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Basketball suffers their third consecutive loss against the Titans

Varsity Boys Basketball Review
Senior+Guard+Chase+Chambers+fighting+for+a+loose+ball+against+two+Clover+Hill+defenders.
Photo by: Huntur Brockenbrough
Senior Guard Chase Chambers fighting for a loose ball against two Clover Hill defenders.

In the endeavor to turn their season around at Midlothian High School, the Trojans came across a Titans that has fired on all cylinders since the beginning of 2024. Taking this into consideration, Midlothian realized late in the game that Cosby was too much to handle on both ends of the floor; therefore, it resulted in them losing their third successive loss by a score of 58-45 on Jan. 26.

During the initial phase of the game, the Trojans had a challenging time generating offensive production against Cosby’s zone defense. A large part of the reason for this had to do with their offense lacking diversity, off-ball movement, and aggression in the half-court. Instead of attacking mismatches within Cosby’s zone defense, Midlothian’s Head Coach Matt Ross made the decision to arrange his team in perimeter oriented sets offensively. On the strength of basic offensive structure, Midlothian’s interior players were not impactful, while their perimeter players forced shots against an attentive on-ball defense.

Even though Cosby’s defense established a functioning gameplan, the Titans faced a problem that was synonymous with the Trojan’s offense in terms of capitalizing on perimeter jump-shots. It wasn’t until the second quarter when they implemented a simple offensive approach: take advantage of weak perimeter defenders with a dribble drive motion offense, and provide constant rim pressure against a vulnerable defense on the interior. This resulted in the Titans building a 29-18 going into halftime; however, sensible adjustments were made by the Trojans in order to get themselves back in the contest.

As the third quarter progressed, the Trojans began to nullify Cosby’s aggressive offensive approach from the second quarter by applying full court pressure onto their perimeter players. This defensive spark gave the Trojans the liveliness necessary to obtain a rhythm offensively with Junior Guard Andrew Ford being the main catalyst. Throughout the majority of the 3rd quarter, Ford was able to find open pockets within the Cosby’s defensive setup, adequately finish through contact, and convert on multiple jump-shots from behind the arc.

During Midlothian’s lackadaisical stretch in late January, Ford’s offensive impact that he presented in the 3rd quarter was not available prior to this contest. In the middle of January, Andrew suffered a lower leg injury that kept him out for multiple games; in particular, their dominion region losses against the Skyhawks and Cavaliers. For this reason, Ford’s performance in the 3rd quarter demonstrated that in order to get past this collapse, the Trojan guard is going to have to perform at an all-region level; especially with the absence of Senior Forward Harry Clarke for the rest of the year due to a wrist injury.

In the final chapter of the game, Head Coach Matt Ross unexpectedly went away from the gameplan that  gave them the necessary spark to get back into the contest. Because of that, the Trojans shortage of on-ball aggression and full-court pressure led to a similar style for the Titans in comparison to their offensive emergence in the second quarter. When Cosby’s defense dialed up the aggression in the fourth quarter, they successfully accompanied their offensive value by putting together a 9-3 run in over four minutes; hence meaning that the Trojans did not have enough time to comeback in a 58-45 loss at home.

Over the course of a season, it’s common to see a team go through a slump and figure out an idea on how to overcome a rough patch. However, Midlothian seems to not have the personnel, coaching, and physical condition to turn their season around this late into the season. With five games left to go, the Trojans aim to stop their season from spiraling out of control when they face the Falcons at Huguenot High School on Jan. 31. Meanwhile, the Titans will hope to get All-Region Guard Mason Pulliam back from his ankle injury before meeting with the Jaguars at Glen Allen High School on Jan. 29.

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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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