ABINGDON, Va. (WJHL) – The Abingdon high school boys basketball team had not reached the state championship game since 1965 before squaring off with Hopewell in Saturday’s VHSL Class 3 title matchup.
Despite a valiant effort, the Falcons’ run to glory fell seconds short in the 58-55 loss in the Abingdon gym.
Down three with 12 seconds left, the Falcons had a couple looks at a game-tying three-pointer but both were just off the mark. Jake Thacker hit Jake O’Quinn in the corner for the first look, which hit the back iron but Chase Hungate flew in for the offensive rebound, kicked it out to Thacker who put up the second shot.
The Falcons were down just two after Evan Ramsey scored a couple late buckets in the paint, giving him 24 points on the night. The Falcons had a chance to tie on the next possession, but a pass inside was snatched by Hopewell star Elvin Edmonds IV, who has signed to play at Division-I program Bucknell.
A made free throw made it 58-55 with just under 30 seconds left, and the Falcons took some time off the clock looking for a play before calling a timeout with around 12 seconds left, setting up the final play.
Abingdon rolled with the lineup they trust as only four Falcons scored in the game: Ramsey with 24, Thacker with 17, Hungate with 8 and O’Quinn with 6. A 20-point 3rd quarter got the Falcons back in the game, and held a one-point lead heading into the 4th quarter, but scored just nine points the rest of the way.
“I instantly knew that this was a special group and it’s been a real joy to coach them, I’d like to have been able to call them state champions after tonight but they’re still champions and it was a special run for them,” Abingdon head boys basketball coach Aaron Williams said.
Hopewell also had just four players score: Jalen Havett scored 19, Cartier Strickland scored 15, and Edmonds IV matched LaMonta Ellis with 12.
“We tip our hat to Hopewell, they were a formidable opponent tonight, very deserving,” Williams said, who is in just his second year coaching the Falcons.