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Blue Devils To Battle Pulaski In State Meet

By KEN ROBISON Times-News Sports Writer

MARCH 4, 1971

 

GATE CITY - Blacksburg, Virginia is a long bus ride, about 150 miles from Gate City. John Vicars would like to stay for more than one day. Vicars' Gate City basketballers travel that long road Friday to take on Pulaski in the first round of the Virginia State AA Basketball Tournament on the Virginia Tech campus Friday night. It won't be easy. Pulaski is undefeated through 21 games, and boasts a two-man scoring duo that averages over 42 points per contest. But then, things haven't come easy for the Blue Devils all season long. Hampered by injuries and illness all year, the 'Devils have emerged well. They finished second in the Southwest District, then won a right to play in Blacksburg by taking the Championship of the District Tournament, defeating Marion in the finals Saturday night. "We're getting better all the time," Vicars said yesterday. "We hope to hit our peak Friday." The Blue Devils are hot right now. They beat Virginia High easily Friday night then topped a taller Marion team for the title, shooting better than 50per cent in both games. "We played as well, it not better against Marion than we did against Virginia High," Vicars said. The 'Devils shot 53 per cent, and outrebounded the Hurricanes by a 42-35 margin. Phil Rogers, the Junior half of the brother combination, made his first six shots of the game. Frank Castle the 6-2 center, had 12 rebounds. · ' Pulaski boasts impressive credentials. Dennis Shewsberry, a 6-5 beanpole, averaged 24.6 points per game, among the leaders in the state, and 6-2 Jerry Campbell added 18 points per contest. Add to this pair hustling playmaker Rusty Adams and you have a team that has been rated either first or second in the state's AA Division most of the season. But after those three, the Pulaski talent gets thin. This is where the 'Devils have the edge. Far from being a one, two or even three man learn, Gate City boasts a balanced attack with all five starters scoring in double figures. Harold Willis leads with 22 points a game, Stan Rogers averages 15, Castle 12, sophomore Dave Kiner 11 and Phil Rogers ten. And the Blue Devils are all well, physically, a situation not exactly common this year. Through the season: Castle missed eight games with a foot injury, senior forward Huey Ervin missed six of seven games with the flu and a bad knee. Reserve center Mike Wolte, who took over in Castle's absence, missed some games lumself with a strep throat, and Joel McDavid and Pat Loggpns have both missed contests because ot injuries. Gate City's team this year boasts something no other 'Devil team could ever claim -- two l.OOfr-point scorers in the same squad. Willis hit the magic mark in the middle of the season, and Stan Rogers did it in the tourney finals against Marion. The only other players in GC history to pull the trick are Kenny Ervin, now Rye Cove coach, Walter Carter and current Virginia Tech player Darwin Pippin. This is Vicars' sixth season as head basketball coach at Gate City, and his third trip to the state playoffs. But none of the players on this year's team have ever madfe the state playoff route. The last time a 'Devil team went to the state was three years ago, though Gate City has come close the past two seasons. Two years ago, when only one team from the Lonesome Pine District went, the Blue Devils won the tournament but lost in a playoff to regular-season champ Haysi. Last year the 'Devils lost in the tourney finals to Pound in overtime. The arena at Blacksburg Is a Dome, a larger version of the type Central and Dobyns-Bennett play on. Pulaski played its District Tourney there, but the 'Devils have not played in such a structure this season, so Vicars had his forces working out at Central the other day. "They were all going over to the right hash mark, 33 feet away, and trying that shot that Dan Moody used to beat Dobyns- Bennett last Friday," Vicars admitted. ft would be ironic indeed if that shot spelled doom for a Gate City foe in Blacksburg (his weekend.

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04/22/99- Updated 11:53 AM ET

 
 

1999 Honorable Mention for USA Today

Virginia

Player of the year: Ron Slay, 6-7, Oak Hill (Mouth of Wilson). Averaged 17 points, shooting 68% from field and 73.2% from foul line for USA TODAY national champion. College choice: Tennessee.

Honorable mention: John Alexander, 5-11, Paul VI (Fairfax); Steven Blake, 6-3, Oak Hill (Mouth of Wilson); Elton Brown, 6-6, Warwick (Newport News); Val Brown, 6-1, Robert E. Lee (Springfield); Ian Caskill, 6-10, Frank Cox (Virginia Beach); David Fanning, 6-0, Western Branch (Chesapeake); Bryan Fasnacht, 5-10, Glenvar (Salem); Tim Gardiner, 5-11, Herndon; Jamal Gilchrist, 5-10, Notre Dame (Middleburg); Cliff Hawkins, 6-1, Oak Hill (Mouth of Wilson), Jr.; David Johnson, 6-6, Maury (Norfolk); Shamar Johnson, 6-5, Washington-Lee (Arlington); Kareem Kyer, 6-3, Gar-Field (Dale City); Chris Peters, 6-0, Gate City; Sherman Rivers, 6-0, Potomac (Dumfries); Jason Rogers, 6-10, Robert E. Lee (Staunton); Jason Sager, 6-5, Woodstock Central, Jr.; Jason Sanders, 6-2, Hayfield (Alexandria); Hunter Smith, 6-3, Herndon; Bryson Spinner, 6-2, Episcopal (Alexandria); Johnnie Story, 6-5, Hampton, Jr.; Daryl Towe, 6-3, Princess Anne (Virginia Beach); Travis Watson, 6-7, Oak Hill (Mouth of Wilson); Keith Willis, 6-8, Norview (Norfolk); Justin Wingfield, 6-9, Blessed Sacrament-Huguenot (Powhatan); Jerian Younger, 6-8, George Washington (Danville).

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Surry Moves On To State Final

March 11, 2005|By DARRYL SLATER, dslater@dailypress.com | 247-4641

RICHMOND — The Cougars' balanced scoring defeats Gate City, returning Surry to the title game for the first time since 1997.

Joe Ellis will admit this much: The Surry County boys basketball team that he coached in the 1997 Group A state final had more talent than his current players.

But these Cougars have five starters who play well together. All five average double-figures scoring, and four of them scored in double figures Thursday as Surry beat Gate City 68-55 in a Group A semifinal at the Siegel Center.

Surry will face Twin Springs in the final at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Siegel Center. Ellis was certain the Cougars would win in '97, the last time they were in the final, but they lost by three points to Floyd County.

The Cougars (25-4) will increase their chances for their first state title if they get balanced scoring like they did on Thursday. Guard Jackie Simmons led Surry with 18 points, center Edward Barham had 16, guard Mario Newby Jr. had 12, and forward Jack Johnson scored 10.

Barham, Surry's 6-foot-5, 246-pound leading scorer, had hoped to exploit the Blue Devils lack of size.

Though Surry faced mostly zone defenses this season, Barham has enjoyed playing against man-to-man defenses in the regional and state playoffs. He showed why in the first half, scoring 12 of Surry's 31 points as 6-foot-1 forward Will Humphreys guarded him one-on-one.

"(Barham) was a little bit better than I thought he was, just being able to turn on a guy and shoot," Gate City coach Scott Vermillion said. "He was the best post player we've played all year."

Gate City (22-6) double-teamed Barham in the second half, holding him to four points. But as Barham faced some of the most physical defense he's seen this season, Newby took over, scoring all 12 of his points in the second half.

Surry led 48-42 when Barham picked up his fourth foul with 6 minutes, 17 seconds left in the game. Ellis benched Barham, and the Blue Devils closed the gap to 48-47 before Barham re-entered with 4:49 left.

"I tried to hold him out no more than a minute and a half," Ellis said.

"When he's not in, we really miss his presence."

Gate City mounted a late comeback, as guard Jesse McMurray hit a 3- pointer with three minutes left to trim Surry's lead to 55-53.

McMurray finished with eight 3s, tying J.J. Redick's all-group state tournament game record.

But Surry made 13 of its 14 free throws after that, and Gate City scored just two points -- both on free throws -- as the Cougars pulled away.

After the game, the Cougars returned to a local Sheraton hotel, where they spent Thursday night.

Ellis had hoped to find a local gym today to hold a light practice, after which the Cougars will watch some Group AA state semifinals at the Siegel Center.

Though Ellis might not be as certain about a state title this time around, he must feel encouraged by the depth Surry displayed on Thursday.

"If we play our game," he said, "I don't feel like we'll have any problems." *

SURRY COUNTY 68, GATE CITY 55

SURRY COUNTY (25-4): Johnson 10, Frazier 3, Barham 16, Simmons 18, Newby 12, Pierce 0, Behtea 0, Wells 7, Palmer 2, Porter 0, Warren 0. Totals 23 20-24 68.

GATE CITY (22-6): Estepp 2, W. Humphreys 4, McMurray 29, Clark 8, Kilgore 1, Bateman 0, Rogers 0, Parks 0, Hackney 11, L. Humphreys 0. Totals 16 13-20 55.

Surry County 12 19 15 22--68

Gate City 16 8 18 13--55

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PREP BASKETBALL: Gate City continues to rule Clinch Mountain

Allen Gregory | Updated Dec 20, 2012

 It was loud. It was intense. It was a typical night in basketball-hungry Scott County. Before another overflow crowd at Gate City Middle School, the Blue Devils won their ninth straight district tournament championship late Saturday night with a 72-58 win over the Virginia High Bearcats. The Clinch Mountain District title game did not start until 8:38 p.m. due to a third-place game that was slowed by 58 foul shots.

VHS (16-8) actually grabbed a 14-8 lead late in the first quarter thanks to three 3-pointers.

With the Bearcat triangle-and-two defense focusing on GC headliners Luke Ervin and Austen Arnold, the Blue Devils answered with their own barrage of 3s. Savvy guard Nick Bowen emerged as the hero for GC, taking advantage of his extra space to score a season-high 17 points.

“Virginia High came out guarding our big men, so us little guys had to make some plays,” Bowen said. “I had some opportunities and tried to take advantage.”

Gate City took an 18-15 advantage with 1:56 left in the opening quarter and then gradually expanded its margin.

“We had a little different game plan, so we were giving up some shots,” VHS coach Wayne Rasnick said. “We had a pretty good start. It just didn’t work out for us.”

The last game between VHS and Gate City was marred by several incidents between the cheering sections. There was extra security for Saturday’s game. But except for a couple of skirmishes, the fans remained under control.

Perhaps only Twin Springs, also located in Scott County, can match GC in terms of fan support.

While Arnold weaved the through the VHS defense for 23 points, the shooting, passing and defense of Bowen was vital.

“It gets pretty crazy in here, but we like it,” Bowen said. “It’s always a dogfight with these two teams, and we played our game.”

GC coach Scott Vermillion was proud of his team responded to the early deficit.

 “With the home crowd and with four quarters, I didn’t get too nervous,” Vermillion said. “We kept hammering away and hit a couple of big 3s.”

The Blue Devils (21-3) finished with seven 3-pointers. Ervin scored just eight points.

“We knew Virginia High was going to guard the heck out of Luke and shadow Austen everywhere he went,” Vermillion said. “We told our guys that somebody had to make a play, and Nick made several plays.”

Matt Kerlee paced VHS with 17 points and Nick Howard added 11.

Austen Arnold and Andy Arnold both rewarded the rabid GC fans with two-handed dunks in the second half.

Gate City also won the junior varsity title with a 43-38 decision over Virginia High.

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WAKE FOREST DEMON DEACONS

 

  Josh Shoemaker
Josh Shoemaker
Player Profile
Class:
Senior
Hometown:
Gate City, Va.
High School:
Gate City
Height / Weight:
6-9 / 238
Position:
Center

 

Veteran post player who has been a key part of Wake Forest’s recent success as both a starter and top reserve ... a powerful player in the paint known mostly for his defense and rebounding ... owns an impressive combination of size, strength and athleticism ... gives the Deacons toughness and a physical presence on the inside ... can also handle the ball and usually makes good decisions in the open court ... has made great strides in his offensive game over the last two years ... possesses a great work ethic ... one of several Deacs who may be asked to step up if injured teammate Rafael Vidaurreta is slow returning to action ... has played in 96 career games and has started 37 times ... one of the Deacs’ strongest players (335 bench press, 350 hang clean).

1999-00
Saw action in all 36 games ... started three times ... earned his first start of the season at Arkansas when Darius Songaila did not dress ... recorded nine rebounds against Notre Dame in the NIT championship game ... recorded six points, eight rebounds and three assists in road win at Vanderbilt in the opening round of the NIT ... pulled down nine boards in NIT win over California ... came off the bench for 11 points (on 4-of-4 shooting) and grabbed eight caroms at Virginia ... scored in double figures (10 points) against Clemson ... had six points and five boards at Georgia Tech ... pulled down at least four rebounds in 26 of 36 games ... had a season-high nine rebounds against Navy, Temple and Arkansas ... scored eight points and had nine rebounds in a home win over No. 9 Temple ... netted 11 points (on 5-of-6 shooting) against Maryland-Eastern Shore ... made a solid 53.9 percent of his field goal attempts (69-of-128) ... ranked third on the team in rebounds (5.2 rpg.).

 

1998-99
A starter in 17 games and was the team’s third-leading rebounder (4.5 rpg) … grabbed six or more rebounds 10 times on the year with a high of nine rebounds on three different occasions … twice reached double figures in points -- first with a 10-point, seven-rebound outing at VMI ... scored a career-high 12 points on 4-of-5 shooting vs. NC State in the ACC Tournament ... tallied nine points in homecourt win over William & Mary and at Maryland … a very selective shot-taker who was 15-of-22 (68%) from the floor over the last nine games … compiled a solid 52.9% from the floor on the year while attempting just 85 field goals (fewer than three per game).

 

1997-98
Played in 29 of 30 contests, starting 17 times including the last 16 games in a row at power forward … first career start came in December matchup with Radford and he responded with what would be a season-high 10 points, hitting 5-of-8 shots from the floor … also grabbed a team-high 8 rebounds in that homecourt victory, one of five times that he led the Deacons in rebounding ... top single-game rebounding total was 12 (in 25 minutes) in Joel Coliseum win over Maryland … totaled nine rebounds against Liberty and in the subsequent contest with Maryland in College Park … led the Demon Deacons with 8 rebounds in regular season finale vs. NC State, playing 39:59 of that 71-57 victory … made 10 of his last 16 shots from the floor (over a span of five games) to finish the year with a respectable 46.7% field goal accuracy … did not fare as well from the foul line where he shot just slightly over 50% (16-31) … committed just 17 turnovers -- the fewest among all the Demon Deacon starters.

High School
Two-time all-state performer in two sports (basketball and football) at Gate City High ... led Gate City High's roundball squad to three straight district titles, regional championships in 1995 and 1997, and its first-ever state semifinals appearance (AA level) in 1997 … the Blue Devils (yes, that was their nickname) compiled a 60-18 overall record during that time … committed to Wake Forest prior to his senior year when he averaged 20.4 ppg and 12.1 rpg in gaining first team all-state honors as well as being named regional player of the year … a USA Today and McDonald's honorable mention All-American under the coaching of Greg Ervin … led his team in steals as a senior with 51 … named second team all-state and district player of the year in 1996 as a junior … also an outstanding quarterback and punter on the Gate City football squad, earning all-state honors in that sport as well … an excellent high school student, graduating with honors.

 

Personal / Miscellaneous
Father, Rick, played intercollegiate football at East Tennessee State … augmented his basketball credentials by taking part in the highly regarded Tennessee Travelers AAU program … will turn 22 two days prior to Wake’s game at Maryland (born 2/15/79) ... an outstanding two-sport athlete in high school, Shoemaker received interest from high profile basketball and football programs.

SHOEMAKER’s Career Statistics

Season G GS MP MPG FG FGA PCT 3PT 3PA PCT FT FTA PCT REB AVG PF-DQ AS TO BS ST PTS AVG
1997-98 29 17 580 20.0 35 75 .467 1 1 1.000 16 31 .516 121 4.2 48-0 15 17 8 10 87 3.0
1998-99 31 17 645 20.8 45 85 .529 0 2 .000 32 54 .593 138 4.5 62-1 22 37 4 13 122 3.9
1999-00 36 3 695 19.3 69 128 .539 1 4 .250 32 54 .593 187 5.2 54-0 33 30 9 14 171 4.8
Total 96 37 1920 20.0 149 288 .517 2 7 .286 80 139 .576 446 4.6 164-1 70 84 21 37 380 4.0

SHOEMAKER Game-By-Game 1999-00 started

OPPONENT MP FG-A 3P-A FT-A O-D-R PF AS TO BS ST PTS
CAMPBELL 17 2-4 0-0 2-2 3-4-7 0 1 0 1 1 6
at Navy 29 2-2 0-0 5-6 2-7-9 2 4 3 0 1 9
MD. E-SHORE 23 5-6 1-1 0-2 3-5-8 0 1 0 0 1 11
WISCONSIN 25 3-4 0-0 2-4 4-2-6 1 4 0 0 1 8
TEMPLE 26 4-7 0-1 0-0 2-7-9 3 0 0 1 2 8
vs. Georgia 23 3-7 0-0 0-1 1-1-2 1 0 0 0 2 6
UNCG 16 2-2 0-0 2-2 2-4-6 0 1 2 0 0 6
HIGH POINT 19 4-8 0-0 1-4 2-6-8 2 0 2 1 0 9
at Arkansas *25 1-4 0-0 3-4 6-3-9 3 2 0 1 0 5
vs. Oregon *31 3-4 0-0 0-1 5-2-7 2 3 2 2 0 6
vs. Ohio *40 2-5 0-1 1-2 3-4-7 3 3 3 0 1 5
vs. Villanova 29 4-4 0-0 0-0 4-1-5 1 1 0 0 1 8
FLORIDA STATE 12 1-3 0-0 0-0 4-0-4 1 0 1 0 0 2
at Clemson 13 0-4 0-0 0-2 3-2-5 2 0 1 0 0 0
N. CAROLINA 15 3-5 0-0 0-0 1-1-2 1 1 0 0 0 6
at NC State 15 0-1 0-0 0-0 0-0-0 3 0 2 0 1 0
at Maryland 17 2-3 0-0 2-3 1-5-6 1 1 3 0 1 6
DUKE 20 3-5 0-0 1-1 2-3-5 0 0 1 1 0 7
at Georgia Tech 21 2-3 0-0 2-2 2-3-5 2 0 0 0 0 6
VIRGINIA 8 0-3 0-0 0-0 2-1-3 0 0 1 0 0 0
at Davidson 8 0-1 0-0 0-0 1-0-1 1 1 1 0 0 0
at Florida State 20 1-3 0-0 0-0 1-0-1 2 2 0 0 0 2
CLEMSON 16 3-3 0-0 4-4 1-3-4 1 0 1 0 0 10
at North Carolina 11 1-3 0-1 0-0 1-1-2 4 0 0 0 0 2
NC STATE 19 2-2 0-0 0-0 0-5-5 2 0 1 0 0 4
MARYLAND 15 0-2 0-0 2-2 2-0-2 1 0 0 0 0 2
at Duke 13 1-3 0-0 0-0 2-3-5 0 1 1 0 0 2
GEORGIA TECH 16 1-4 0-0 0-2 2-3-5 4 0 0 0 0 2
at Virginia 23 4-4 0-0 3-6 2-6-8 1 1 0 0 1 11
vs. North Carolina 23 2-2 0-0 0-0 1-4-5 1 2 0 0 1 4
vs. Duke 7 1-1 0-0 0-0 0-2-2 2 0 1 0 0 2
at Vanderbilt 24 3-4 0-0 0-0 1-7-8 3 3 2 0 0 6
NEW MEXICO 14 0-1 0-0 0-0 0-3-3 0 0 1 0 0 0
vs. California 21 1-3 0-0 2-4 3-6-9 1 1 0 2 0 4
vs. NC State 19 2-3 0-0 0-0 1-4-5 1 0 1 0 0 4
vs. Notre Dame 18 2-5 0-00-0 4-5-9 2 0 0 0 0 4 0

Career Highs
POINTS
12 vs. NC State
(Mar. 5, 1999)

REBOUNDS
12, two times

ASSISTS
4, two times

STEALS
2, two times

BLOCKED SHOTS
3, two times

FIELD GOALS
5 vs. Radford
(Dec. 22, 1997)

FIELD GOAL ATTEMPTS
8, two times

FREE THROWS
5 vs. Navy
(Nov. 22, 1999)

FREE THROW ATTEMPTS
7, two times

3-POINT FIELD GOALS
1 vs. Md. E-Shore
(Nov. 27, 1999)

3-POINT FIELD GOAL ATTMEPTS
1, six times

MINUTES PLAYED
40 vs. Ohio
(Dec. 29, 1999)

Shoemaker Info:
FULL NAME: Joshua Lynn Shoemaker
MAJOR: Sociology
BIRTHDATE: Feb. 15, 1979
BIRTHPLACE: Kingsport, TN
PARENTS’ NAMES: Rick and Sue Shoemaker
HIGH SCHOOL COACH : Greg Ervin

Up Close
FAVORITE MOVIE: Kings of Comedy
IF I LOST ALL POSSESSIONS BUT ONE, I’D KEEP: The Bird (my car)
SOMETHING MOST PEOPLE DON’T KNOW ABOUT ME: I should play football in addition to basketball
MY GREATEST MOMENT IN SPORTS WAS: scoring my first touchdown at the age of eight in pee-wee football
THE PERSON WHO INFLUENCED MY LIFE THE MOST: My parents
TEAMMATE WHO MAKES ME LAUGH THE HARDEST?: Rafael Vidaurreta
MY SUPERSTITIONS INCLUDE: Always wear a wristband
THE PERSON I WOULD CALL AS MY “PHONE A FRIEND LIFELINE”: Jim Fitzpatrick; if he didn’t know the answer, he would give you one anyway
FAVORITE CARTOON CHARACTERS: Fred Flintstone, ChickenHawk

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Men's Basketball

 

5 - Jesse McMurray

Jesse McMurray

Height: 5-10
Weight: 175
Year: Senior
Hometown: Weber City, Va.
High School: Gate City
Position: G
Year: So.

2007-2008: Played in all 27 games, including 20 starts...earned SAC Scholar-Athlete of the Year honors...Averaged 8.9 points per game...Second in the SAC in 3-pointers made with 76 while finishing fourth in 3-point percentage at 42.5 percent...Averaged 22.1 minutes per game...Scored a season-high 23 points, including seven 3-pointers, against Mars Hill (2/9). 2006-07: Played in 29 games...Averaged 4.5 points per game...Second on the team in 3-pointers made with 42...Averaged 14.1 minutes per game...Scored a season-high 15 points on five made 3-pointers at Mars Hill (2/7) and at Presbyterian (2/14). 2005-06: Played in 21 games...Averaged 5.5 points per game...Third on the team in 3-pointers made with 37 while finishing third in the SAC in 3-point percentage at 42.7 percent...Averaged 10.8 minutes per game. HIGH SCHOOL: Former Standout at Gate City High School in Gate City, Va. ...Named All-Conference, All-Region and All-State...Also Named to National Honor Society. PERSONAL: Son of Ronnie and Teddi McMurray...Born September 5, 1985.

 





 


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