W.T. Woodson outlasted run-and-shoot T.C. Williams, 96-84, and Robinson, getting 50 points from its outside-inside combination of Greg Dennis and Mike Tissaw, held on to defeat Jefferson, 61-56, in the semifinals of the Virginia AAA Northern Region tournament before 3,500 at Robinson Wednesday night.
The seventh-ranked Robinson Rams (22-2) will play the 20th-ranked Cavaliers (19-7) Friday at 9 at Robinson for the regional crown and the right to advance to the state semifinals in Charlottesville March 10.
The last time Woodson and Williams met -- in the region final last year --the high-scoring Titans survived a stall to win, 21-18. Williams went on to win the state title, finishing with a record of 28-0.
Many expected patient Woodson to pull the same stunt again, but the Cavaliers came out firing and the stunned Williams team had to catch its breath a few times.
The Cavaliers' 6-foot-8 sophomore center, Pete Holbert, enjoyed a 37-point, 17-rebound evening against a poor Williams defense.
Woodson led, 42-38, at intermission, before Holbert took matters into his huge hands. He soared over the shorter Titan players for 15 points and five rebounds in the third period to help Woodson gain a 69-60 lead.
While Williams continued to shoot from the outside in an effort to catch up, Woodson never slowed down and took advantage of the Titans' foul trouble.
Dennis and Tissaw put on just about as fine a two-man performance as is possible. While Jefferson got good, balanced scoring, Dennis scored from the outside, while Tissaw dominated the lane.
The Rams trailed, 40-38 following a run-and-shoot first half. Dennis had 22 points and Tissaw the other 16.
It was a different story the second half. For some reason, the Robinson players forgot about Dennis and didn't give him the ball. The 6-3 forward took only four shots before drawing his fifth foul. With Robinson ahead, 56-52, with 4:27 left to play, the Rams attempted the stall, but a David Lutz steal and layup and a pair of free throws by Pete Mathers cut the Rams' advantage to 58-56 with 50 seconds left. Todd kirtley and Tissaw missed one-and-one opportunities, but Jefferson was unable to capitalize.