Blue Ridge and the Miller School both rode into Friday night’s matchup looking to start a new winning streak.
Both the Barons and Mavericks picked up convincing wins on Tuesday to snap two-game slides. Miller rolled past Life Christian Academy, while Blue Ridge dispatched Virginia Episcopal to set up Friday’s showdown.
In the end, it was the Barons who went back to St. George with a two-game winning streak thanks in large part to a great defensive play from Camden Brewer.
Brewer blocked Jordan Horne’s potential game-winning layup as time expired and Blue Ridge hung on for a hard-fought 50-49 win over the Mavericks in overtime.
“This is a game we really wanted. We really wanted to make a statement win,” Brewer said. “We’ve now won two of our last three games so we feel like we haven’t reached our full potential. We needed a game like this one where we really had to rally at the end.”
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Brewer, Kamren Martin and Shanon Simango each played key roles in the win for Blue Ridge (11-4).
In addition to his critical block, Brewer finished with 14 points, five rebounds, and three assists, while Simango had 10 points, five rebounds, one assist, two steals and a block. Martin came up clutch in overtime with four points, five rebounds, four assists and a steal.
“We have a lot of respect for Miller School,” Blue Ridge head coach Cade Lemcke said. “They are one of the best teams in the state, regardless of division, this year and we know every time we play them it’s going to be a battle, the crowds are going to be great and it’s going to go for 32 minutes. We didn’t know it was going to be 36 minutes, that extra four minutes of overtime was tremendous, both teams left it out on the floor.”
Austin Ball led the way for Miller (8-6), making clutch play after clutch play while throwing down several dunks. Ball finished with 14 points, eight rebounds and three blocks. Eli Delaurier also had a strong outing for Miller, tallying 16 points, five rebounds, two assists, a steal and six blocks.
“I thought Miller had a great game plan,” Lemcke said. “Our game plan was to take advantage of our depth and just continue to play hard and at some point hopefully our depth would come together and they might be a little more fatigued. We knew if we could take advantage of our depth we would be in good shape.
“They have a bunch of seniors on their team so we knew they would put up a fight, we only have two seniors and I’m so proud of my underclassmen for playing as hard as they did. They played like they were seniors and left it all out there.”