Princess Anne, Ocean Lakes boys advance to state final; Cox boys elimininated

Boys 5A State semifinalssouthsidedailysportsTHUMB

Princess Anne brushed off a first set loss Tuesday and defeated Atlee 3-1 (22-25, 25-14, 25-19, 25-19) at home.

The senior captain duo of Chase Howard (26 kills, two blocks, one ace) and Courtland Scharenborg (52 assists, four blocks, two aces) powered the Cavaliers to their third consecutive state final berth.

Princess Anne coach Jeff Kinser credited his entire group’s effort for bouncing back after the first set and executing down the stretch.

“This game the team played as a group,” Kinser said. “Our middles were extremely active. We had a lot more blocks than we’ve seen in recent weeks. Chase and Courtland went off like normal, but everyone else played extremely well, too.”

Princess Anne looks to three-peat as state champions in the state final against Maury at 3 p.m. Friday at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Boys 6A State semifinals

Ocean Lakes swept Western Branch 3-0 (26-24, 25-23, 25-18) in Tuesday’s final-four match, earning the Dolphins a state final berth for the first time since 2011.

Dolphins coach Mike Boomer said the team executed its game plan and played solid all-around defense.

Junior setter Adreyune Husted finished with 17 assists, seven aces and five kills. Senior Derron Watkins led Ocean lakes with nine kills, while Sean Whiteman added seven kills.

Boomer said Husted’s versatility was the difference in the win.

“Adreyune got in a groove serving the ball and took the wind out of them,” the coach said. “He was a markster. The kid played phenomenal. He just took over and put the team on his back.”

Ocean Lakes will play last year’s state-runner up, James River, at 5 p.m. Friday at VCU.

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In a rematch of last year’s state title game, Cox’s championship defense ended in Tuesday’s 3-1 loss (15-25, 25-21, 9-25, 21-25) to James River in Richmond.

Falcons senior Brad Creamer finished with 12 kills and 14 assists, while Jake Gibbs added 10 kills. Setter Tyler Gooch registered eight assists.

“They were clicking more than we were,” Falcons coach Jason Zuidema said, “and were more in sync as far as running the offense.”

Zuidema said he couldn’t be more proud of his boys’ deep run considering the tough circumstances entering the season, following the departure of last year’s championship core.

“Considering we were supposed to be in a rebuilding year, I think how far we came is a huge testament to the boys’ determination and resolve to be as successful as they could be this season, and not  any excuses along the way,” Zuidema said.

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