Men’s basketball edges Bryant & Stratton 61-60

February 20, 2016

MARTINSVILLE, Va. — It was all about execution down the stretch Saturday (Feb. 20) for the Patrick Henry Community College (PHCC) men’s basketball team.

A key defensive stop inside the final minute parlayed with a Shawn Duhon (Fenton, La.) free throw with 1.8 seconds left helped lift the Patriots to a 61-60 Region X win over Bryant & Stratton in Stone Hall. The win was the second in as many games for the men as they look to sweep a regular-season ending, four-game homestand.

The Patriots atoned for a 71-53 loss to Bryant & Stratton — their worst of the season — Dec. 12 in Virginia Beach. The victory also helped PHCC jump a half game ahead of the Bobcats into third place in the region standings.

Sophomore Henry Butler (Culpeper, Va.) played a big role in the closing minutes on both sides of the ball. He came up with a series of rebounds and points down the stretch, helping set up the final sequence of possessions. He finished with a team-high 15 points, none bigger, however, than the two he scored to tie the game at 58.

After sophomore Ethan Adams (Hardy, Va.) took a charge on the defensive possession prior, Butler was able to get free along the left baseline for a layup with 1 second left on the shot clock. From there, Butler said it was all about staying focused on the defensive end and give the offense a chance to win the game at the end.

“You get one chance at everything, and if you give it all you have at every given moment, then it could be your moment that can change everything,” said Butler, who also finished with 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals and 3 blocks.

Paris Jamison (Martinsville, Va.) provided quality minutes off the bench and finished with 11 points and 6 rebounds, while Henri Ventoniemi (Finland) rounded out the Patriots’ double-figure scorers with 10.

On the final possession of the game, PHCC coach Kenny Wade drew up a flat ball-screen rotation out of a timeout. He said the action at the top of the key gave freshman point guard Keyshawn Johnson (South Boston, Va.) the option to go in either direction. The Bobcats hedged the screen forcing Johnson to keep his dribble alive and improvise, said Wade.

The point guard found Duhon cutting through the key, drawing a foul with under 2 seconds remaining. Duhon missed the first before connecting on the second. Butler then blocked a half-court attempt by the Bobcats for the win.

“We’ve got to have that sophomore leadership and it’s huge to have someone that can step up and do that,” said Wade of Butler’s clutch performance. “I think Paris Jamison is also stepping into that leadership role with this team, too.”

“It’s really intense and you can’t say ‘what if’ you just have to do it,” added Butler on the closing possessions. “We stuck together like puppets and had our hands up focusing on playing good D. That key stop at the end could’ve went either way but in the end we stuck it out.”

PHCC had a more active presence on the glass in Saturday’s second meeting of the season. The Bobcats held a 44-22 rebounding advantage in the first meeting, with 22 of those rebounds on the offensive end. Bryant & Stratton were neutralized this time around as the Patriots were able to record 39 rebounds — 11 on the offensive end.

Duhon led the rebounding effort with eight.

“(Bryant & Stratton) beat us on the offensive boards at their place, so that was one of our focal points, not let them beat us like that again.”

There were a total of six lead changes in the second half, the majority coming inside the final six minutes. Jamison’s scoop layup capped a 15-2 Patriots run and the only double-digit lead of the game at 44-33. A 13-4 response by the Bobcats pulled them back to within two before eventually taking the lead at 55-54 with 5:45 remaining. Neither team’s lead from that point forward moved beyond one possession.

Wade said he liked the pace of the game Saturday, and added that when his team holds opponents to under 70 points, and especially under 60, that it has a high-percentage chance of winning. PHCC also finished with nine steals and five blocks.

Bryant & Stratton’s largest lead was seven, coming in the first half.

The Patriots continue their four-game homestand with a Sunday (Feb. 21) 3 p.m. tip against Pitt Community College. They’ll conclude the regular season with a Sophomore Night tilt Feb. 24 against Catawba Valley Community College.


Filed under: Men's Basketball