The current season has been anything but ordinary for the Gate City (Va.) High basketball team. Night after night, the eyes of the nation have been drawn to southwestern Virginia to catch the highlights of senior guard Mac McClung.
In a season in which McClung has already made history by breaking Allen Iverson’s single-season scoring record, the future Georgetown Hoya will now get the opportunity to accomplish something no Gate City basketball team has ever done — win a state championship.
Standing in the way of the Blue Devils’ dream season is Jarvis Vaughan and Robert E. Lee High School from Staunton, Va. Outside the state of Virginia, Vaughan is likely an unknown player to the general masses. Nevertheless, that hasn’t stopped him from having a superstar caliber season in his own right.
In the midst of all the excitement and media attention at Gate City, Vaughan has been waiting patiently for his chance to step into the national spotlight. After Lee defeated Central-Woodstock by a score 62-58 in the semifinals, Vaughan’s opportunity has finally arrived.
Gate City and R.E. Lee are no strangers to one another. The two teams met in last year’s VHSL Class 2 quarterfinals in a thrilling contest that was extended to overtime. McClung scored a game-high 29 points, but Lee got the victory behind a 22-point performance from Vaughan.
The win by Lee over Gate City marked the beginning of a magical run by Vaughan that supplanted himself as a Shenandoah Valley legend. Vaughan averaged 28 points per game in the playoffs, including 31 in the championship game to help Lee capture its first state title since 2005.
The rivalry will be renewed on Friday night at 8pm as Mac McClung and Jarvis Vaughan will battle for a state championship in Richmond.
A lot has changed since the two Virginia stars met last March in the quarterfinals. Vaughan is now committed to play at Old Dominion and has been dominant in his senior year at Lee, while McClung has turned into an internet sensation after a breakout summer season with Team Loaded Virginia on the Adidas AAU circuit.
Nevertheless, one thing has remained the same in the midst of all the changes, both players want to deliver their respective schools a state championship more than any individual record or award.
No matter the result, you can be assured that Friday’s game is probably the most-anticipated VHSL Class 2 championship game in the league’s history.
(Highlights courtesy of Mars Reel)