TA defeats Richmond Christian in playoffs

Published 1:22 pm Friday, February 21, 2014

WAKEFIELD—The Tidewater Academy Warriors won their first conference playoff game Wednesday night against Richmond Christian 67-45.

“I think we played really well tonight, though the defense wasn’t as good as we wanted it to be,” said Head Coach Walter Westbrook. “Offensively, though, we shot the ball well and shared well.”

The Warriors came out strong and never looked back, outscoring RC 22-10 in the first quarter.

In the second quarter, the Warriors didn’t ease up, again outscoring RC 17-12.

Elanté Drew scored 13 points in the first half, including 2 3-point baskets in the first quarter.

Coming out of the gates in the third quarter, the Warriors stuck to driving the basketball and running the clock, and they outscored RC 16-11. In the fourth quarter, the game was an even 12-12, but the Warriors had never looked up since the first.

“They were not taking very many shots, but they were shooting more than 50 percent against our defense,” Westbrook said. “They just turned the ball over a lot — that’s why they didn’t win with that shooting percentage.”

Drew led the Warriors in scoring with 21 points. Marty Gura had 18, and Payton Holdsworth and Daniel McKenney joined them in double figures with 10 points each.

The Warriors will play Fuqua at 8:15 tonight in the semi finals of the VCC tournament at Richard Bland Community College.

“We’ve got to play defense and try to control the tempo of the game,” Westbrook said. “We like to play slow, and they like to play really fast.”

Fuqua is ranked eighth in the state, and TA tenth. However, Westbrook said that the Warriors are playing their best basketball right now, and that they have come a lot further than he expected. At the beginning of the year, Westbrook said it would be a rebuilding year.

“I really did think that,” he said. “They have come out and played hard, though.”

The snow even contributed to helping the season, as during the snow break, Marty Gura was out on injury.

“We went 1-3 while he was out,” Westbrook said. “That snow break allowed him to play in more games, and that really helped.

“We are playing our best basketball of the year right now.”

TA is 19-7 on the season, and they ended the season playing Blessed Sacrament Huguenot and Amelia Academy. On Monday, they defeated BSH 70-42, and McKenney led the Warriors in scoring with 20.

On Friday, Amelia Academy defeated them 70-56. Gura led the Warriors in scoring with 21 points.