Brookville girls remain perfect with championship game victory
Lynchburg News & Advance
Friday, February 22, 2008

FOREST - It's hard enough to beat a good team three times in one season, much more four.
But Brookville's girls basketball team accomplished that feat in Friday night's Seminole District tournament championship game, fending off Staunton River 60-46 in a physical and emotional final at Jefferson Forest.

After winning their fourth straight regular-season title, the Bees improved to 24-0 with their third tournament crown in four years.

"I thought it was one of the best games we've played in a long time," said Warner Dyke, the district coach of the year who slept in until 3:30 p.m. Friday recovering from the flu, but was up in time for the 6 p.m. tipoff. "We were aggressive at both ends of the floor, didn't have fear, had the look of a champion."

Brookville hosts the winner of Monday's Region III tournament opener between Spotswood and Stuarts Draft on Tuesday at 7 p.m. Staunton River (20-5) will host Virginia 24 rival William Byrd in Monday's 7 p.m. opener.

The Golden Eagles didn't go down without a fight, cutting the Bees' 15-point lead to eight in the third quarter.

But they couldn't contain the inside-outside scoring combination of Joyous Tharrington - the district player of the year who scored 22 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and four steals and blocked three shots - and Brittany Campbell (17 points, five assists and three steals).

"This was the fourth time we've played them and we felt psyched up that we would be able to beat them," Golden Eagles coach Kim Jones said. "But we never got into our rhythm on offense. We'd make a run and they'd come back and score again. We just never could really get a hold on the game."

The Bees extended their lead to 27-12 early in the second quarter when Emilee Dunton, who missed Tuesday's semifinal win over JF with the flu, sent an outlet to Nicole Stanley whose bounce pass across the lane set up Anna Pettyjohn for a layup.

Pettyjohn's 3-pointer off one of Dunton's eight assists made it 41-26 midway through the third quarter before Campbell opened the fourth-quarter scoring by drilling the third of her four treys.

Moments later, Campbell drove the lane and found Tharrington open in the right post where she was fouled from behind by Laquaksha Robinson, who was called for an intentional foul.

Tharrington sank both free throws before Campbell swished her fourth 3 from the top of the arc off a long inbounds pass from Dunton on the baseline for a commanding 55-38 advantage.

Late in the fourth quarter, with Brookville up 60-41, Dunton was swiped in the face by Talika Robinson, who was going for a steal near midcourt.

As Dunton sat on the floor in tears, with a scrape beneath her left eye, Robinson charged toward a fan in Brookville's crowd who had yelled at and taunted her. She had to be restrained and eventually escorted out of the gym by police and will be suspended for Monday's game.

"Our coach told us to look at him and not be distracted, stay composed and ? finish the game," Tharrington said. "It was a little scary. I was like, 'I hope somebody really gets her under control' because she was going after people that were our fans."

Jones also had told her team not to listen to the crowd after an incident at Brookville.

"I'd already told them before the game that the fans were going to be ugly," Jones said. "We told Talika, 'You know they're going to say stuff. It's just not worth it.' And now, she's going to be missing the next game."

Dunton should be ready for Tuesday, after recovering enough from the flu to play Friday.