Bees' boys fell just short of state again
Lynchburg News & Advance
Friday, February 29, 2008

For the second season in a row, Brookville's boys basketball team won the Seminole District regular season and tournament titles before hitting a roadblock in Region III, narrowly missing a chance to advance to Group AA state competition.

After losing at Hidden Valley 77-74 in last year's Region III semifinals, the Bees let a 10-point lead slip away in their 47-43 quarterfinal loss to Waynesboro on Tuesday at home.

"We ran into a really good team," coach Chris Young said. "We had opportunities down the stretch and didn't capitalize on them. I feel awful for the two seniors on the team (point guard George Williams and shooting guard John Deacon)."

Young had seen the Little Giants a few times and knew they had the potential to be Bee killers, after knocking off Robert E. Lee in their district tournament.

"They've got a really strong player, Nick Gore (who scored 29 points) and his surrounding cast all brought something to the table, with the ability to defend or the ability to score. They played really good team basketball."

Young could take consolation in what the Bees have coming back.

"We were an extremely young team," he said. "We had anywhere from five to eight sophomores on this team. The sophomores gained a lot of confidence from Day 1 to Day 70 of practice. They made a lot of improvement throughout the season which was the reason we were 14-0 in district play."

They will complement 6-foot-7 forwards Logan Thomas and Corby Weiss, who will be the team's clear leaders.

Bees' girls remain unbeaten

After beating Staunton River for the third time in last Friday's Seminole District girls basketball tournament championship game, Brookville seniors Brittany Campbell and Joyous Tharrington said they had accomplished their first objective.

"One of our main goals is to go undefeated in the regular season," Campbell said.

"And then this tournament and then regions and state," Tharrington quickly added, implying the Bees' postseason plays had just begun.

At 26-0, Brookville needs just four more wins to finish a perfect 30-0.

"We want to go undefeated ? the whole season," Campbell added, "so we're taking it one day at a time."

As to which of the two was most deserving of Seminole District player of the year honors, Bees coach Warner Dyke would not take sides. Tharrington was ultimately given the nod.

"I'm glad I didn't have to choose," he said. "I didn't get a vote. You can't vote for your own player at the district meeting and I'm glad I didn't have to vote on it. It'd have been too tough. They both deserve player of the year if you ask me, but Joyous is a great choice."

Petty, Nixon duel in high jump

Heritage's Michael Petty and Brookville's Ethan Nixon waged a pretty spirited showdown in the high jump at Saturday's Region III meet at Heritage, with both clearing 6-4 and Petty getting first place for doing it with one fewer miss.

Petty also played basketball this winter, but high jump is the only event he will do at this Saturday's Group AA meet at Liberty University, whereas Nixon will compete in six.

"He's a good jumper," Nixon said of Petty. "He's a power jumper and I'm a speed jumper. He's more muscle, going straight up and straight down to go over the bar. He only took half as many steps as I did on the approach. On this surface, it was hard to get the speed I need to get."

That will change at LU's Tolsma Indoor Track Center, where he hopes to contend for state titles in multiple events, including the 55-meter hurdles, where he could defend his crown, and all three jumps.

Nixon had a much better day at the Region III meet than at the Seminole District meet, also held at Heritage.

"I came in, got my speed right and was hitting perfect on the board," he said. "(In the triple jump) I need to do that and not lose speed on the last two phases."

Nixon won the triple jump with just one run, soaring to 45-feet, 4? inches on his first leap in the trials and not needing to jump again to hold on for the win. That allowed him extra time to rest up for the final leg of the 1,600 relay, when he needed all of his reserves of energy to hold off the Pioneers' Corey Calloway in a controversial finish.