It might not be great news for the VHSL’s gate receipts, but basketball fans at Brunswick and Spotswood high schools are happy.
Saturday’s Division 3 boys and girls championship games both will be between the Bulldogs and Trailblazers, meaning only two fan bases — albeit large ones — will be at VCU’s Siegel Center on Saturday morning for the finals.
Spotswood defeated Bruton 70-69 on a shot by freshman Justin Kier with 16.8 seconds to play. Marcus Carter missed a shot at the buzzer for Bruton, which jumped out to a 13-0 lead in the first quarter.
Tucker McCoy led Spotswood (27-1) with 22 points before fouling out. Hyrum Weiler added 16 points for the Trailblazers. All five starters scored in double figures for Bruton (20-6). Kapri Doucet led the Williamsburg school with 16 points.
Brunswick (28-2) jumped to a 14-0 lead and ran away from Fort Defiance 52-29 to reach its seventh straight boys state title, tying a VHSL record set by Martinsville from 1980-86. East Carolina signee Brandan Stith led the Bulldogs with 16 points. B.J. Stith added 11 points. Stephen Vassor, a 6-foot-6 senior transfer from Roanoke Rapids, N.C. added 10.
Fort Defiance (18-11) made just 9 of 41 shots from the field.
Spotswood’s girls also reached the semifinals with a 70-57 win over Monticello. Bailey Williams led Spotswood (28-1) with 20 points and topped the 1,000-point mark for her career. Monticello (24-3) led 34-27 at halftime. Molly Shepherd scored 28 points for the Charlottesville team including 20 in the first half.
Brunswick’s girls (26-2) had a difficult time putting away Region IV champion Richlands before winning 65-55. Freshman Bria Stith, the daughter of Brunswick boys coach Bryant Stith, had a double-double for the Bulldogs with 12 points and 13 rebounds. Desiray Bennett had 16 points and 13 boards. Myneisha Walker led Brunswick in scoring with 21 points.
Richlands (21-5) was led by Brittany Allen with 14 points. Allen was 0 for 8 on 3-point attempts as Richlands made just 17 of 56 shots from the field.