive pressure, scoring just three second-quarter points.
“They got off to a great start, and we dug ourselves into an early hole and couldn’t climb out of it,” said ERHS coach Mark Palmer, who now hopes the Panthers win the state title. “Nothing went down for us in the second quarter, and we started losing confidence from there.”
Leading 36-18 at the half, top-seeded Page got a balanced scoring effort from Dofflemyer, Adam Campbell and Kol Shuler. Campbell had the hot hand early and his three-pointer as the horn sounded gave him 12 points in the first quarter. PCHS led 23-15 at that point.
The sophomore shooting guard would only score one more point, but combined with fellow sophomore Jacob McKay to limit dangerous outside shooter Tyler Hensley to just seven points (all coming in the second half, with the game out of reach).
“To get this win is great knowing where we’re going, and how we clamped down on defense showed the kind of mindset we entered with,” said Campbell, who hit three first-quarter 3-pointers to fuel a boisterous Page County student section.
By the time East Rock put together any kind of run, a 7-0 spurt late in the fourth highlighted by three John Wright dunks, the Eagles were already down by 25.
“All of a sudden we caught fire the last six minutes, and if we had another quarter, maybe we could have made it into a basketball game and forced overtime,” Palmer said. “It’s hard to figure out. I’m a teacher, but I don’t have enough degrees to figure it out.”
Wright led ERHS with 16 points. Junior center Joseph Gooden pulled down a game-high eight rebounds to go along with five points.
“It definitely didn’t go the way we wanted it to tonight, but it was a lot of fun making it this far,” Gooden said. “We turned the ball over a lot and never got into the flow of the game.”
Page County held East Rock without a point for the first four minutes of the third quarter, constantly forcing ERHS into rushed shots, while at the other end, refusing to settle for anything but clean looks at the basket.
“Our defense creates opportunities for our offense, and coach really told us to focus on limiting their jump shots,” Dofflemyer said. “And once we held them to three points in the second, it gave us some big momentum going into the second half.”
PCHS coach Mike Purdham wasn’t happy with shots his team allowed East Rock to take in a last-second 56-54 win over the Eagles in the Shenandoah District semifinals on Feb. 14.
“We made some minor adjustments from the last time we played them,” Purdham said. “… We got balanced scoring tonight, which is how it’s been all year for us, and how we have to play to be successful.”
Shuler led PCHS with 14, Campbell scored 13 and Dofflemyer finished with 12.
Hensley 3 1-1 7, Lam 1 2-2 4, Comer 1 1-2 3, Gooden 2 1-1 5, Wright 8 0-0 16, Price 0 1-2 1, James 2 0-0 4, Harman 2 0-0 4, Bailey 0 2-2 2. Totals 19 8-10 46.
McKay 2 3-7 7, Shuler 6 2-2 14, Campbell 4 2-3 13, Dofflemyer 4 2-4 12, Brown 2 2-2 6, Mayes 2 1-5 5, Kibler 0 4-4 4, Comer 1 0-0 2. Totals 19 16-27 63.
East Rockingham 15 3 11 17 — 46
Page County 23 13 13 14 — 63
3 Point Goals—East Rock 0, Page County 5 (Campbell 3, Dofflemyer 2). Fouled Out—None. Total Fouls—East Rock 18, Page County 10. Rebounds—East Rock 24 (Gooden 8), Page County 32 (Campbell 7).