Led by Peter Murray’s 15 points, four W.T. Woodson players scored in double figures to lead the Cavaliers past the Bobcats, 65-52, at Robinson. Woodson (25-4) moves on to Monday’s semifinals, where it will face Henrico at 3:15 p.m. at VCU’s Siegel Center in Richmond.
“There aren’t any Division I players bound for Maryland or Georgetown on this team,” Craig said. “We get a lot of contribution from a lot of different guys and really play as a team.”
Woodson’s collective approach initially surfaced through its team defense. After the teams traded baskets in the first minute, the Cavaliers held Battlefield without a point for nearly nine minutes, an effort anchored by strong defensive rebounding.
Tommy Stepka nailed a three-pointer just before the first-quarter buzzer to spark a 14-0 Woodson run and build a 17-5 lead midway through the second period.
“We have guys who are always willing to give the ball up and make plays for each other, and that chemistry is big for us,” said Bowles, who finished with 13 points. “With the way we got out to a big lead, that gave us time to get into our rhythm and get a cushion if [Battlefield] was to make a run later.”
The second half brought much stronger play from the Bobcats (19-10). After scoring 10 of Battlefield’s 14 first-half points, Jamison Glover received some offensive help from Trevor Blondin and Roman Hall. The trio attacked the basket to open up a 12-4 run that cut Woodson’s lead to 35-30 after three quarters.
But the Cavaliers answered, building an 11-point lead by opening the floor with inside-outside play. On consecutive possessions, Bowles penetrated to draw in the defense before kicking out to Murray, who hit three three-pointers during a 13-5 run.
Blondin fought to keep Battlefield in contention, scoring nine of his 18 points in the fourth quarter on a series of mid-range jumpers and drives to the basket. But Stepka and Alex Boock (13 points) combined to hit Woodson’s six final free throw attempts, keeping the Bobcats at bay and sealing the Cavaliers’ first trip to the state semifinals.