Last Friday, the Thomas Dale Knights were able to score the season sweep over Meadowbrook in an up and down affair, 89-78. The game saw the Knights lead by as many as 15, but that lead shrunk to two with just 3:54 remaining. Dale was able to stop the bleeding and score the victory. This game, in addition to the other competition in the Central District in 2012-2013 means we’re in for a treat come playoff time.
“It’s kind of like what I imagine playing an NBA schedule to be,” said Thomas Dale point guard A.J. Holliday. “You play two or three games a week, and you can’t take a night off,” he continued. “Anyone can beat anyone.”
The Knights have played well this year, returning four starters and featuring a fast-paced offense led by senior Kavon Waller and sophomore Andrien White. The experience of Holliday and forward Colin Fleischer has also proved valuable this season.
“Waller and White are as good as any duo in the area,” said Meadowbrook head coach Jake Oliver. “Coach Eddie Goss always has his players prepared and ready to go.”
The Monarchs come in as one of the teams currently in the middle of the pack in the standings. If the playoffs started today, Meadowbrook would be the fifth seed behind Petersburg, Thomas Dale, Hopewell and Matoaca.
“Meadowbrook is so very athletic and well-rounded,” said Thomas Dale head coach Eddie Goss. “They know how to play hard and work hard.”
Despite Goss’s Knights scoring two double-digit victories over the Monarchs, the athleticism of the Monarchs kept the games much closer than the scores would have indicated.
Another dangerous team may well be the Matoaca Warriors, who have scored victories over both Thomas Dale and Petersburg this season and are led by Khalil Coleman and Devin Morgan.
“Coleman is great at penetration; he’s very quick,” explained Goss. “Devin Morgan is a great shooter as well; Matoaca is another very athletic team.”
It was Morgan who knocked down a buzzer beater to defeat Thomas Dale in their first meeting this season.
The perennial favorites, Petersburg, are currently a game up in the standings as of press time, and while they may not be the powerhouse they’ve typically been over the past few years, they are using a balanced approach to win games.
“Petersburg is a very balanced team this year,” said Goss. “They are also able to thrive off of their tradition.”
The Hopewell Blue Devils have also proved to be a team to be reckoned with. Currently third in the standings, they are applauded for their toughness.
“Hopewell is just a tough team, they play hard,” said Oliver. “They have a roster full of shooters and hustlers,” he continued. “I have a lot of respect for coach Simon and his staff- they have done a great job this year.”
Even the teams at the bottom of the standings in Dinwiddie, Prince George and Colonial Heights have a shot. Of the three teams, Dinwiddie has the best victory as the Generals were able to upset Thomas Dale early this season.
The Village News would like to send its best wishes for a speedy recovery to former Matoaca head boy’s basketball coach Charles Payton, who retired this week to to health problems.
For more updates as the playoffs inch closer, check us out on twitter @VNewsSports.