Stone Bridge makes the big shot in the last minute to advance to the state finals

Stone Bridge makes the big shot in the last minute to advance to the state finals 150 150 SWVA High School Sports

Patrick Henry HS, Roanoke, VA – The Stone Bridge Cavaliers came into Roanoke with a job to do, and they got it done. But it wasn’t easy. On the road, and down one point in the last minute of the state semifinal game, PG 1 Dylan Hundertmark kept the ball on the Cavalier’s motion offense, took it baseline, went up and drew the Patriot defense to him, only to dish it to C/F 4 Dayvon Faulk for the easy lay in. That made it 67-66. PH worked the ball back down the court, got tied up but kept possession on jump ball tie up. But the Patriots had the possession arrow pointing their way. Taking the ball out under their basket with less than :03 left, the Pats got a look for G 15 Jack Faulkner, but the ‘three’ bounded off the front of the iron, and the Stone Bridge team went wild. PH Coach Jack Esworthy gave the visitors high praise, “That is one of the best passing teams we have faced. They passed it well, shot it well… they’re a well coached team.”

The ‘Ones’ – Stone Bridge G 1 Dylan Hudertmark guarded by Patrick Henry G 1 Jamonte ‘Bird’ Smith

Patrick Henry made it to the state semifinals for the second year in a row, but again couldn’t get over the hump to the championship game. It wasn’t for lack of effort. PH guard 1 Jamonte ‘Bird’ Smith led the Pats back with seventeen second half points, many in the lane on drives. The Senior finished with twenty seven.

PH G 1 Jamonte Smith makes a move to the bucket

Stone Bridge Coach Kling gave ‘props’ to the Senior and the Patriot team. “They are well coached, they have sharp shooters, …so what does number 1 (Jamonte Smith) do. He says I’m not shooting threes tonight, I’m going to go attack the paint. He got us in a couple mismatches, unbelievable player. We were really nervous about 14 (G/F Brooks Derey) and 15 (G Jack Faulkner) too, because we have seen them stroke it (on film).” A bright spot for PH on the night was W 3 Abu Yarmah. The Freshman had twenty points and really hammered the boards on the offensive end. He kept the Patriots close, especially early on.

Patriot Freshman Wing 3 Abu Yarmah shoots the rock

First Half
Unfortunately for PH they suffered through their worst three point shooting night of the year, making only one of thirteen. Previously, five was their lowest three point output in a game. Coach Esworthy was disappointed with the cold shooting, but happy with his teams execution of their plan against the Cavaliers. “We did not shoot the ball well tonight at all, and yet we still had a golden opportunity to win at the end. I thought we were able to shut down what they do well. I thought we did a great job with their transition. I thought we made them work for every shot in the offense and yet they were able to come out on top. That’s why we are good teams. We can adjust and win any kind of game.”

Cavalier point guard 1 Dylan Hundertmark navigates the lane

Stone Bridge took the early lead in the game, and held it until late in the fourth. As cold as the Patriots were from outside, on the other side of the ledger the Cavaliers were on fire. They finished the game 8 of 11 from three, and needed every one of them to unseat the Patriots. Especially adept early on from behind the arc was Senior G 3 Jerico Limcaoco.

Stone Bridge Senior G 3 Jerico Limcaoco was hot from ‘three’

Stone Bridge G/F 13 gave the Cavaliers some valuable minutes and points coming off the bench

Stone Bridge Coach Kling talked about the young man (Limcaoco), “For him it’s shot selection. He’s going to shoot it and make sure it goes in. He’s a Senior. Really, (we have) three scrappy guards that are up front.” Limcaoco netted eleven by the break, but the leading scorer came off the bench for Stone Bridge. G/F 13 Sam Whitehead added twelve in the first half. G 2 Jacob Thomas, the third wheel for the three guard offense, got into foul trouble early and never could seem to avoid the whistle all night. He had picked up two fouls in the first quarter and three by half.
Stone Bridge led 17-12 at the first break and 34-29 at halftime, but couldn’t shake the Patriots even with PH’s shooting woes from deep. G 1 Smith carved up the Cavs for ten first half points while W 3 Yarmah banged his way inside for eight.

C/F 4 Dayvon Faulk tries to cut off Patrick Henry G 1 ‘Bird.’

Second Half
The second half was a ‘horse of different color’ for the most part. PH and G 1 ‘Bird’ attacked the rim, drawing fouls and sinking foul shots.
Coach Esworthy thought that his club would right the ship from three after the break. “At halftime, we said we will not shoot this bad in the second half and we came out and made one three pointer (for the game). Our lowest three point total before that was five. It’s not like we didn’t have quality, open looks.” One Patriot advantage was at the charity stripe. PH shot twenty free throws compared to only one for the visitors. With G 1 ‘Bird’ and W 3 Yarmah providing the points, PH climbed back to within a point by the end of the third, 50-49.

Freshman Wing 3 Abu Yarmah throws down a big dunk in the third quarter

PH G 1 ‘Bird’ makes a move on Stone Bridge G 3 Jerico Limcaoco. G/F 14 Brooks Derey sets the screen.

Coach Kling knew PH would be well prepared for the contest. “It was a little different style game for us. It was a slower game then we were accustomed to. Coach (Esworthy) did a good job. He knew what we were going to do. Two very even teams, two young teams. I believe we will be in the same  region next year. They are going to want revenge. if I was a point short, I would want revenge too. (They have a) Great staff… I heard the coaching points on their side, going back and forth, Two very similar teams, (with)… great shooters.”

Stone Bridge C/F 4 Dayvon Faulk

For the final quarter, PH put their care in G 1 Bird’s hands, and the Senior slasher nearly pulled it off. Coach Esworthy paid his leader the ultimate respect, “He’s our leader. I gave him a sincere thanks as he was walking out there. He’s won a lot of games here. He’s made me look like a really good coach. I have had a lot of good victories because he was leading our team. We go as ‘Bird’ goes and he took us right there to the end. With that said, he promised us last year when we lost the semifinal game that he’d have us back here and (he was) true to his word. I probably wanted this for him more than anyone. It’s a tough loss.”

Patriot G 1 Jamonte ‘Bird’ Smith

Back and forth the final quarter went. Stone Bridge’s G 2 Thomas picked up his fourth foul with 4:01 left and the game notched at 56 apiece. A minute later G 1 ‘Bird’ tied it up 58-58 on two free throws. A couple of  “and one” drives by G 1 ‘Bird’ moved the Patriots ahead 64-62 with 1:09 on the clock. But Stone Bridge didn’t panic. Even after G 1 ‘Bird’ put PH up by four with two more free throws.

Hundertmark and Smith battled all night long

The big play of the game was Senior G 1 Hundertmark cooly drilling a three with under a minute left for Stone Bridge. Up one, Freshman Patriot G 11 Moosie Calloway was fouled in the lane. Calloway missed both free throws. but PH still led by one. That set up what would be Stone Bridge’s winning bucket. Coach Kling framed it up this way, “(We run a) continuity offense, we are not so much about plays, but concepts. I said, keep it. He (G 1 Hundertmark) should have come back the other way but I said, keep it. I try not to instruct. I want the boys to play their game. I was surprised he kept it, yes. But he’s a point guard. He’s matured over the year.”

Stone Bridge G 2 Jacob Thomas made a couple big shots late but played in foul trouble most of the night

G 1 Hundertmark did in fact keep it, which led to Faulks layin for the 67-66 lead. That proved to be all Stone Bridge needed to advance to the state finals.

Patrick Henry finished the season 8-2 with several quality wins. Stone Bridge not only earned a state final birth, but they also will host the final at home in this crazy pandemic basketball year. The Cavaliers will face Green Run (9-0) who knocked off LC Bird on the other side of the bracket, 64-50.

Stone Bridge  –  Whitehead 15 pts (4 FG, 2-3ptrs, 1/1 FT) Hundertmark 14 pts (4 FG, 2-3ptrs) Limcaoco 13 pts (2 FG, 3-3ptrs) Thomas 8 pts (4 FG) Faulk 8 pts (4 FG) DeVido 7 pts (2 FG, 1-3ptr) Duncan 2 pts (1 FG)

Patrick Henry Smith 27 pts (7 FG, 13/17 FT) Yarmah 20 pts (10 FG) Derey 7 pts (1 FG, 1-3ptr) Beasley 6 pts (2 FG, 2/2 FT)  Calloway 4 pts (2 FG, 0/2 FT) Faulkner 2pts (1FG) 

Stone Bridge celebrates after the win

Coaches talk about their point guards – PH’s Jamonte ‘Bird’ Smith and Stone Bridge’s Dylan Hundertmark

Stone Bridge Coach Kling held up a tee shirt for Chris Harvey who is a dad who is going through some illness. Mr. Harvey’s son played for Coach Kling last year but couldn’t play with them this year. The team takes the shirt to all home and away games as a reminder of Mr. Harvey and his son.

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