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Lions boys roll over Bonner 51-26

The size and physicality of the Halifax County Middle School basketball team proved to be too much for Bonner Middle School to handle in Thursday night’s season opener at Halifax County Middle School.

Halifax County Middle School, thanks to a combination of a good defensive effort and an inability by Bonner to hit the outside shots, held the Broncos scoreless in the fourth quarter and pulled away to an easy 51-26 win.

While the Lions made the win look relatively easy, Lions Head Coach W.J. Long saw some facets of his team’s game that weren’t up to par.

“We won by 25 (points) and you can’t complain too much about that,” Long said.

“We got a win against one of the Danville teams to start off with, which is good. But, we were extremely rusty. We turned the ball over way too much and didn’t box out and get rebounds the way we should. 

“Against a stronger team we’re going to have to play better, it’s as simple as that,” he added.

“We can’t play like that.”

Dashon Louden, a 6-2 eighth-grader, established a big presence inside early and led the Lions with 22 points. The Broncos had no match for Louden and, with the exception of a pair of brief runs, one in the middle of the second quarter and one early in the third quarter, never seriously challenged the Lions.

With Halifax County Middle School leading 22-8, Bonner, with the help of a pair of three-point baskets, went on an 8-2 run to close the deficit to eight points at 24-16 with 2:41 left in the first half.

The Broncos hit an early outside shot at the start of the third quarter to cut their deficit to seven points at 27-20. That was as close as Bonner Middle School would get the rest of the night.

“I know you can’t contest every single shot, but we were not playing the defense correctly, and some of those shots were wide open,” Long said of the Broncos ability to hit the outside shots.

“We’ve got to address some things with that.”

After the Broncos pulled to within seven points, the Lions got two baskets from Cederick Jennings and one from Jordan Williams to extend their lead back to 13 points. 

Halifax County Middle School led 36-26 at the end of the third quarter and scored 15 unanswered points in the fourth quarter, eight of them by Louden, to seal the win.

Long said his team’s size and defensive effort will be key to getting on top and staying on top in the Southside Middle School Conference this season.

“We want to get down the floor and take quick shots and hit the boards,” Long explained.

“We’ve got a lot of long-armed guys that we feel can contest a lot of shots and make it difficult for a lot of teams to score in the half-court.”

While Louden led the team with 22 points, the Lions got scoring from nine players in the game. Jennings followed Louden with nine points and Jamal Brandon and Jordan Williams had six points each.

The Lions have plenty of time to work on improving their game as they do not play again until Dec. 4 when they travel to South Hill to face Park View Middle School in their Southside Middle School Conference opener.

“We’ve got some work to do,” Long pointed out.

“The positive thing is we don’t play again until Dec. 4 at Park View. They beat us once last year, and they have a real good player there that is back again this year. “We’ve got our work cut out for us,” he added, “but we’ve got two weeks to work on it.”