EMORY, Va. — As far as dynamic duos go, the one-two scoring punch of Breanna Yarber and Kaycee Deskins has been one of Southwest Virginia’s preeminent pairings this winter.
The Patrick Henry High School standouts combined for 47 points on Friday night as the Rebels rolled to a 62-45 win over Chilhowie in the finals of the Hogoheegee District girls basketball tournament at Emory & Henry College’s King Center.
Yarber scored 28 points and got to the rim at will, while Deskins canned four 3-pointers as part of a 19-point performance as the Rebels added the tournament title to their regular-season crown.
Chilhowie couldn’t contain the terrific twosome, both of whom have scored more than 1,000 career points.
“We have a really good connection,” Deskins said. “We can read each other very well, and it’s become really easy to play together.”
Unselfish play has been a trademark for the Rebels, who are 21-2.
“We have so many weapons offensively,” said PH coach Tommy Thomas. “Teams have tried different things, but this team is so unselfish. They don’t care who scores. … It doesn’t matter who is hitting buckets that night, they are going to get them the ball. Whoever is on, they are going to keep feeding them.”
Yarber and Deskins fit that description on Friday.
“I give Patrick Henry credit,” said Chilhowie coach Mark Halsey. “Their key players stepped up, and Yarber and Deskins had good nights. We have to play for a full 32 minutes to compete with a good team like that.”
Chilhowie had given PH its only true district test this season as the Rebels survived for a 69-61 overtime triumph over the Warriors last month.
“We were not overlooking them at all,” Deskins said.
Chilhowie was within 32-29 early in the third quarter, but PH amped up the defensive intensity and pulled away.
“We kept our composure and knew what we had to do,” Deskins said. “To get our offense going, we have to start on defense.”
Sophomore Katie Barr had 14 points for Chilhowie’s youthful squad.
How much have the Warriors improved over the course of the 2019-20 season?
“From mid-November till now, we are a different ball team,” Halsey said. “They went through a hard road and have gotten better.”
Northwood 68, Holston 51
By winning round four against its nemesis, Northwood claimed its first Hogoheegee District tournament title since 1993.
Senior guard Luke Carter led a second-half scoring surge and finished with 22 points as the Panthers beat Holston for the fourth time since Jan. 10. Northwood (19-7) prevailed in those meetings by scores of 85-84, 74-41, 62-60 and 68-51.
“It’s hard to beat a team four times,” Carter said. “That’s wild that we did it.”
Carter once again came up clutch.
“When you have a kid like Luke on your team,” said Northwood coach Randy Vaughn. “You’re going to win.”
Northwood fell behind 26-19 at one point in the second quarter but rallied back thanks to the play of Carter. He scored five points in the final 34.4 seconds of the first half, including picking off a pass at midcourt and converting a layup just before halftime to give the Panthers a 34-29 lead at the break.
“We started off slow and were making no shots,” Carter said. “The third quarter we were able to play a little faster and get going.”
Northwood outscored Holston 22-7 in the pivotal third quarter to seize control as turnovers mounted for the Cavaliers and fast-break points were on the rise for the crew from Saltville.
Michael Frye’s 16 points, Eli Carter’s 12 points and Chris Frye’s 10 points were also key for Northwood, which appears to be hitting its stride with this week’s VHSL Region 1D tournament looming.
“The kids are just playing really well as a team, and our defense is much improved,” Vaughn said. “We feel fortunate to come out like we did and win this thing. It’s been a long time coming.”
Lane Blevins (18 points) and Nick Delatos (14 points) were the top scorers for Holston, now 15-10.