Basketball previewPublished 9:42am Friday, November 25, 2011
BY DALE LIESCH/STAFF WRITER
BY GWEN ALBERS/MANAGING EDITOR
High school basketball season is about to begin. The following is a rundown of what to expect.
FRANKLIN HIGH SCHOOL
Eighth-year Franklin Head Coach Danny Dillon plans to start 5-foot-8 freshman Adam Grant this season.
“He’s been playing his whole life,” Dillon said. “The kid’s a great basketball player and could possibly be one of the best basketball players to come through Franklin. I remember when he was in third grade and he said ‘he wanted to play for me.”
Franklin lost four starters to graduation, but will be counting on returning senior lettermen Jalen Vincent, a 5-foot-8 guard; Delvontae Boone, a 5-foot-10 forward; and Deronte Holmes, a 5-foot-11 forward.
The Broncos finished 7-10 overall last year and 5-7 in the Tri-Rivers District. Franklin finished eighth in the season and hopes to finish fourth this year.
“We’re expecting a great season,” Dillon said. “We’ve got a good group of athletic kids. We’re small, but we’re fast.”
The Broncos will travel to Colonial Beach for their first game on Friday, Dec. 2. Junior varsity action starts at 5:30 p.m. followed by the varsity game.
WINDSOR HIGH SCHOOL
Coming off a 4-16 overall season, Windsor has a new veteran head coach.
Brandon Bossick replaces Chris Smith, who resigned after taking a new job.
While Bossick served as a boys’ assistant coach with Booker T. Washington in Norfolk for nine years, the team won a state title in 2006 and got into the final four the following three seasons.
Bossick’s coaching career began at Bayside High School in Virginia Beach, where he oversaw the boys’ junior varsity program for two years.
He then went to Nansemond-Suffolk Academy, where he was head coach for the girls’ basketball team. The squad during one of Bossick’s four years at the helm won the Tidewater Independent School title. Bossick’s wife was his assistant coach. Michele Bossick played basketball for Western Maryland College in Westminster.
For a half season last year, Brandon Bossick coached the Windsor junior varsity squad, which had not won a game in 5½ years. The Dukes won two out of their remaining six games.
The Windsor boys this season will see the return of seniors R.J. Edwards, Abraham Torrence, Nick Powell and Cole Daniels. Promising sophomores include Justice Chapman, Austin McCaskey, Donovan Cosbert and Caleb Dunlow.
“The boys are working hard,” Bossick said.
Windsor’s first game will be at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 1, at Greenbriar Christian.
SOUTHAMPTON HIGH SCHOOL
The Indians, who finished 18-6 last year and lost to Culpepper during the region semi-finals, will see the return of all-state, 6-foot-3 senior guard Nick Doyle this season.
“I expect Nick to play at the high level he has played the last two years,” said fourth-year Head Coach Will Melbye.
The two-time all-district player will be joined by returning senior lettermen Karon Evans, a 6-foot-2 guard and forward; Michael Frazier, a 6-foot-4 forward; Jay’R McCain, a 6-foot-3 forward; and De’Von Peterson, a 6-foot-2 guard.
Southampton lost four starting seniors to graduation. Returning starters include Doyle and McCain.
“We have a good group of kids coming back,” Melbye said. “This group has a lot of tournament experience. In two years, they won 30 games. I expect good things from them.”
New on the team will be Sussex transfer, junior Trey Ellis James.
“He has been a pleasant surprise,” Melbye said. “He has a great attitude and works really hard. We’ll see how the season progresses.”
Melbye also expects good things from 6-foot-2 sophomore Hayden Spalding, 5-foot-10 junior Jamal Johnson and 6-foot-1 junior Johnny Tribbett.
Melbye believes Southampton and Brunswick will be competing for the Southside District title.
“The Brunswick coach has two sons who are exceptional,” he said. “The younger is committed to UVA as a sophomore.”
The Indians’ first game will be Saturday, Dec. 3, against Lakeland in the Suffolk Showcase.
Southampton Academy lost half of its 12-man team to graduation. This year’s team has nine players, but Coach David Gibbs still expects the Raiders to be competitive in the Virginia Commonwealth Conference this year.
“We’re young, but we have experience at main positions,” Gibbs said.
The team consists of four seniors, two juniors, two sophomores and one freshman as it looks to improve on the 2-19 year.
“We lost a lot of games in the fourth quarter,” Gibbs said. “We just couldn’t find the right combination of players.”
Raiders to watch this season include junior guard Zach Best, senior guard Carson Camp, senior guard Matt Nixon and senior forward Thomas Taylor.
The top newcomers include sophomore forward Tonee Hill, freshman forward Thomas Fox and sophomore forward Tristian Holland.
The first regular season game is 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2, at Richmond Christian.
ISLE OF WIGHT ACADEMY
Isle of Wight Academy lost two seniors from last year’s 20-9 team, including Metro Conference Most Valuable Player Brandon Privette, said Charger Coach Benjamin Vaughan.
“Six seniors are coming back, and we’re going to try to build around them,” Vaughan said. “We have to find a replacement for (Privette).
Players to watch for are senior guards Ben Epps and Colin Bowden, and forward Michael McGuire. Others to watch are forward Ian Andrews, forward Josh Thomas and center Jackson Key.
All-conference center Nathan Silverston is returning. He averaged 12 points and eight rebounds a game last year.
The team is adding juniors Hunter Triplett, Trey Holland, R.J. Wells and Alex Fronfelter.
“An advantage is we do have experience,” Vaughan said. “We have a lot of players that will have to play different roles than last year.”
The Chargers open the season at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 29, at home versus Brunswick Academy.
Tidewater Academy lost nearly half of its players from a 23-6 team last year that finished its season third in the state.
Coach Walter Westbrook has 13 players this year, which should help with depth, but only four of those players have varsity experience.
“We’ll have to work through it,” Westbrook said. “It’s a learning experience.”
The Warriors do have guard/forward combo Lamont Moore returning as the only third-year varsity player. Moore was all-state for Division III last year.
Other players to watch are seniors Matt Irving, Zach Borden and B.J. Morris and junior Hunter Haywood.
The Warriors on Nov. 16 defeated Alliance Christian 67-34.