Tre'shawn Blackston scored 15 points, Grayson Midulla 14 and Trey Pride 10 as the Glen Allen Jaguars overcame second half foul shooting woes and rode their tenacious defense to a 55-47 win over Booker T. Washington to advance to the 4A South Region Championship game tonight.
With the win, the Jaguars also clinched their first-ever appearance at the State Tournament level, where they will play in the 4A State Championships next week.
The Jaguars and Bookers played a game of exchanging 4-0 runs in the first half before Booker T. Washington opened up a five-point edge at intermission. Getting the ball at mid-court with 1.4 seconds left, the Bookers ran a play to guard Jeremiah Jenkins, who drained a three-pointer from the left corner at the buzzer for a 27-22 lead.
The Jaguar defense buckled down after intermission. Blackston began the half with two "and one" opportunities, converting on one of two to tie the game. The Jaguars took the lead for good at 31-29 and slowly built the lead, not afraid to drive on the Bookers inside despite their size advantage.
Foul trouble by the Bookers gave the Jaguars a chance to seal the win much sooner, but a mediocre, at best, free throw shooting performance kept the door ajar, but Booker T. Washington could not answer, going cold in the fourth quarter, even when getting the ball down low.
Glen Allen now travels to Portsmouth Friday night for a 7pm tip against Conference 17 champion I.C. Norcom in the 4A South Regional Championship. If the Jaguars win, they will host a 4A State Semifinal next week, date to be determined, at the Siegel Center against the loser of the Handley/GW-Danville 4A North Regional final on Saturday evening.
If the Jaguars lose Friday, they still play next week, but on the road either at James Madison University if Handley wins, or the Salem Civic Center if GW-Danville wins.
Meanwhile, the Glen Allen girls team saw their season come to an end a game short of the state round, 64-42 in Norfolk to Lake Taylor. The Jaguars hung around with the Titans for the first half, trailing 26-22 at intermission. But the Titans wore down the Jags as the second half went on to pull away for the victory.