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Posted On: 03/9/18 11:17 AM
The VHSL Class 6 State Title game was a surprising matchup between South County of Loudoun County and Western Branch of Chesapeake. The two teams put together very stellar seasons each, and it was a well anticipated matchup from the jump.
It was a stalemate for the first quarter, as both teams tried to feel each other out and subsequently struggled from the field. The Stallions of South County held a slim 10-8 lead after one, but wasted no time jumping all over Western Branch in the second quarter, and did so by feeding their big man, Rice commit Quentin Millora-Brown. Western Branch struggled with their top guard Kendall Bynum on the bench for much of the first 12 minutes with foul trouble, however he came back midway through the second to score 7 straight and make it a ball game. Still, South County held a 7 point lead at half, 30-23.
The second half was all South County, as Millora-Brown’s length cause problems for the Western Branch front court all night. Every time it seemed like the Bruins were poised to make a run, South County answered and kept them at bay. The Stallions held their ground, never relinquishing their lead in the second half, and ended up winning 63-47.
Here’s five things we took away from a great state championship matchup.
“Big Q” Dominates and Will Only Get Better
There was a group of children called the “South County Hype Squad” who had their hair dyed blue, and it was all because of Rice commit Quentin Millora-Brown who has taken South County basketball by storm since transferring from Bishop O’Connell. After a slow start, he helped turn around South County this season and was the biggest reason they were able to win the state championship this season.
The 6’10” big man dominated from the beginning to the end of the game, posting a near triple-double. He showed his entire skill set, as a scorer, passer, defender and rebounder. He scored with some textbook moves in the post, and he showed that he can handle in transition and run the offense himself.
He finished with an impressive stat line of 13 points, 17 rebounds, 8 assists and four blocks. He was clearly the MVP of the game.
Student Section Battle On Point
With the state championship game being in Richmond and neither of these teams being from Richmond, it was very refreshing to see that both teams had great support. Each team chartered a bus to bring students, and the students that came made some big noise. Western Branch had a very passionate cheerleading group that led the way, and the students responded to that, while South County filled the two sections behind the basket and made a ton of noise without a cheerleading group. It was fun to watch and a great atmosphere to play in front of.
Kendall Bynum Shows Savvy and Skill Set
Despite the loss and some early foul trouble, Bynum showed that he’s a savvy and talented point guard that can create shots for both himself and others. He creates space really well off the bounce, has terrific footwork on his pull up and has a great feel for the game with good vision and passing ability. They tried to deny him the basketball in the second half and he did a good job working to get open, and he made a number of tough shots. The junior guard will be back and be better moving forward.
Seth Dunn With Game of His Life off the Bench
There’s nothing like a guy who comes off the bench and has his best game of the season in the biggest game of the year, and that’s exactly what happened for senior Seth Dunn in South County’s win. The 6’3” forward came off the bench and got it rolling early, as he scored 13 points on 6-for-6 shooting from the field in the first half. He finished the game with 19 points and 5 rebounds, giving the Stallions a huge boost off the bench.
Two Unlikely Teams Compete in Biggest Game of the Year
While there have been some complaints about the new VHSL format, which started about five years ago, which increased the number of state champions from three to six, this game showed exactly what the VHSL wanted to happen. You had two teams that nobody really expected to be in the state championship at the beginning of the year competing in the biggest classification of the VHSL. While the game was decided by 16 points, it was much closer than the final score indicated, and everyone left it all on the floor as they competed from tip to buzzer. It gave more kids a chance to play in front of college coaches and scouts, and it was a great opportunity for those players to have a memory they will never forget.