2023.03.03 Boys Basketball: VHSL Class 4 Quarterfinal, Western Albemarle @ Tuscarora

Lansdowne, VA (March 3, 2023) - When Tuscarora's Michael Davis threw down the first of his three big dunks, the Huskies seemed to be on a role in this VHSL state quarterfinal, quickly ahead, 9-3. But Wesley Gobble responded with two long-range jumpers that got Western Albemarle right back into the game, and another three-pointer from Warrior teammate Lewis Childers gave them their first lead, 12-11, with just over a minute left in the first quarter.

Chas Sumser Photography was there to capture the action and emotion and posted a gallery of images from the game.

The Huskies went on a brief run to close out the first period leading 16-12, and they would maintain that margin throughout the second quarter. Elliott Kessler brought the Warriors close, and his free throw midway through the period made it 20-19--with the Huskies still ahead--but Western Albemarle could get no closer. Tuscarora's Gavin O'Malley then began a dominant surge inside that would last the rest of the game. The powerful senior hit two big shots to give the Huskies a 28-24 halftime lead.

Western Albemarle came out of the locker room intent on working the ball inside, and it was a productive strategy that put the Warriors in front, 31-30, with 3:30 to play in the period. The Warriors were better on defense, too, and the Huskies seemed vulnerable for the first time all night. Joshua Sime used all of his 6'8" length to power the Western Albemarle run, but Tuscarora took the lead back briefly, 34-33, before the period ended tied, 36-36.

In the final quarter, zero was the hero for the Huskies as O'Malley (0) scored five straight and then dove full-out for a steal on the defensive end. The Tuscarora crowd fed off of his intensity, but Gobble stifled things momentarily with a huge three-pointer to make it 41-39 with just under five minutes to play. Another big dunk from Davis, firing up the crowd once more, pushed the Huskies' lead back to four, 43-39, and the margin only grew from there.

The final score, a ten-point win for Tuscarora, belies the nature of a taut, tense, well-played game for both sides--exactly what state level basketball should be.

Final Score: Tuscarora 55 - Western Albemarle 45 

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