It’s almost mid-season and things are shaping up with area high school basketball. L.C. Bird continues to lead the way, with the boys ranked 7th in the state according to www.maxpreps.com and the girls undefeated at 10-0 and a ranking of 16th in the state. Both teams employ balanced attacks and rely on tough defense to generate offense.
Junior Robert Johnson is averaging 20 points per game for the Skyhawks on the boys’ side, while the girls’ team is a picture of balance, with senior Kelsey Cruz leading the scoring with nearly 12 points per game, with five other team members averaging eight points per game or better. The only other area team enjoying as much success as Bird’s teams are the Petersburg boys, a perennial Central District power. They are currently 12-0 and rank 8th in the state.
Speaking of the Central District, the Thomas Dale boys have put together a nice season thus far despite having a young roster this season. The Knights are 8-3 with a 5-2 record in the district and would be looking to repeat last year’s playoff upset over Petersburg again this season. As of press time, the two teams haven’t met this season, and it will certainly be interesting to see how a young Knights squad responds. If the game is anything like last year’s playoff romp, it should be exciting. The girls, who are suffering from the loss of Duke University guard Ka’lia Johnson have also found a way to stay in contention in the district, as they have posted a 4-2 record thus far.
The Meadowbrook girls despite losing five seniors who now play college hoops are a contender along with Thomas Dale again to win the Central District. Their 4-1 record puts them half a game ahead of the Lady Knights as of press time. The boys have had their struggles thus far, losing several key components of last year’s Central District championship team. To this point they are 3-6 overall with a 2-3 district record.
For the Matoaca boys, the team has already made serious strides in improving over last year, already with four wins under their belt and a 4-4 district record to put them in the middle of the pack and in contention to host a first round playoff game come tournament time. The Matoaca girls continue a rebuilding process and will look to improve as the second half of the season wears on. There is much promise ahead for the Lady Warriors, especially with eighth grader and verbal UNC commit Jocelyn Jones attending and playing for Matoaca Middle. She would play for the Lady Warriors next season, barring transfer to a private school.