Northside wins first boys basketball state title in school history

Vikings beat Phoebus 60-58

RICHMOND, Va. – The Northside Vikings are VHSL Class 3 boys basketball state champions.

Northside beat Phoebus 60-58 at the Siegel Center in Richmond on Thursday afternoon. The Vikings trailed 29-20 at half but rallied for the win.

Tied at 58 with 3.8 seconds remaining in the game, Kasey Draper hit both his free throws to put the Vikings ahead. Northside was led by JMU signee Julien Wooden with 22 points and 9 rebounds. Draper added 19 points including those two key free throws to clinch the win.

"We worked real hard for it. All the countless hours in the gym and all the Saturdays early mornings and we knew we had our eyes on the prize and we came out and just got it, " Wooden said.

This is the first boys basketball title for Northside High School. This also means that, after more than 500 wins, head coach Billy Pope has his first state title. Northside and Coach Pope have three runner-up finishes, most recently in 2017 against I.C. Norcom. They also took home state silver in 1992 and 1995.

"We chose to keep fighting. And this group said from the beginning we're going to make a run at it again but we never talked about it. We just said we're going to just going to keep trying to be good," Pope said. 

Northside finishes the championship season at 28-1. Phoebus earns state silver at 25-3.

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