For a quarter and a half, the Brunswick High School varsity basketball team went toe to toe with the top ranked high-school team in the country.
Playing an inspired first 10 minutes, the Bulldogs were tied at 20 at the 6:50 mark of the second quarter before the Justices answered with a 27-4 run to take control of the game on the way to 112-49 victory on Monday night in a VHSL Class 2 state tournament semifinal contest at Huguenot HS in Richmond.
John Marshall improved to 27-0 on the season with the victory and earned a date in the Class 2 state title game against Radford on Saturday while Brunswick saw its season come to an end with a 22-7 record.
Brunswick coach Charrkeo Walker summed up the experience of playing the top ranked high-school team in the country ten days ago after the Bulldogs fell 113-51 to the Justices in the regional title game.
“They were certainly as good as advertised,” he said. “Unfortunately for us, they are a 2A school.”
Walker said he was extremely proud of his coaching staff and team after Monday’s game.
“We went toe to toe with the No. 1 team in the country for a quarter and a half without our All-State guard,” he said. “Hats off to my team and coaches.”
It was a sensational playoff run for the Bulldogs who were without the services of senior standout Jamarkell Mays but still advanced to the regional finals and won a state quarterfinal game 62-60 on the road against Region B champion Madison County.
The Bulldogs got off to a great start against John Marshall on Monday as a layup by Jamari Anderson and a runner by Jamalachi Pearson gave Brunswick a 4-0 lead at the 6:40 mark of the opening quarter.
After N.C. State commit Dennis Parker, Jr., completed a 3-point play for the Jayem, Anderson added a rebound and putback and Pearson scored for an 8-3 lead at the 5:20 mark.
John Marshall responded with a 9-0 run to take a 12-8 lead on a trey by Jason Rivera at the 3:28 mark.
Brunswick did not panic and Justice Green buried a trey and Pearson added a bucket to cut the JM lead to 16-14 at the end of the opening quarter.
Buckets by Anderson and Jamarjae Barner early in the second quarter tied the score at 20 before JM answered with a 14-0 run to take a 34-20 lead on a bucket by Parker at the 3:32 mark.
A 10-4 run to end the stanza by JM gave the Justices a 47-24 lead at the halftime break.
The Bulldogs did not quit and Noah Sadler buried a trey in the third quarter and Jayshaun Jones hit one of two from the charity stripe to cut the JM lead to 51-28.
Rivera knocked down two treys for the Justices to open up a 59-28 lead at the 5:54 mark of the third quarter and John Marshall forced numerous turnovers with their length and athleticism to take an 81-38 lead to the final quarter.
Two straight dunks by 6-8 freshman Latrell Allmond and another flush by Parker increased the lead to 95-43 as both teams substituted liberally over the last three minutes.
Parker, Rivera and Allmond all had 23 points apiece to pace John Marshall while Anderson led Brunswick with 13 points and Jones and Pearson added eight points apiece.
John Marshall……16 31 34 31 – 112
Brunswick…….….14 10 14 11 – 49
John Marshall – Sookins 3, West 3, Thompson 10, Bailey 12, McCall 3, Thomas 3, Parker 23, Hill 5, Rose 4, Rivera 23, Allmond 23.
Brunswick – Barner 6, Sadler 3, Tucker 2, Jones 8, Green 7, Richardson 2, Pearson 8, Anderson 13.
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