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Charles City heads to final four state basketball tournament after beating Luary 57 to 49

Charles City  57,  Luray  49

Boys Varsity Basketball State Semifinal Game on March 3, 2012

The Panther Boys Basketball team is heading to the final four after beating the Luray Bulldgos 57-49 at William & Mary’s Kaplan Arena.

A lively and loud Charles City crowd started early as senior Dominique Williams got the game off to a quick start after hitting a three pointer from NBA range.  However, Luray would respond quickly in transition and Charles City found themselves down 12 to 16 after the first quarter.  Charles City battled back in the second quarter and were down by one going into halftime with the score 23-24.

The Panthers couldn’t get much going to start the third quarter but with 3:40 left, Luray’s Braden Cook went up for an easy layup when Terrance Banks came out of  nowhere to block the shot.  The ball landed in the arms of Williams who pushed the  ball up the floor when he made a nice half court bounce pass to a sprinting Ryan Jones who finished the play with a finger roll that sent the  Panther crowd into a frenzy.  However, on the Bulldog’s next possession Jacob Griffith launched a three pointer that went in. Reserve player Ryan Jones came up big for the Panthers again on the next play after grabbing an offensive rebound and dishing the ball to Antonio Harris on the base line who sunk a jump shot.  The Panthers would score a flurry of points by going on a 12 to 2 point run and were up by 7 going into the final quarter, 42 to 35.

The Panthers were playing well in the fourth quarter when a foul was called on Williams and a controversial technical foul was called on Banks. This series of events led to Luray converting 3 of 4 free throw attempts and possession of the  ball. The bulldogs had cut the lead to 4 with 4:26 to play in the game.  Luray’s Andrew Ponn tried to get a layup but Panther player Avery Jones was able to steal the ball away.  On the other end Harris was fouled hard while going up for a shot.  The ball went in and  Harris converted the free throw for a three point play that put the Panthers back up to 7.  The Bulldogs would get no closer than 4 the rest of the way as strong defense led by Daron Jones and Avery Jones accompanied by 6 for 6 free throw shooting by Williams would send the Panthers to the state final four tournament for the first time in modern history.

The Bulldgos were led by Andrew Ponn’s 14 points and Howard Harsher’s 13 points and 16 rebounds.  Luray’s Monty Dickson who was the Shenandoah District’s player of the year was held largely in check and had 9 points. Luray finished their season with a 22-6 record.

The Panthers were led by sophomore sensation Antonio Harris who had 21 points and 8 rebounds. Senior Dominique Williams had 15 points and 8 rebounds. Daron Jones had 4 blocks for the Panthers.

Charles City will play the defending state champions the Galax Maroon Tide on Thursday at 5pm at VCU’s Siegel Center.

Final Game Stats

LURAY (22-6) — Ponn 14, Harsher 13, Dickson 9, Jacob Griffith 6, Braden Cook 3, Thomas Mallalieu 2, Terius Grandison 2, Ryan Foltz 0, Jacob Painter 0

Totals 47 11-14 49.

CHARLES CITY (16-8) — Harris 21, Williams 15, A. Jones 7, Banks 6, Jovan Howard 4, D. Jones 2, R. Jones 2, Jaelen Cotman 0, Mortiz Kleitz 0

Totals 40 20-33 57.

Luray 16  8 11 14 49
Charles City 12 11 19 15 57

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