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Defense carries Parry McCluer boys over Castlewood
The Fighting Blues hold Castlewood to just 13 points through the first three quarters Saturday.
DAVID CRIGGER | Bristol Herald Courier
Parry McCluer's Josh Perry reacts to hitting a three point shot at the end of the first half to give his team a 33-13 lead.
Saturday, March 2, 2013
WISE, Va. - Say "teamwork" and the average fan probably thinks of offense.
At Parry McCluer, as it is with most good programs, it also means defense.
Defense got the Fighting Blues off to a fast start and it kept them in control to the finish of a 53-34 thrashing of Castlewood in the Group A Division 1 quarterfinals Saturday at Prior Convocation Center at UVa-Wise.
Parry McCluer (21-6) advances to the state semifinals where it will face West Point on Thursday at 3 p.m. at VCU's Siegel Center.
Saturday's win marked the 14th time this season the Blues have held an opponent under 40 points. They held Castlewood to 13 points through the first two-and-a-half quarters, and did it with its half-court defense.
At one point in the third period Parry McCluer had scored more points off turnovers (20) than Castlewood scored overall in building a 39-13 lead.
"We changed our defenses during the week," said Parry McCluer coach Nelson Fox, whose club held the Blue Devils to 23.8 percent (5-of-21) shooting in building a 33-13 halftime lead. "It was a little different from what we did last week when they scouted us.
"Against some teams we'll go full-court (with our pressure). I thought [Castlewood] would handle the ball well against that, so we extended our match-up [zone] doing a 1-1-3."
Parry McCluer held Castlewood's top two scorers, Tyler Austin and Reid Edmonds, to a combined six points in the first half. An excellent perimeter shooter, Austin didn't get an open look from long range until the fourth quarter, when he hit his only 3-pointer of the night.
"This is a very aggressive defensive team. They're not that fast but they play very well together and we did that, especially the first three quarters," Fox added. "We knew they went backdoor all night long and fortunately for us they were only 1-for-10 shooting 3s in the first half.
"We also went out [with our guards] a little bit further because we knew who their shooters were. We had scouted them."
Three players scored in double figures for the Fighting Blues, including Josh Perry, who posted a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds, both game highs.
Charlie Fitzgerald scored 12 points and tied Ryheem Dawson for game-high honors in both assists (4) and steals (4). Tanner Fix scored nine of his 11 points in the second quarter, when a 12-0 run staked Parry McCluer to a 29-10 lead.
Parry McCluer is in the final four at the state tournament for the first time since 1995. Last year's state quarterfinal experience - a loss to Hurley - helped some of the Blues relax this time around.
"It was great getting here last year," said Fitzgerald, one of four key players in the Blues' rotation both this year and last. "It really helped us get to the next level [this year]."
Castlewood (19-7) lost in the state quarterfinals for the second year in a row and struggled to find and make shots.
Minus a strong inside game, the Blue Devils rely on their perimeter game and finished the game 2 of 21 (9.5 percent) from 3-point range and 10-for-38 (26.3 percent) overall.
"Give Parry McCluer credit, they were aggressive. They smacked us in the mouth right off the bat and got after us," Castlewood coach Doug Campbell said. "It was a bad day to have a bad shooting night."
Austin finished with 12 points and four steals. Edmonds, a multi-sport athlete who was a 1,000-yard rusher in football, finished with 10 points, seven boards and three steals in his final game.
Parry McCluer, which finished with 14 assists on 20 made field goals, only made two 3-pointers the entire night, hitting both its attempts.
PARRY MCCLUER (53)
Fitzgerald 6-11 0-1, Armstrong 0-3 3-5 3, Perry 7-13 0-0 15, Dawson 3-6 2-4 8, Camden 0-0 3-4 3, Caputo 0-0 1-2 1, Crowder 0-0 0-0 0, Henderson 0-4 0-0 0, Fix 4-4 2-3 11, Boatwright 0-0 0-0 0. Totals - 20-41 11-19 53
Edmonds 2-7 6-9 10, Austin 3-12 5-7 12, Trent 0-5 1-2 1, Couch 2-9 0-0 5, Addington 1-1 0-0 2, Summers 1-1 0-0 2, Moore 0-0 0-0 0, Collins 0-1 0-0 0, Johnson 0-1 0-0 0, Slemp 0-0 0-0 0, Grizzel 1-1 0-0 2, Maeda 0-0 0-0 0. Totals - 10-38 12-18 34.
Parry McCluer 13 20 11 9 -53
Castlewood 3 10 7 14 -34
3-point goals - PM 2-3 (Perry 1-1, Fix 1-1, Fitzgerald 0-1), Cas 2-21 (Austin 1-5, Couch 1-7, Edmonds 0-4, Trent 0-3, Collins 0-1, Johnson 0-1). Rebounds-PM 32 (Perry 10), Cas 25 (Edmonds 7, Couch 7). Assists-PM 14 (Fitzgerald 4, Dawson 4). Total fouls-PM 17, Cas 15. Fouled out-Trent. Technicals-none.
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