Senior Seth Dunn and sophomore Xa’Vian Myles combined for 35 points off the bench, and senior center Quentin Millora-Brown had 13 points, 17 boards and eight assists as South County won its first basketball state title, 63-47 over Western Branch.
The Stallions (27-3) led virtually the whole way but the first quarter was a defensive struggle. South County led 10-8 after one, with a missed Western Branch dunk leading to a key Stallion fast break that resulted in a Dunn and-one layup. In the second quarter the offense picked up, with South County doing damage in transition, from long-range and down low with Millora-Brown. The Stallions led 30-23 at the half.
Then it was the defense’s turn to step up for Mike Robinson’s team. The Stallions held the Bruins to just five third quarter points, with Rice commit Millora-Brown (four blocks) frustrating the Western Branch big men inside and the Stallions’ guards limiting the Bruins’ electric Kendall Bynum.
“I don’t think [senior] Branden Powe gets enough recognition for what he does defensively for us,” Robinson said after the game. “He guards everybody’s best player every night.”
The Stallions led by 15 after three quarters, but Western Branch (25-3) opened the fourth with a furious rally and a 7-0 run. South County junior guard Noah Bullock then hit a three-pointer to bring the lead back to double digits, and the Bruins never seriously threatened again after that. The Stallions upped their lead and coasted to the victory, even managing to get some reserves who hadn’t played much recently some memorable experience on the court late. Then it was time to celebrate.
When asked when the Stallions thought a state championship was possible, Robinson was blunt. “That would be in July, when Quentin Millora-Brown decided to come to South County,” he said of the O’Connell transfer. “He has all the tools. He’s a kid that is great in the classroom and on the floor he’s unselfish, does everything he has to do the right way. And what happened is, with him and the other seniors leading, the younger kids decided to buy in.”
|Threes: X.Myles 2-3, Bullock 1-2, Powe 1-3, Dunn 0-1, Kellam 0-1, D.Myles 0-3|
|Threes: Bynum 1-2, Brown 1-3, Choi 0-1, MacRacken 0-2|