Northside beats Phoebus, 60-58, for state title

The Vikings rolled into Richmond with a 26 and 1 record, as Coach Billy Pope was still in search of his first state crown.

Northside started quickly. Jordan Wooden buries a three ball from the top at the first quarter horn to give his team a 12-8 cushion after one quarter.

But they struggled with turnovers in the second, allowing the Phantoms to take a 29-20 lead to the locker room.

In the third quarter, Jalen Jackson hit three huge threes as part of a 17-6 Vikings run to seize momentum.

Then it's Julien Wooden going down the lane and finishing plus the foul, part of a 22 point afternoon for the JMU commit.

Then it's Jordan Wooden penetrating and throwing it down in traffic. Northside held a 7 point lead with two and a half minutes left.

The Phantoms kept fighting behind Khiree Temple, tying the game with under a minute to play.

Northside wound it down and Kasey Draper got free underneath. He missed twice from in close but was fouled with 3.8 seconds left.

He calmly stepped to the line and knocked in his 18th and 19th points of the day for a 2 point lead.

Pope and his team had to sweat out a final desperation heave before the title was theirs. 60 to 58 the final as the Vikings bring the trophy back to Roanoke County in dramatic fashion.

:You want this feeling. It doesn't change anybody. I hope not but it's just the feeling that you walk off as the champion. I've had a bunch of these and a couple of these other guys have had a few with me there. But some of the guys on this team they're one for one. So they're knocking it out of the park. I'm the one they had to carry that baggage with me," said Billy Pope, Northside Head Coach.

"Speechless honestly. We worked hard for it and put all the countless hours into the gym and coming in early on Saturday mornings. We had our eyes on the prize and came out and got it," said Julien Wooden.

"Go through my routine. I tell myself what I'm gonna do at the line. We shoot foul shots at the end of every practice and we put ourselves in that scenario and I just had confidence in my shot. I've been working on it all year so just go through it, right over the rim," said Kasey Draper.

Billy Pope gets his elusive first state championship in a thirty plus year career in his fourth try as the Vikings wrap up their season at 27 and 1, as the Class 3 state champs.