The Knights are coming off of a 1-21 season last year that they will definitely be looking to improve upon, given that they return every player from their roster last year.
Projected Starting Five
G – Elijah Gregory
G – Jalen Blackwell
F – T.J. Jordan
F – Carlton Williams
C – Max Evans
Top Player: Elijah Gregory is the real player to watch for this Dale basketball team. He is returning again for his senior year to start at point guard. Elijah is going to be the focal point for the Knights offense this year. Gregory was last year’s leading scorer, and coach Michael Walker said they will lean heavily on him in several aspects of the game.
Backcourt: The Knights’ backcourt will be their strong point this year, returning all of last year’s guards on the team. Gregory anchors the crew but Jalen Blackwell will contribute along with many guards coming off the bench.
Frontcourt: Max Evans is a returning starter at center for the Knights, and he will try to get down low and fight hard. Carlton “C.J.” Williams also had a breakout season last year, so he will look to keep the momentum going.
Bench: A youthful unit, Thomas Dale has an array of energetic guards that will come off the bench looking to make an impact.
Key to Success: Thomas Dale needs to create turnovers. Last year, they tried to press a lot and get transition baskets, but had limited success. This year, they’ll need to build on that defensive style, pressing more and creating more steals.
X-Factor: “Last year, we only had two true post players; this year, we have six or seven,” said Walker. Height is the Thomas Dale X-factor. Last year they were very short, and this year they feel that their post play will be improved.
Prognosis: The task is simple: improve on last year’s season. With improved personnel, Thomas Dale should be able to do so.
The Lady Knights definitely look to improve on their 9-13 season last year, and they have all the tools to do so. They’ll bring back an experienced bunch this year, only graduating two seniors. With most of last year’s team returning and gelling together, they will be looking to improve on their close 42-39 Conference 3 semi-final exit against James River.
Projected Starting Five
G – Katiyah Parker
G – Jasmyne Pettus
F – Monique Jones
F – Kylah Webb
C – Elena Flowers
Top Player: Monique Jones will be returning to the Knights for yet another year, even thirstier for points. Jones is entering her junior year as the the leading scorer, two years running. Standing at 5-10, Monique is able to play a forward position to create points as well as get down low and fight hard for rebounds. She should improve on her 14.1 points per game last year.
Backcourt: Guards Katiyah Parker, and sophomore Jasmyne Pettus are stepping into starting roles. Parker led the team in 3 point shooting last year, and she will get some more looks this year.
Frontcourt: Elena Flowers is a 6-2 center being added into the mix this year, and should anchor down the post on offense and defense. Volleyball standout Kylah Webb led the team in rebounds last year, and she has the ability to fight hard down low.
Bench: Sophomore guard Alexis Kelley is a natural three-point shooter, and should come in the game to help when extra offense is needed.
Key to Success: Finishing games. The girls will need to hold out and hold tough all the way until the final buzzer. “We need to finish games,” said coach Leon Gholson, “We had a lead in the 4th quarter in almost all the games we lost last year.”
X-Factor: Youth turning into experience. Despite returning many starters, Thomas Dale is still a young team this year. Starting two sophomores and juniors this year, the future is looking up.
Prognosis: The Knights will try to make it even further than last year, and want to challenge Cosby for the Conference 3 championship.