DRY FORK—Spurred by a game-high 26 points from senior Troy Brandon, the Martinsville High School boys basketball team won its seventh consecutive game on Friday, registering a 69-47 win at Tunstall High School.
Brandon did most of his damage in the opening and final quarters, scoring 11 points in each. His four points in the third quarter accounted for all of his scoring in the middle part of the game while he battled some early fouls.
“Early in the game, I got in foul trouble so I couldn’t play a lot,” Brandon said, “but I knew they were a great team. They have some great basketball players that I’ve played with over the summer during AAU season, so I knew they were going to bring a game.”
The win avenges a 56-51 loss to the Trojans on Dec. 20.
“Coming into the game, me and my coaches and teammates, we knew that they were going to give us a run for our money like they did last time and beat us at our home,” Brandon said. “I just knew I had to come in the game and give it my all and help my teammates come out with a W.”
Martinsville (11-4, 6-2 Piedmont District) led 22-12 after the first quarter and 33-22 at halftime. By the end of the third, the Bulldogs had stretched their lead out to 15 points, at 46-31.
“We rushed the ball up the court, trying to get them tired,” Bulldogs head coach Jeff Adkins said. “We couldn’t really break away from them. They hung in there. They’ve got great one-on-one players. I think the tempo, tonight was to our liking. It was up and down—we got more easy buckets than they did.”
In addition to Brandon’s scoring spree, junior Jaheim Niblett supplied 19 points—most of which came from using his size to grab offensive boards and go up again for second-chance points.
“That’s been one of our focus (areas),” Adkins said. “When we were 4-4, we were focused on getting the ball inside more and getting second shots. Our offensive rebounding has gone up about 20 percent, and that’s a key to winning. We’re crashing the boards better and getting more points in the paint, so that’s important.”
Rounding out the scoring for Martinsville, Jahil Martin and Jeremiah Law each had six points, Vontae Manns and Lemuel Jones both had five points and Jacqueze Hairston had two.
Tunstall freshman Jamison Graves tallied 18 points to lead the Trojans, who are now 6-10 overall and 4-4 in the Piedmont District. Jaylen Crews added eight points, D’dric Rogers scored seven and Majare Vincent chipped in six.
The Bulldogs will put their seven-game winning streak on the line against Halifax County at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Martinsville Middle School. The Comets, after losing on Friday to George Washington High School, have now lost two games in a row after starting the season 14-0. Only one loss has been in the Piedmont District, giving Martinsville an opportunity to create a tie at the top of the district with a win on Tuesday.