A run of nine unanswered points during a 3:35 stretch of the second half helped propel Essex to a 64-48 Northern Neck District boys’ basketball victory over Rappahannock on January 17 in Tappahannock.
Essex managed to overcome a whopping 17 second half turnovers by shooting 50 percent from the floor over the game’s final 9:30.
“We didn’t do a good job of controlling the basketball, especially in the third quarter,” Essex coach Rick Griffin said. “In the fourth quarter, our kids finally looked at the scoreboard and something finally clicked. They slowed the game down and did a better job on defense. Rappahannock shot the 3 well, but we made some adjustments to that.”
Essex held a narrow 45-41 lead when the 9-0 spurt began with a Kamren Robinson basket with 1:27 left in the third quarter.
A Malachi Thornton free throw gave the home team a 48-41 advantage entering the final eight minutes of action.
A second-chance basket by Robinson 27 seconds into the fourth quarter made it a 50-41 contest.
Thornton added a hoop at 6:53 and Will Monroe finished off the 9-0 run by sinking a jumper following a Rappahannock turnover.
Rappahannock never got closer than nine points the rest of the way.
“Their guys were a bit more athletic than us and did a good job of getting to more of the 50-50 balls than we did,” Rappahannock coach Bill Lomax observed. “We had a lot of good looks at times, but we just didn’t knock them down.”
Robinson led Essex with 22 points and 18 rebounds. Monroe finished with 14 points, while Thornton scored 13 and Dorian Harris 12.
C.J. Kelly, who sank five 3-pointers, led Rappahannock in the scoring column with 18 points.
Essex shot 45 percent from the field, while Rappahannock’s field goal accuracy was 30 percent.
Rappahannock launched 35 3-pointers, sinking eight.