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Is Midlothian’s season already over?

Varsity Boys Basketball Review
Photo by: Huntur Brockenbrough
Senior Point Guard Chase Chambers fights for a loose ball with the Trojans trailing 46-31 late in the 3rd quarter.

Varsity Boys Basketball suffered a gut-wrenching loss to the Cavaliers at Clover Hill High School by a score of 57-53 after nearly surging back from twenty points on Jan. 24. As the season continues to progress, however, the Trojans are experiencing major setbacks that have impacted their team chemistry. For all intents and purposes, their matchup against the Cavaliers is the direct representation of their season being over within the last month of the season.

In the beginning of their season, the Trojans’ offense exhibited excellent perimeter shooting, rhythm in transition, and seamless flow in the half-court during the first half. Two month later, however, their perimeter offense has lacked consistency in the half-court; therefore, further substantiates the explanation for why the Clover Hill Cavaliers went on a 22-4 run in the second quarter.

In the second half, their increased offensive production gave the Trojans a chance to shift the momentum throughout the rest of the game. The Trojan’s forty point outburst in the second half was the prime example of their entire season; as they averaged approximately 35 points per game in the second half. The line share of credit goes to their backcourt offense in terms of elevating their scoring aggression and forcing turnovers defensively in order to get scoring chances in transition.

Be that as it may, their second half approach on offense is not going to be sustainable once they get into the postseason if they’re consistently digging themselves into deep holes in the first half. Considering that the Trojans will play against teams such as L.C. Bird Skyhawks, Albemarle Patriots, and the Kempsville Chiefs, a portion of the best defensive units that Virginia Division 5 has to offer, the Trojans would have to fix the problem of entering a tempo early once their playoff games start becoming half-court oriented and centered around getting to the free throw line.

Based on the current state of high school basketball, assembling a roster with length and athleticism is game-changing when competing against perimeter oriented teams. With former Head Coach Giddings, the Trojans gameplan in their zone defensive scheme was centered around dialing up their on ball aggression, while allowing their interior players to flourish as rim protectors and give players like Fabian Rudd a chance to control the game in transition.

In reference to the Trojans’ defense this year, the Trojans had a difficult task of improving as a defense after losing their interior depth with Conor ReidGeorge Akoto, and Fabian Rudd from their previous season. Because of this, their contemporaries have been competent enough to exploit their current weakness as far as  finishing through contact to draw shooting fouls. During their Wednesday night loss, Clover Hill capitalized on their opportunities in terms of attacking front-court players Landus Stewart and Leo Gulley, leaving both interior players in a vulnerable position defensively.

Since December, Junior Captain Andrew Ford has battled through an apparent injury that could have a potential impact on the future of this Trojans offense during the playoffs. Along with Andrew Ford’s injury, the Trojans will be without Senior Forward Harry Clarke for the rest of the season after suffering a wrist injury in middle to late January. Because of this, it would be futile for Matt Ross to resist change to his philosophy with the Trojan’s roster being depleted. As they peg away on their late season endeavors, the Trojans will make an effort to pull off an upset in front of their home crowd on Jan. 26. against Cosby.

Following their loss to Clover Hill, the Trojans will begin a difficult stretch in their schedule before the postseason begins. As they prepare for the level of competition to rise, the Trojans will aim to contain arguably the best team in the dominion region since the beginning of 2024.

Cosby is going into this contest with a record of 10-4, winning seven games in a row, and getting their signature win against the previously undefeated Skyhawks on Jan. 24. The outcome of this game between the pair of dominion foes will not only give their fans a signal on whether or not Coach Matt Ross is on the hot seat, but it will also give a clear indication on whether or not this season was a squandered letdown as they reach the conclusion of their season.

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About the Contributor
Huntur Brockenbrough, Sports Editor
Class of 2024 Huntur Brockenbrough has been on staff for three years and is a sports writer this year. Outside of school, he enjoys watching sports/tv, listening to music,working out, and writing.

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