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HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL: Eagles' teams keep hopes alive

For a pair of Fredericksburg Christian seniors, it was all about just keeping their Eagles careers going.

“I’m not ready for it to end,” said senior Brittany Burton, who had a game-high 28 points to lead FCS’ girls to a 41–37 win Tuesday against Covenant in the first round of the VISAA Division 2 tournament. “I just want to keep going.”

DeLante Victory agreed, after scoring 20 points to pace the Eagles’ boys team to a 52–37 win against Hampton Roads Academy in their first-round game.

FCS’s boys play at top-seed Virginia Episcopal today, while the Eagles’ girls team plays at No. 2 seed Williamsburg Christian.

Victory and the Eagles seized control Tuesday with a 21–4 second quarter.

The senior had a three-point play early in the period to make the score 18–11 after a 13–11 first-quarter advantage for FCS. He was fouled converting a putback and hit the free throw to make it

21–13.

Victory had four other free throws and a jumper in the period, and Jabari Bryant had a putback at the halftime buzzer to stake FCS to a

34–15 lead at the break.

Hampton Roads would climb no closer than 14 the rest of the way.

A road game at Virginia Episcopal will be a tough challenge, FCS coach Darren Berkley said. But it’s already been a great run for a team that graduated a ton of talent and suffered attrition during the season, too.

“Losing eight lettermen, it was good just to have another year with 20-plus wins,” Berkley said. “And we’ve lost a lot during the year, and we’ve kind of reinvented ourselves. But kids have bought in, and we’ve really grown up.”

Especially Victory, who was able to be a quiet role player last year, but has had to transform into a reliable scorer this year.

“I’ve had to step up and do that and also rebound a lot,” he said. “I think I’m doing a pretty good job with that.

“And a lot of other players are stepping up, too, taking a load off me.”

HRA 11 4 14 8 — 37

FCS 13 21 9 9 — 52

Scoring

Hampton Roads Academy: Sam Bateman 3, Henry Hill 4, Clai Kenney 6, Quincy Mack 8, Jack Phillips 2, Philip Schwarting 5, K.J. Steinthorsson 5, Trent Topping 4. Totals: 14 5-8 37.

Fredericksburg Christian (21–9): Aaron Alexander 7, Jabari Bryant 2, Chris Cheatham 8, Chris Lomax 4, Daryl Myers 4, Keion Robinson 0, Jared Steigerwald 0, Bryan Tucker 4, DeLante' Victory 20, A.J. Washington 3. Totals: 18 13-18 52.

Three-point goals: Hampton Roads Academy 4 (S. Bateman, C. Kenney, Q. Mack, K. Steinthorsson). Fredericksburg Christian 3 (A. Alexander, C. Cheatham, A. Washington).

GIRLS FIRST ROUND

FREDERICKSBURG CHRISTIAN 41, COVENANT 37

Burton sparked the Eagles’ fourth-quarter comeback.

FCS led 18–9 after the first quarter but was held to just two points in the second and trailed, 29–28, at the end of the third.

The Eagles’ Marnie Streeter hit a 3-pointer from the right wing to tie the game at 31 with five minutes to play.

On Covenant’s next possession, Burton flashed into a passing lane for a steal. She converted the fast-break layup and the subsequent free throw.

She had a second three-point play seconds later to put the Eagles up 37–34—

a lead they would never relinquish.

“I felt like they were pulling away a little bit,” Burton said, “but we showed some heart there at the end.

“I kind of saw [the stolen pass] coming. They’d been doing it all night. I was just glad to be able to get in there.”

Burton scored all but five of FCS’s points after the first quarter.

“She plays hard,” FCS coach Claude Tyler said. “She gives everything she’s got, and you can tell she really enjoys playing.”

Covenant 9 10 10 8 — 37

FCS 18 2 8 13 — 41

Scoring

Covenant: Sadie Bryant 0, Alicia Fox 3, McKenley Clore 6, Margot Leibl 17, Emily Maupin 1, Sara Meakem 0, Alexis Steljes 10, Hannah Huemme 0. Totals: 15 2-9 37.

Fredericksburg Christian (9–14): Brienne Brannen 0, Brittany Burton 28, Briana Clarkson 2, Dominique Lavender 6, Morgan Neeble 0, Marnie Streeter 5. Totals: 16 8-10 41.

Three-point goals: Covenant 5 (A. Fox, M. Leibl 2, A. Steljes 2). Fredericksburg Christian 1 (M. Streeter).

Justin Rice: 540/368-5045

jrice@freelancestar.com

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