Collegiate girls and boys varsity basketball teams have had a few changes over the previous year. Despite the changes, both teams have remained solid and have had intense seasons.
Collegiate girls varsity basketball has had a challenging season thus far, with a record of two wins and three losses. On December 9, the team had a huge success against Bishop Sullivan, taking a 26-point victory of 55-29. Taking the initiative from the beginning of the first quarter and playing solid offense, the team acquired a total of 39 rebounds and 13 steals. The game ended with a last-second three-pointer by Chandler Eddleton (‘20). Co-captain and veteran of the team Tierra Morris (‘18) said, “ It was an easy dub” when asked how she felt about the win. The lady Cougars gained another win against Thomas Jefferson in a three-day tournament at Hermitage High School over Winter Break. Once again, they outscored significantly, with a final score of 68 to 36. The Cougars seemed to be no match for the Vikings, having a total of 33 rebounds, 12 steals, 16 assists, and 3 blocks. Unfortunately, numbers like these haven’t been the outcome of every game. The girls took their first loss against Saint Gertrude in November, losing by three points, 36 to 39. The Cougars took another loss against Varina in a tournament in December, losing by 12, with a final score of 46 to 58. The team faced another devastating loss against Atlee in December, with a final score of 29 to 59. We are “committed to play basketball” says varsity head coach (and Middle School humanities and math teacher) Rives Fleming.
A 20-year coaching veteran, Fleming says that the team is a ”great group of girls.” This year, the girls varsity basketball team is fairly young, with only five returning players: Taylor Thackston (‘17), Tierra Morris (‘18), Avery Freeman (‘18), Greer Buell (‘19) and Rachel Lifson (‘19). Despite being a young team, the girls have held their own on the court. “I feel like we are better than last year. I feel like the freshman this year are going to help us,” said Buell (‘19). Morris (‘18) replied, “They have a lot to learn. Mostly just playing smart and having confidence when they step on the court. However, by playing smart you have to know the game and what come with experience and by playing higher competition. Therefore, they won’t get all tensed up or pick up the ball while dribbling so fast when they are about to get trapped.”
Compared to last year’s record (7-14), the girls have improved. When asked how she felt about this year’s season compared to last year’s, Morris replied, “I feel like we are better this year as we have a more athletic team. We are a lot faster now, which means we can have more fast breaks and be quicker when stealing the ball. We also are a lot stronger than last year. The aggressiveness is clearly shown on the court when the game gets tough, especially from the post when they are down fighting for the rebounds and diving for the ball on the floor.” The co-captain continued as she talked about the team’s improvements, “we are getting better as we learn from our mistakes after losing a game. There’s always room for improvements; you have to take an ‘L’ so you can figure out what your weakness is.”
The boys varsity basketball team has an overall record 9-4. The Cougars wrapped up their first win on December 2, against Hampton Roads Academy with a final score of 62 to 42. The team continued their winning streak, defeating Fredericksburg Christian, Fredericksburg Academy, Freeman, and Atlee in December. Unfortunately, the team lost against Hermitage with the final score of 62 to 54. With two hard-fought games, the boys picked up their seventh and eighth win against Clover Hill and Steward in December. The Cougars continued into a three-game losing streak losing against Trinity Episcopal, Matoaca, and Steward. “Currently our record is 7 and 4. We’ve suffered three in a row. Obviously, we lost some tough ones, and it’s never a good feeling to lose, but we are getting better every day, and that’s what makes us happy,” said Tyler Tunstall (‘18) a new member of the basketball team.
Upper School counselor Alex Peavey coached the boys basketball team for 12 years, but he decided to step down last year to concentrate on his role as a counselor. New head coach Delmar Harris has been a key part of the success of the team thus far. When he was younger, Harris played as a point guard at Monacan High School, Fork Union Military Academy, Howard Community College, and in AAU. When asked how he felt about this season, Jack Wyatt (‘18) replied, “A lot better this year than last year, we are a great group of guys. We have a new coach; I like him a lot.” Owen Scher (’18) replied, “it’s going well. Dropped a couple games that we shouldn’t, but we are doing very well, and our coach is a good coach.”
This post has been updated.