Tidewater advances to state semifinals

Published 10:59 am Thursday, March 3, 2011

Tidewater Academy junior Lamont Moore goes up for a lay-up against two Banner Christian defenders during Wednesday’s Virginia Independent state tournament quarterfinals. Tidewater won 71-53 and advances to the semifinals today at Virginia State University. -- ANDREW FAISON | TIDEWATER NEWS


WAKEFIELD—The No. 3 Tidewater Academy boys defeated No. 6 Banner Christian School 71-53 Wednesday night in the quarterfinals of the Virginia Independent Schools state tournament.

“We played as well as we played in the last 30 days,” said Tidewater Head Coach Walter Westbrook. “[Banner Christian] was the best offensive team I’ve seen this year. The way they shoot the ball and take it to the basket, it’s tough to defend.”

Tidewater will travel to Virginia State to take on No. 2 Williamsburg Christian Academy at 1:30 p.m. Friday, March 4, for the semifinals. Williamsburg Christian Academy comes into the tournament after winning the Metro Conference against Atlantic Shores.

Leading the way for the Warriors against Banner Christian was Martin Hellyer with 22 points followed by Lamont Moore with 20 and Ferley Yerby with 18. Hellyer and Moore both went 100 percent from the free-throw line.

“We’ve played bits and pieces of games,” said Westbrook. “We may play good for a quarter, take a quarter off, play good for another quarter. It’s just not been 32 minutes like tonight.”

Tidewater was the first on the board. After winning the jump ball, Yerby hit a 3-pointer for the Warriors. Banner Christian was forced to call a timeout with 5:31 left in the quarter as Tidewater went up 10-0.

After closing the gap to within 3 points of tying the game, Banner called another timeout with 3:28 left in the quarter as Tidewater re-extended its lead to 17-7. The quarter ended with Tidewater leading 21-14.

With 5:39 left in the first half, Banner tied the game at 21, but from that point, it was Tidewater’s game as the Warriors closed out the half leading 35-26.

“We always talk at halftime about no matter what the score is, whether you’re up 1 or 21, the score is always 0-0 at halftime. We’re starting a new game,” said Westbrook. “We’re playing two, 16-minute games.”

Tidewater held Banner Christian to 9 points in the third quarter. The quarter ended with the Warriors leading 59-35.

“Our boys were ready to play in the third,” said Westbrook. “I could tell in the locker room at halftime. Defensively, we may not have gotten to all of our shooters, but we got close enough that we rushed their shots, and it made them change their shots. When you shoot as many 3’s as they do, long 3’s produce long rebounds, which gives us the chance to do what we do best, which is get out on the floor and run.”

Tidewater faces a tough Williamsburg Christian to get into the title game.

“I just want the boys to be prepared for another team that shoots the ball extremely well,” said Westbrook. “They are well coached, they have great shooters — guys that can take it to the basket and finish. So it’s going to be a challenge.”