Maury finishes the season with a convincing championship win
by Andy Hilton, recruit757
Freedom – South Riding came into the VHSL Class 5 Boys Basketball Championship game as a Cinderella team. The Eagles came into the final with a 20-11 record.
They shocked Halifax County in the opening round of the state tourney and avenged a region final loss to Potomac Falls in order to make it to the championship game.
Maury knocked off Richmond powerhouse L.C. Bird and defending state champion Varina in order to punch their ticket to the final.
The Commodores made it through a gauntlet of fouls and free throws at the end to prevail by a score of 57-49.
Clarence Rupert led the Commodores with 18 points, 12 rebounds and two blocks. Brandon Plummer led Maury to the title win in only his second season as the team’s head coach. The title win was the first for Maury Boys Basketball since 1927.
“It feels great. It feels really unreal,” said Chase Coleman (5 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal, 1 block). “I’ve poured a lot of emotion, a lot of work into this season. Coach made us believe that we could get it done and that’s what we did.”
Coleman’s performance was gritty.
Coach Plummer wasn’t surprised at how his athletes rose to the occasion.
“These kids, they put their right foot forward and just went for it from the beginning of the season. We had a motto: ‘Be All In’ and those guys went all in with me and my coaching staff, mentally, physically and spiritually. They just believe in themselves and I’m just so proud of them,” said Plummer. “(Freedom) was very basic, but very disciplined in what they do. We knew we couldn’t just look past them.”
“We always preach: stay together. I’ve been with these guys every day since the summer. Every day. Non-stop. I feel like we’ve put a family thing together and I’m glad for the output that we had today,” said Matthew Mensia, who finished with 10 points, five rebounds, two assists and a block in the championship win. “(We had to) jump on ’em. Punch ’em first and you’ve got ’em.”
For Maury, the season ends at 27-3 with a state championship.
Of the seven teams that the 757 sent to Richmond for state championship games, six came home with championship trophies. That’s six teams out of 12 championships. It’s been a good year for basketball in the 757.
– Andy Hilton