Woodberry knocks off St. Anne’s-Belfield to advance to Prep semifinals

In the first quarter alone, four Woodberry Forest players knocked down 3-pointers.

St. Anne’s-Belfield never could counter.

By the end of that frame, the Tigers were up by 23. By halftime, they were ahead by 32 en route to an 87-55 victory in the Prep League’s first round.

“We were moving the ball and that’s the thing we’ve focused on the last month is passing,” said Woodberry coach Joel Justus. “So our guys are comfortable and we’re tougher to guard.”

The Tigers shot the lights out, finishing with 12 3-pointers on the night, eight of them in the first half. James Long hit three of them as part of a 19-point night for the senior point guard. Marshall Deal hit four of them in an 18-point effort.

In that first quarter, Jack Flournoy and Ziggy Vrana also connected from beyond the arc. Vrana totaled 15 points on the night while Flournoy had all of his 10 in the opening half.

Defensively the Tigers were also sound, holding every STAB player in single figures except for Brett Johnson. Johnson finished with 17 points, unleashing his own set of long balls with four 3-pointers. STAB finished with nine 3-pointers as a team, but couldn’t get much else going.

“We’ve really gained confidence in the fact that we can guard people,” Justus said. “That’s something we needed to address and the kids have really bought into it.”

The win advances Woodberry to the Prep League semifinals against No. 1-seeded Trinity Episcopal at 5 p.m. in Richmond riding a three-game win streak. St. Christopher’s will play Christchurch in the other semifinal.