NORFOLK — Green Run secured its third boys basketball region title in four years Monday night with a 75-50 upset win over Princess Anne.
The No. 6-seeded Stallions walked into Scope as a team full of underdogs, but got to walk out on top of the world after their shellacking of the No. 1 seed Cavaliers.
“We always told them from the beginning, that all we need to do is punch our ticket because we knew we were a young team and we knew we were going to get better as it went,” coach Ken Harris said. “And that’s exactly what we did.”
Princess Anne came into the tournament as the team to beat, riding a seven-game winning streak. On top of that, the Cavaliers had yet to lose to Green Run this season. Green Run was 11-14 coming into the game.
In two previous matchups between the teams, Princess Anne won 62-41 and 68-64 in overtime.
“The first time we played them, [they] beat us by 20, and we felt as though the second time we played them, it was within five, so we were close,” the Stallions’ Tre Miller said. “We’ve been preparing for this moment all season, all year [we’ve] been talking about this. The record might not show it, but we’ve been preparing for this.”
Miller said he felt like Princess Anne didn’t necessarily do anything glaringly different Monday, compared to the performances in previous matchups. Rather, it just came down to making shots.
“The last few times they were hitting more shots … they were being aggressive last time,” Miller said. “I don’t think none of that changed, they just couldn’t hit shots today.”
Princess Anne fell behind early and was never able to regain traction. After one quarter, the Cavaliers were only behind by five points, and they were only down five again going into halftime, when the Stallions had a 31-26 lead.
Sam Bland led Princess Anne at that stage with 12 points. His four 3-pointers kept the Cavaliers within striking distance.
Miller and Traven Norwood were a force in the post for Green Run, combining for 16 points going into halftime. Norwood finished with 17 points.
Green Run stretched its lead to 49-32 going into the fourth quarter, thanks to an 18-6 run during the third quarter.
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Eight different Stallions got on the scoreboard in the win. Green Run was averaging only 47 points per game in the tournament, but a full team effort helped it hang 75 on Princess Anne.
“We were just focused, man, we were just focused all the way,” Harris said. “We just told them keep pounding on it. I knew from the first game we only had six points at half time, but we ended with 36. I said we’re gonna put up 70 tonight, and that’s we did.”
Miller finished with a team-high 19 points for Green Run, ending a self-described cold spell.
“I couldn’t really get the ball going in the bucket the past few games,” Miller said. “But hey, it is what it is. I had to go back.”
Green Run will now turn its attention to the state tournament, where it will host the loser of Tuesday’s Region B title matchup between Woodside and Maury. Princess Anne will meet the Maury-Woodside winner in the state quarterfinals.
“It’s a big tone-setter,” Miller said. “We’ve got all the momentum now, [being] regional champions. We’ve got to go into state and try to win it.”
Michael Sauls, email@example.com | Twitter @mcsauls