Aldie, VA (March 3, 2018) – When the state playoffs come around you get matchups from different regions and sometimes they can be surprising. It's often hard to tell how two teams with similar records will actually compare.
The visiting Patrick Henry Patriots left Roanoke with every right to be confident. Riding a wave of a 21-6 season they held high hopes that they could keep up with their host, the Freedom Eagles, whose season was even more stellar and included district and regional championships. On the neutral John Champe court, the game began.
Chas Sumser Photography was there to capture the action and emotion and posted a gallery of images from the game.
Almost from the opening tip, it was all Freedom. Jumping out to a 9-0 lead the Eagles showed their usual aggressive defense and balanced scoring attack. Going into a full court press after scoring their first basket, they made it almost impossible for the Patriots to get anything going.
Two free throws from Serena Lytton would finally get Patrick Henry on the scoreboard, but Freedom would finish the quarter with back-to-back three pointers from Shayna Wolin and Jalyn Scales to practically wipe out any hopes the Partriots had of getting back in the game. It was just the end of the first quarter and the score was 21-5.
But the second quarter was an even more explosive performance by the Eagles. Led by Jaelyn Batts and Kamryn Meador in the backcourt, they consistently found the twin towers, Brenna Haley and Rose Burnham, on surgical inside moves. By halftime, the score was an almost unreal 46-12. Maybe that kind of score would be typical in an early season game, but not in the state playoffs.
As the second half began, Freedom once again worked their methodical and efficient offense to perfection. The outside shooting attack from the second quarter reverted to a mostly inside game. But Batts hit a dagger from beyond the arc to secure a crushing 47-point lead, 64-17, as the period ended.
To their credit, the Patriots played like champions. Exemplified by the consistent hustle and grit of Jemoni Carter they actually had their best quarter in the last one and could leave knowing that they had outscored Freedom 15-14 in the final period. But it was just too little too late to overcome an already insurmountable lead.
Final score: Freedom 78 - Patrick Henry 32
|Players who could be clearly identified by jersey number are listed in the links below. Additional photos of these and other players may be viewed and purchased in the full gallery.|