Bulldogs won final 9 games to capture state title
(With Park View High School slated to merge with Bluestone HS to form the new Mecklenburg County HS in 2022, the Brunswick Times-Gazette and the South Hill Enterprise are running an ongoing series that looks back at some of the outstanding athletes, teams and coaches and their stories through the years. This is story No. 34 in the series.)
There is no doubt that the 2002-03 basketball season was one for the ages for Park View High School and Brunswick High School.
One team won their first 17 games to complete an undefeated regular season while the other team won their final nine games to go undefeated in the post season.
With all five starters returning from the Southside District first team the season before, there were a number of outstanding athletes and teams in the district that season.
The Dragons returned a veteran team led by first team All-District selection Jeff Haskins, a 6-1, 190 lb. forward.
Other returnees for Park View that season included Ben House, Marvin Smith, Marquise Bugg, James Goode, Quentin Garnes, Burdell Haskins, Tremayne Bugg and Ryan Callahan.
Justin Hite, Harold Cypress, Melvin Rainey and Quintin Jones moved up from the JV team that season while senior Lamar Bugg was out for the first time.
Park View, which recorded an 8-11 mark the season before, opened the season in style with a 68-60 win over Dinwiddie behind 19 points from Haskins, 13 from House and 10 from Hite.
The Dragons ran past Amelia and then beat Dinwiddie again at home behind 30 points from Haskins.
Park View posted big wins over Matoaca and Brunswick to run its record to 5-0. The Dragons overcame a 12-point to deficit to knock off preseason favorite Matoaca behind 33 points from Haskins and 20 from House. Haskins scored 23 in a 66-59 win at home over Brunswick.
The Dragons continued their great play and won some big games in the second half of the season, topping Greensville HS 70-65 in Emporia to improve to 9-0 behind 24 points from House, 21 from Haskins and 10 from Smith.
Park View overcame a 7-point halftime deficit to defeat Powhatan HS 53-47 in early February behind 17 points from House and 15 from Haskins.
The Dragons, ranked No. 1 in the Associated Press Group AA state poll, wrapped up the Southside District regular season title the next week after topping Greensville HS 65-48 in South Hill to improve to 14-0. Haskins led the Dragons with 31 points while Hite added 15.
Park View staged a huge comeback for a dramatic win the following week. Trailing by 18 in the second half, Park View ended the game on a 17-3 run to steal a 73-69 win over Brunswick at The Dog Pound in Lawrenceville. Haskins led the Dragons with 29 points while House scored 15 and Goode added 13.
The Dragons completed an undefeated regular season with a 60-51 win over Nottoway HS to complete a 12-0 mark in district play and improve to 17-0 overall.
Haskins led the Southside District regular season champions with 22 points while House and Hite added 11 points apiece.
Park View Coach C.W. Gee was named the Southside District coach of the year while House was named to the All-District second team and Marquise Bugg was an honorable mention section.
The Dragons saw their winning streak come to an end in the Southside District tournament semifinals as fourth-seeded Brunswick knocked off the top seed with a 67-63 victory behind 22 points from Aaron Scott and 18 from Tony Mays. Haskins led Park View with 24 points while House added 21.
The Bulldogs overcame a 17-point deficit in the district tournament title game to upend Greensville 61-59 to earn the No. 8 and final seed for the regional tournament.
As the top seed, Park View played host to Brunswick in the first round of the regional playoffs in South Hill and the suddenly red-hot Bulldogs again pulled the upset behind 20 from Scott in a 74-70 victory.
Haskins scored 37 points to lead Park View and went over the 1,000 point mark in his final high-school game.
The loss ended Park View’s sensational season with a 17-2 mark.
“The last game should not distract from a great season and these kids had a great season,” said Coach Gee. “We ran into a hot team. When it’s not meant to be, it’s not meant to be.”
The Bulldogs went on to top Greensville 68-62 for the Region I title behind 21 from Scott, 12 from Tyree Williams and E. J. Wilson and 10 from Mays.
Brunswick topped Liberty-Bealeton 60-59 in a state quarterfinal game behind 22 from Scott and then topped Greensville 67-54 in a state semifinal contest behind 27 from Scott and 16 from Williams.
Brunswick’s sensational run culminated with Coach Martin Astrop’s first state title as the Bulldogs claimed a thrilling 49-47 win over Cave Spring in the Group AA state title game in Lynchburg behind 15 from Scott and 13 from Mays.
After finishing fourth in the district in the regular season, Brunswick ended the season with 11 straight wins to capture the state crown and complete a 20-9 campaign.