Bruton and Grafton shoot their way to conference boys basketball titles

YORK — Bruton and Grafton dispatched their boys basketball conference tournament foes on Saturday in similar fashion. They shot them out of the gym.

Top-seeded Bruton made 14 3-pointers in beating No. 2 Nandua 100-62 for the Conference 33 title. No. 1 Grafton hit 10 treys en route to a 70-34 win over second seed Smithfield in the Conference 19 championship game.

It was no surprise that Lonnie Swinton (23 points) and Marcus Carter (22) led Bruton in scoring, as they have all season, and combined for half of the Panthers' threes. But it's the emergence of Larry Legaspi (19 points) that has boosted the Panthers' long-range accuracy.

Legaspi had six threes against Nandua to go with four he hit in the semifinal win over Windsor. The Panthers (21-1) netted 23 threes in the two conference tournament victories.

"Nandua sat back in that 2-3 zone for a quarter-and-a-half and we shot over it," Bruton coach Joe Dillard said. "We never looked back after that."

Grafton (21-3) never looked back after jumping out to a 38-15 halftime lead on Smithfield. The Clippers spread their 10 threes among six players, with Adam King hitting three and Preston Kiedinger and Gray Harris two each. Joey Miller led the Clippers with 23 points.

"The last thing I told my players before the game is that they had experience in this type of game and that we had to set the tone early," Grafton coach Jeremy Jordan said. "Anytime you have a chance to play for a trophy, you take it."

The Clippers have won four consecutive trophies at this stage of the season, having won the previous three Bay Rivers District tournaments and now the inaugural Conference 19 event. Bruton came out on the short end of district and regional championship games a year ago.

"That's the thing I was telling myself was that the gold trophies look a lot better than the silver ones," Dillard said. "We appreciated the silver ones, but it's nice when your hard work pays off in a championship."

The Clippers and Panthers move into regional play Tuesday. Grafton hosts Conference 20 runner-up Hanover in the 4A Region South quarterfinals, while Bruton hosts Goochland in the 2A East quarters.

Monday's games

Three Bay Rivers District teams begin 3A East Region play Monday. Huguenot plays at Lafayette, which won the Conference 25 girls title, at 6:30 p.m.

Conference 25 runner-up Poquoson plays at John Marshall at 7 p.m.

New Kent, the Conference 25 boys runner-up, plays at John Marshall.

Conference 19 boys final


SMITHFIELD (15-6): Shepherd 3, Holloway 3, Wells 3, Turner 3, Jones 7, Pierce 11, Pullen 4. Totals 13 8-15 34.

GRAFTON (21-3): Sperling 8, King 11, Miller 23, Kiedinger 6, Greene 4, Moore 6, Parker 3, Durant 1, Brown 2, Harris 6. Totals 24 12-20 70.

Smithfield: 6, 9, 11, 8 – 34

Grafton: 20, 18, 15, 17 – 70

3-pointers: Grafton 10 (King 3, Kiedinger 2, Harris 2, Miller, Greene, Parker).

Conference 33 boys final


NANDUA: Blake 9, Snead 14, Planter 12, Battle 2, Taylor 20, Armstrong 3, Parker 2. Totals 23 12-19 62.

BRUTON (22-1): Carter 22, Rice 4, Swinton 23, Carr 4, Hert 3, Edwards 6, Doucet 5, Legaspi 19, Taylor 2, Bargaineer 4, Sangalang 8. Totals 38 10-23 100.

Nandua: 20, 17, 14, 11 – 62

Bruton: 24, 27, 28, 21 – 100

3-point goals: Nandua 4 (Blake 2, Snead, Armstrong), Bruton 14 (Carter 2, Swinton 5, Legaspi 6, Edwards).

O'Brien can be reached by phone at 757-247-4963.

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