For the better part of three quarters, it looked like Albemarle’s Class 5, Region D quarterfinal against William Fleming was headed where many of the Patriots’ games have gone this season — down to the wire.
Then Albemarle’s offense woke up.
The Patriots got 18 points apiece from Maxx Jarmon and J’Quan Anderson and closed the third on a 15-3 run to pull away from the Colonels 59-38. Fleming had taken out the Jefferson District’s Orange County on Monday in a frantic 93-84 first-round affair.
The visitors from Roanoke had just gotten consecutive layups from Ramon Hampton to trim a lead that had been eight back down to four with five minutes to play in the period. Then, on the next trip down, Hampton picked up his third foul.
Anderson sank both free throws and the run began, not ending till a pair of KaySean Allen free throws with a minute to go in the stanza.
The senior guard then scored nine of his 18 in the fourth to help Albemarle truly pull away. The Colonels got no closer than 12 in the final quarter.
“We’d been penetrating and trying to get things happening against that zone,” said Albemarle coach Greg Maynard. “Maxx and J’Quan hit a couple of shots and Na’il [Arnold] hit the boards hard, we got enough opportunities to attack and go to the foul line and pull away.”
Neither team got off to a great start offensively with Albemarle clinging to 7-5 lead after one. The only play of note was an old-fashioned three-point play by Anderson at the 4:21 mark, a basket which gave the Patriots the lead for good.
Albemarle then made six of eight free throws to open the second quarter to stretch the lead to 15-7.
The Colonels, who misfired on all seven of their three-point attempts in the first half, pulled to within four on four consecutive free throws by Damon Martin with 2:34 to go before halftime, but Jarmon’s three with 1:33 to go ignited the crowd, and Anderson hit a driving layup just before the buzzer to push the lead to 22-13.
“They can be really explosive,” Maynard said of the Colonels. “We didn’t want to get into a run-and-gun game with them because I saw how effective they can be at that game. I was really proud of the defense, that’s what kept us with the lead in the first half.”
Jarmon’s trey was the only three of the first half. For the game, both teams finished 4-for-18 from beyond the arc.
“At first my shot wasn’t going down and I was losing my confidence,” Jarmon said. “But after I hit that first one and my teammates kept me going, I just tried my best to keep it up.”
Martin’s 11 points led the Colonels. He was the only Fleming player in double figures. Jamaro Crump added six.
Albemarle returns to action in the regional semifinals at home against either Potomac or Brooke Point on Friday night at 7 p.m.