SHS beats Greensville, starts tournament play tonight

Published 10:53 am Monday, February 15, 2010

EMPORIA—Southampton High School heads into this week’s Southside District boys’ basketball tournament with some momentum.

The Indians defeated Greensville County 61-57 in Friday night’s regular-season finale. SHS, which improved to 12-5 overall and 6-5 in district play, returns to Emporia tonight to again take on Greensville in the first round of the district tournament.

Coach Will Melbye’s squad was led Friday by sophomore Jalen Ford’s 17 points in completing a 13-point comeback and earning a series split for the regular season.

“This game was a game of two very different halves of basketball,” Melbye said. “The first half was owned by Greensville.”

The Eagles led 12-9 after the first quarter in a packed gym that quickly turned into a sweat box shortly after the game started. In the opening half, the Indians struggled offensively at times, rushing shots and forcing the ball in certain situations. Greensville was able to stretch its lead to 13, going up 26-13 with 6:39 to go in the second quarter.

The Indians were able to chip away and get a few defensive stops and get within 8 points with 1:30 to go in the half. But a turnover and ensuing free throws sent the teams into halftime with a 32-22 lead for the home team.

The Indians continued to chip away in the second half and went to their big man, Ford, who put in 12 of his team-high 17 in the third quarter as the Indians cut the lead to 3 heading to the fourth quarter.

The fourth quarter was much like the third, but it was senior Ronald Tyler stepping up and pouring in 9 of his 15 in the fourth quarter, including a three-pointer that gave the Indians a 5-point lead that they would not relinquish.

Nick Doyle was a perfect 4-for-4 down the stretch for the Indians. Doyle finished with 10 points to give the Indians three players in double figures. Andre Rawls added 8, LeMar Ennis 6, Josh Johnson and Shayton Scott 2 each and Thaddeus Stephenson 1.

In their first season in the Southside District, SHS tied for third place in the regular season with Powhatan.

The Indians will have to win the district tournament to ensure a trip to the Group AA Division 3 Region I tournament, but they could also get in based on a point system.