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Middleburg Academy ends Wakefield’s boys basketball season in state semis, 71-61

Friday, Feb. 27 | By Peter Brewington
The fact that Wakefield fought back didn’t make it any easier.

Coach Tee Summers called it an emotional locker room after the Wakefield School boys basketball team made a powerful comeback from an 11-point second quarter deficit, only to see their season end at the hands of No. 1 seed Middleburg Academy with a 71-61 loss in the VISAA Division III semifinals Friday in Petersburg.

After taking a three-point lead in the third quarter, the Owls were outgunned the rest of the way, ending the finest season in school history at 26-6.

“This will hurt for a really long time,” said point guard Andre Seadey.

Six-foot-four junior Myles Lewis led the Dragons with 28 points, including 18 in the second half, while 6-6 junior Andrew Corum scored 16. “He was bigger than their guards, which was good in this game,” said Middleburg Academy coach Joseph Haggler of Lewis.

Wakefield got a superb all-around game from Isaiah Sharp, who scored 19 points. DeAndre Clark scored 18. The Owls also got two big baskets from Levi Dyson early in the third quarter when the game was tight. Point guard Seadey scored 10 and also played a solid game in leading the Owls back.

While offense is the best part of Wakefield’s game, it did not come easily. A lack of a post player caught up with the Owls, who struggled mightily to grab offensive rebounds and stop the taller Dragons inside.

Still, Wakefield did not go quietly. After falling behind 26-15 on Lewis’s floater in the lane midway through the second quarter, Wakefield reeled off the final 10 points of the half to close to 26-25.

The run started with an old-fashioned three-point play by Seadey, who drove to the basket, hesitated, then scored as he was hit, and followed up with a free throw. After two missed Middleburg free throws, Sharp drilled a 3-pointer from the right wing to make it 26-21.

Sharp next added a free throw to make it 26-22, then after a missed Middleburg 3-pointer with 12 seconds left, Clark took his time moving upcourt to time his final shot, then drilled a dramatic 25-foot 3-pointer from the top of the key to close the deficit to 26-25."I had to get it going," said Clark of his inspiring shot that went in as the buzzer sounded.

Wakefield then took its first lead of the game at 27-26 30 seconds into the third when Clark scored unmolested off an inbounds pass. Moments later, Levi Dyson drove baseline for a dynamic layup to put the Owls up 29-26 with 6:35 left in the quarter and cap a 14-0 run.

Middleburg retaliated immediately, tying the game on A.J. Robinson’s 3-pointer, but the game stayed nip-and-tuck the for the rest of the quarter. Seadey’s free throw cut Middleburg’s lead to 43-41 with 25 seconds left in the quarter before Lewis scored off an offensive rebound with one second left to give the Dragons a 45-41 lead after three.

From the opening moments, Wakefield was dominated on the offensive boards by the taller Dragons, who went back to that approach in the fourth to seize the win.

Lewis keyed an 8-3 run with an offensive putback to make it 57-46 with 4:01 to go, and Wakefield never got closer than seven the rest of the way as Middleburg sealed the game at the free throw line.

“It was an issue with us all season,” said Seadey, referring to Wakefield's talented but not-so-tall team.

“They killed us on the glass,” said Clark.

"We did the best we could considering," said coach Summers. "We're proud of the season we had."

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