George Washington’s boys basketball team was in foul trouble almost from the start Monday night in its 4A-North Region quarterfinal road contest, but the host Chancellor Chargers couldn’t take advantage.
Chancellor went to the line early and often but missed an inordinate amount of foul shots. That coupled with an excessive amount of turnovers sealed the Chargers’ fate in a 71–53 loss.
It was a disappointing way to end the season for Chancellor (17–7), but there was still plenty for the Chargers to be pleased about, considering how far they came from the beginning of the season.
Chancellor went 5–3 in December, but regrouped by winning 12 of its next 15 games en route to its second straight Conference 22 tournament championship.
“They came a long way,” Chargers coach Rob Reich said. “If you told us in December that we’d be where we are right now, I wouldn’t believe you. They really stuck together and put together a really good run there to get to where we are today.”
GW, the Conference 24 runner up, brought a deep and athletic group to Fredericksburg. Nine different Eagles players registered points, led by a trio of 14-point scorers in Tamario Rodgers, Amardius Jones and Cayman Wilson.
GW (18–9), which is scheduled to take on Woodgrove in Loudoun County on Wednesday in the region semis, cycled a second group of five players in and out with ease. That depth proved valuable against a Chancellor team that stuck with a rotation of seven for most of the game.
The Eagles forced an assortment of turnovers and were responsible for 13 steals.
“Our depth is a tremendous asset,” GW coach Ron Parsons said. “But what’s good is the ones we’re bringing in are pretty dadgum good players, and they’re young guys.”
Chancellor managed to stay within 33–28 at halftime despite making only 3 of 11 free throw attempts before intermission.
The Chargers, who were in the bonus only seconds into the second quarter, went 4 for 17 from the line. The Eagles went 3 for 6 only two days after going 8 for 20 in a conference tournament championship game loss to E.C. Glass.
“It’s disappointing. We practice free throws every practice, and we get out there in the game and we just miss them,” Chancellor junior guard Kevin Parks said.
The Chargers kept things close thanks to the sharpshooting of Parks, who made five 3-pointers and finished with 15 points, and the athletic plays of sophomore forward E.J. Jenkins around the basket.
Jenkins, who finished with a game-high 18 points and eight rebounds, scored most of his points off lob passes for layups and dunks.
“Most teams can’t get up like we can, so that’s a big factor a lot of times,” Jenkins said.
Chancellor sophomore guard Jason Brown finished with 12 points. Senior Jawan Graves had eight.
The Chargers tied the game 39–39 on a Jenkins lob layup near the midway point of the third quarter. GW retook the lead a short time later on a layup by Jones. That started a 10-3 run that stretched the Eagles lead to 49–42.
Chancellor got to within 51–46 on a Jenkins layup to start the fourth quarter, but the Eagles responded with a Curtis Brooks jumper on the other end.
George Washington broke open the game at that point with a closing 20–7 run. Jones scored eight of the Eagles’ final 12 points.
“Free throw shooting has been an Achilles Heel for us all season,” Reich said. “That and the turnovers we thought would catch up with us eventually. Give our guys credit, though. They played hard.”
GW-Danville: Corey Beard 0, Isaiah Bethel 1, Curtis Brooks 8, C.J. Grave 0, Daquan Hairston 0, Amardius Jones 14, Antonel Myler 0, Patrick Robinson 6, Tamario Rodgers 14, Jimmy Southern 2, Malik Turner 3, Khajuan Watkins 9, Cayman Wilson 14. Totals: 25 3-6 71
Chancellor: L.J. Brown 0, Jason Brown 12, Corey Cheeks 0, Cody Davis 0, Matt Davis 0, Jawan Graves 8, E.J. Jenkins 18, Kabren Jones 0, Kevin Parks 15, Jaire Perry 0, Quincee Pfost-Banks 0, Michael Rutledge 0. Totals: 17 4-17 53
Three-point goals: GW-Danville 6 (T. Rodgers 4, M. Turner, K. Watkins). Chancellor 5 (K. Parks 5)