Devils post big wins over Carver, Gloucester

by Charlie Koenig - Posted on Feb 12, 2020 - 05:10 PM

Photo: Gloucester and Mathews fans packed the MHS gymnasium Monday night to witness a hoop showdown between the visiting Dukes and the host Blue Devils. MHS player Justin Ashberry (#5) tries to get past Gloucester’s Bailey Hudgins (#34). Photo by Charlie Koenig

Gloucester and Mathews fans packed the MHS gymnasium Monday night to witness a hoop showdown between the visiting Dukes and the host Blue Devils. MHS player Justin Ashberry (#5) tries to get past Gloucester’s Bailey Hudgins (#34). Photo by Charlie Koenig

Photo: Mathews player Christian Williams (#32) and Gloucester’s Destin Forrest (#23) struggle for control of the ball. Photo by Charlie Koenig

Mathews player Christian Williams (#32) and Gloucester’s Destin Forrest (#23) struggle for control of the ball. Photo by Charlie Koenig

Photo: Mathews player Justin Ashberry, right, jumps to block a shot by Gloucester's E.J. Worley. Photo by Charlie Koenig

Mathews player Justin Ashberry, right, jumps to block a shot by Gloucester's E.J. Worley. Photo by Charlie Koenig

The Mathews High School varsity boys’ basketball team racked up a pair of big wins this past week, starting with a 65-55 victory on the road last Thursday against Carver College and Career Academy that secured the Blue Devils the regular season Tidewater District title.

The second win came on Monday night in front of a capacity crowd at MHS as the Devils defeated Gloucester in a non-conference game, 74-56. While not a crucial win for the Devils in terms of its place in the district and region, the victory was a big morale boost over the next-door neighbor Dukes, a much larger AAA team.

Playoffs begin

With the wins, Mathews holds a 15-6 record as the team heads into post-season play. Mathews will host King William on Friday in the district semifinals, starting at 6 p.m. Doors will open at 5 p.m. Admission is $5 per person. Only regional, VHSL, VHSCA and VIAA passes will be honored at the door. The winner will go on to Tuesday’s district championship game. Regional play begins Monday, Feb. 24.

Carver

Mathews led throughout last week’s matchup at the Chesterfield County school, taking a 30-18 lead into halftime. The Devils withstood a last-quarter surge from the Panthers to win by a 10-point margin.

The Devils’ two 1,000-point players—Christian Williams and Caleb Thomas—were the top scorers of the night. Williams scored 14 points, including three three-pointers, while Thomas ended the night with 12 points. Coming right behind was Landon Greene, who also finished in double digits with 11 points. Rounding out the scoring for Mathews were Justin Ashberry (nine points), Tae Lagette (seven points), Brandon Gandee and Braden Hunley (four points each) and Nasir Thomas (two points).

Gloucester

Monday night’s game against the visiting Dukes was a sellout, with every seat in the gymnasium filled. And the Devils didn’t disappoint the fans who turned out as they controlled the tempo of the game from the opening tipoff. Mathews took a 21-11 lead at the end of the first quarter; although the Devils struggled some in the second quarter they took a 37-28 lead into halftime. Mathews pulled away in the closing minutes as the Dukes were forced to send the Devils to the foul line.

Caleb Thomas had the hot hand for Mathews with 28 points, including five three-pointers. Williams and Greene once again ended in double digits with 12 points each. Ashberry contributed seven points, while Hunley ended the night with six. Lagette, Gandee and Miles Maggioncalda each had two points; Maggioncalda’s came in a pair of fourth-quarter free throws.

The top scorer for Gloucester was Juwan Thornton, leading the Dukes with 19 points, followed by Xavier Washington (12 points), E.J. Worley (10 points), Bailey Hudgins (eight points), Garrett Croxton (four points) and Jacob Woods (three points).