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Spotswood pulls away in the second half to deny the Bulldogs their 24th trip to the state semifinals.
JASON LENHART | Harrisonburg Daily News-Record
Martinsville’s Darius Dillard takes a shot against Spotswood on Saturday night. Dillard had five points in the quarterfinal loss.
Sunday, March 3, 2013
HARRISONBURG -- The brand new triangle offense worked for a while for Martinsville's boys. The Bulldogs' height worked to their advantage as did their quickness. It didn't last, though.
Relentless defensively throughout and eventually finding its footing offensively, Spotswood pulled away in the second half to claim a 61-44 state Group AA Division 3 quarterfinal game at James Madison University's Convocation Center on Saturday.
Martinsville (16-12) was denied a record 24th trip to the state semis. The Trailblazers (26-1) will be making that trip to the Siegel Center where they face a 1 p.m. Tuesday engagement with Bruton. It was the second time in three years that Spotswood has topped Martinsville in the quarters and it will be the fifth time it has been to the semis. The Blazers won a state title for the only time in 1993.
This Spotswood edition won its 12th in a row.
Martinsville led by as many as eight points in the first half as the new offense - "First time we used it," Bulldogs coach Jeff Adkins said - proved effective. Also a zone defense kept the Blazers shooting parked outside for a while. But once Spotswood's pressure defense took hold, the game turned.
The Blazers scored the last seven points of the first half to forge a 24-24 tie. A 12-2 run began the third quarter built on eight Martinsville turnovers and had the momentum going all in Spotswood's favor.
"Our game plan was to get the ball inside, slow the game down," Adkins said. "The reason we were effective was because we were able to score more in the first half and set up our defense. Our defense was designed to make them shoot the ball outside.
"But they were able to hurt us with some 3-pointers, especially in the third quarter."
The main culprit there was Spotswood's left-handed guard Tucker McCoy, who had three of his five 3s in the third quarter en route to scoring a team-high 22 points. McCoy was the only player who hit from deep for the Blazers.
"I came out shooting not very good," said McCoy, who drilled his second triple with 2.1 seconds before intermission to forge the deadlock. "I missed a lot of shots. The last shot of the first half I think really sparked us all. It sparked me as well. Then I came out in the second half and just kept shooting."
Spotswood is fond of pressure defense throughout the game. Those tactics seem to wear teams down both physically and mentally. The Blazers have had only four games that had a margin that was less than 10 points. Against the Bulldogs, 15 of their 23 turnovers came after the break.
"Their defense is very aggressive," Adkins said. "We've faced presses like that before. I think when we made a few turnovers, we got a little tentative. You could see it. Our guards got a little shaky. It's a confidence game. We handled the press in the first half. They wanted a frenzied game. When it got to be frenzied, it was to their benefit."
The Blazers have seen it before.
"We're fortunate to have 12 guys who can come in and play," Blazers forward Austin Nicely said. "Sort of what we focus on is being us for 32 minutes bringing high intensity and high pressure the whole 32 minutes. That sort of takes an effect on teams."
Martinsville was led by senior Paris Jamison, who scored 12 of his 23 points in the first half.
"I thought we were doing great in the first half but in the second half, we changed our plan from the beginning of the game," Jamison said.
"They got us out of our game plan," Adkins said.
Another problem for Martinsville was that its inside game was closed off as the game went on. The Blazers collapsed back on defense to shut off 6-foot-5 Larry Perkins and 6-5 Devonte Holland. The two of them combined for eight points, one in the second
"I was trying but it was getting harder and harder to get it inside," Perkins said. "I was getting frustrated. I was trying to post up but when we did get it inside, then somebody would be coming around to steal it."
Dandridge 0 1-2 1, Pilson 2 2-4 7, Holland 1 1-4 3, Jamison 11 0-0 23, Perkins 2 1-4 5, Dillard 2 1-2 5, Gravely 0 0-0 0, Turner 0 0-0 0. Totals 18 6-16 44.
McCoy 8 1-2 22, Davis 0 3-4 3, Nicely 3 8-14 14, Garber 0 0-0 0, Weiler 6 1-3 13,Blandon 0 0-0 0, Kier 2 3-4 7, Hinkle 1 0-0 2, Saylor 0 0-0 0, Lokey 0 0-0 0, Lasam 0 0-0 0, Detamore 0 0-0 0. Total 20 16-27 61.
Martinsville 13 11 7 13-44
Spotswood 8 16 16 21-61
3-point goals - Martinsville 2 (Pilson, Jamison), Spotswood 5 (McCoy). Total fouls - Martinsville 20, Spotswood 12.
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