BLUES Crowned 1C Regional Champs Again

BLUES Crowned 1C Regional Champs Again

AT NEAR RIGHT, The PM boys basketball players hoist their trophy after winning their second consecutive Region 1C championship by defeating Narrows 39- 29 in the finals. (Katy Patterson Scott photo) AT FAR RIGHT, PM junior forward Spencer Hamilton goes up for a shot, leaving Auburn’s Reed Underwood (2) trailing during the Blues’ 47-37 win in the regional semifinals. (Stephanie Mikels Blevins photo)

BLUES Crowned 1C Regional Champs Again
BLUES Crowned 1C Regional Champs Again

FIGHTING BLUE senior guard Will Dunlap dribbles down the court while closer guarded by an Auburn defender. Dunlap scored 15 points and had six rebounds and six assists. (Stephanie Mikels Blevins photo)

BLUES Crowned 1C Regional Champs Again

PM JUNIOR guard Ryan Perry battles to hold onto the ball while two Auburn players reach for it. Blues watching are Ethan Moore (2) and Spencer Hamilton (30). (Stephanie Mikels Blevins photo)

BLUES Crowned 1C Regional Champs Again

FIGHTING BLUE senior guard Talen Roberts takes the ball down the court as Auburn’s London Black guards him. (Stephanie Mikels Blevins photo)

PM Boys Heading To Norton For State Semifinals

The Parry McCluer High School boys basketball team repeated as Region 1C champions on Sunday afternoon, defeating Narrows 39-29 in the finals at George Wythe High School.

Reflecting on the win, PM head coach Mike Cartolaro said, “Any time you repeat as a champion, it’s a great feeling. We kind of snuck up and won it last year. This year, we were the targeted team. We really had to earn that second title.”

It was the fourth meeting of the season between PM and Narrows (6-6), with the Fighting Blues (10-1) winning all four times. They’d most recently met in the Pioneer District finals on Feb. 5, with PM winning 43-34.

“Playing a team three times is hard,” said Cartolaro. “Four times, you set yourself up for failure.”

The teams had to wait out a winter storm before playing. Originally, the championship game was scheduled for Friday night, but the game was postponed until Sunday due to inclement weather.

In the finals, PM played aggressively early on and raced to a 16-8 lead after the first quarter, then held the Green Wave scoreless in the second quarter to extend the lead to 24-8 by halftime. Narrows picked up its offense and trimmed the lead to six midway through the fourth quarter, but the Blues held off the comeback. The Blues struggled from the free throw line early in the game, but they converted in the late-going to seal the win.

“Today was your classic Narrows/ Parry McCluer matchup,” said Cartolaro. “Inevitably, it’s a physical game.”

Spencer Hamilton led the Blues with 15 points, nine rebounds and six blocked shots while Ethan Moore added eight points and Will Dunlap chipped in six points and pulled down eight rebounds. Jalen Mitchell had four points, and Ryan Perry dished out two assists.

The Blues had five steals, pressuring the Green Wave defensively throughout the game.

Leading Narrows were Logan Green and Kolier Pruett with eight points each.

For the Class 1 state semifinals tonight, the Blues will make the long trip to Norton in Southwest Virginia to take on J.I. Burton at 6. No spectators will be allowed, but fans can watch by subscribing at www.nfhs.com. The state finals are scheduled for Saturday.

For state tournament updates, visit www.thenews-gazette.com.

PM 47, Auburn 37

In the regional semifinals last Wednesday at PM, the Blues defeated Auburn 47-37.

The Blues played strong defense and overcame six 3-pointers from the Eagles (5-2). It was a rematch of last year’s regional championship game, when the Blues beat Auburn 44-42. Auburn ended up bouncing back and being costate champions since the finals were canceled due to COVID-19.

Last Wednesday, the Blues led most of the way, but Auburn cut an 11-point first-half deficit to four with about four minutes left in the game by hitting shots and making defensive stops. The Blues pulled away in the final three minutes by making 10 of their final free throws.

Blues converting free throws at the end of the game were Ryan Perry, Moore, Dunlap and Talen Roberts.

Pointing out the keys to the win, Cartolaro said, “We controlled the tempo and used our tall bodies.”

Hamilton led PM with 21 points, 13 rebounds and six blocked shots. He struggled from the free throw line, going 3-of-7, “but he sure made some huge plays,” said Cartolaro.

Dunlap added 15 points, six rebounds and six assists. Perry scored all of his points at the free throw line, going 5-of-6, as did Moore, making all four of his attempts.

Ethan Millirons led Auburn with 15 points, sinking two 3-pointers, but Roberts’s tight defense prevented him from putting up big numbers. “Talen made him work for everything he got,” said Cartolaro.

Nick Millirons added six points on two triples for the Eagles, and Rusty Marshall chipped in six points.

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