Boys basketball upsets Freeman, advances to 5C Quarterfinals

Junior Mikea Lewis takes a fadeaway shot over a Douglas Freeman defender.

Thomas Jackson

Junior Mikea Lewis takes a fadeaway shot over a Douglas Freeman defender.

Cabot Butts, Editor-in-Chief

On Friday, Feb. 18, the boys’ basketball team defeated the Douglas Freeman Mavericks in the opening round of the Region 5C tournament. The Cavaliers came into the game as the #10 seed in the Region 5C tournament, while Douglas Freeman came in as the #7 seed. 

Coach Scott Mccandlish sent out a different starting five to start the game than Cavs fans were used to throughout the season. Missing senior Bryce Matthews, Mccandlish’s lineup consisted of sophomores Brandon Hill, Jayden Moss and Ian Watts, junior Mikea Lewis and senior Grafton Allen. Watts won the tip-off for the Cavaliers and Allen quickly hit a three pointer to give the Cavs an early three to zero lead. Lewis then forced a Douglas Freeman turnover which led to a fastbreak layup, and an early Douglas Freeman timeout, as the Cavaliers took an early five point lead with just over six minutes left in the quarter. 

The Green and Gold kept this momentum throughout the entire frame with Hill starting the game with two difficult fadeaway shots which gave him a quick four points. Another steal and fastbreak score by Lewis with just over four minutes left cemented an eight point lead early. However, Douglas Freeman guard Marshall Dip helped the Mavericks creep back into the game after an impressive first quarter that consisted of four threes. Despite Dip’s solo efforts, the Cavs held an 18-16 Cavalier lead at the end of the first quarter.

Thomas Jackson

The second quarter started out slow, as the Cavaliers shot cold from the field, leading to a 22-20 Douglas Freeman lead. However, a third fastbreak layup by Lewis resulted in the game being tied again. Thanks to outstanding perimeter shooting from Dip and the Douglas Freeman backcourt, the Mavericks were able to take a 10 point lead into the last minute of the half. In the final minute of the half, the Cavs scored five unanswered points courtesy of a fastbreak layup by Hill and a buzzer-beating three pointer by Allen that cut the Cavalier deficit to five at halftime. 

To begin the third quarter, Freeman’s sharpshooter Dip picked up right where he left off, making a three point bucket during the team’s first possession of the half. Throughout the quarter, Douglas Freeman’s lead stabilized at five to seven points. Despite the Mavericks’ stable scoring, Cavalier Chronicle Co-Players of the Game Hill and Lewis, who scored all 17 points in the third quarter, kept the Cavs in the game. Hill and Lewis finished the game with 20 and 22 points, respectively, while combining for three assists, eight rebounds and six steals. Despite a five point Freeman run late in the quarter, the Cavs were able to keep the game within five points going into the final quarter of the game.

The Cavaliers started the fourth quarter by failing to convert a couple of second chance opportunities, as Douglas Freeman was able to stretch their lead to nine points. However, the Cavs chipped away at the deficit, cutting it to five points, then to two points and finally to one point. That is when Allen drove to the basket and made a go-ahead layup with one minute left. Douglas Freeman then failed to convert two potential game winning threes in the final seconds of the game, helping the Cavs hold on to win 55-54.

Ian Hooks

With the win, the Cavs now advance to the Region 5C quarterfinals, in which they will be taking on the Highland Spring Springers (17-6) at Highland Springs High School on Tuesday, Feb. 21 at 7:30 p.m.