The varsity boys basketball team earned the #2 seed in the VISAA Division III State Tournament, giving them a first-round bye and a home game in the quarterfinals on Wednesday night. The #7 seeded Carlisle School Chiefs defeated their first-round opponent on Tuesday evening to advance and earn the quarterfinal match-up against the Trojans.
The game started out back and forth as the two teams exchanged buckets early on to put the score at 8-8 with a few minutes remaining in the opening quarter. The Trojans then finished the quarter on a 6-0 run capped off by a great steal and buzzer-beating score by Sam Jones ('19) to give the Trojans a 14-8 lead. Walsingham took that momentum into the second quarter and never looked back.
The Trojans outscored the Chiefs 22-3 in the second quarter as the three-headed scoring attack of Sam Jones, Marcus Banks ('21), and Jaylin Stewart ('19) combined for 19 points in the quarter. The Trojans defense consistently caused problems for their opponent and they were able to use this defensive energy to fuel quick offense on the other side of the court. The Trojans went into halftime with a commanding 36-11 lead.
The Chiefs came out of the half with a quick 5-0 run and continued to knock down some shots to keep themselves in the game, but ultimately the Trojans' transition offense was too much and the lead never was in jeopardy. Sam Jones scored 10 points in the third quarter including two acrobatic finishes at the rim while drawing the foul to earn three points the hard way. The Trojans lead grew to more than 30 points and the entire fourth quarter was played with a running clock due to VISAA Sportsmanship rules. When the final buzzer sounded, the Trojans came away with the 74-39 victory.
Senior Sam Jones put on a show for the crowd in the final home game of his career, finishing with 24 points and nine rebounds. Marcus Banks added 19 points as well as five rebounds, three assists, and four steals. Jaylin Stewart scored 14 points and grabbed five rebounds, and fellow Senior Braden Exton scored eight points and added eight rebounds in their final game in Chismer Gymnasium. Also scoring for the Trojans were Henry Kalnius '21 (three points), Lincoln Lubsen '21 (two), Paul Williams '22 (two), and Jordan Horne '22 (two).
The Trojans will now head to Petersburg for the VISAA State Semifinals for the second year in a row. The Trojans will face the #3 seed, Eastern Mennonite, on Friday, March 1, at 1:45 p.m. at the Virginia State University Multipurpose Center.