The 2021 Indian basketball seniors and varsity cheerleader seniors. Front row: T’Kyia Hall, Alicia Taylor and Amaya Thomas. Back row: Jerius Morris, Markeem Waller, Jeremiah Toulson,  Austin West and Malik Carter.

Thursday marked the end of regular season play for both the girls and guys basketball teams. They both finished with three games played and one canceled due to the virus, Mathews for the guys and West Point for the ladies. Both now wait for playoff seedings and locations early this week. The Lady Indians lost at Rappahannock to complete their regular season at 0-3. The guys used an equipment malfunction to come from behind and claim a 53-47 victory to finish 2-1 in regular season play. The week also saw the announcement of the opening for a “transplanted” fall sports season. Football begins practice on February 11 with all other fall sports set to begin practice on February 16. Those include cross country, ladies field hockey and golf. Cross country and golf are for both guys and girls.

In Thursday night’s game at home, after the introduction of this year’s cheerleading and guys basketball  seniors, the Indians and Raiders teams took the court. Since the virus caused changes, there are no jump balls. After each quarter the ball is changed and scrubbed down with a disinfectant plus the team members on the sidelines sit in staggered chairs six feet apart. Northumberland came out in a very active and strong defensive showing lots of energy to take a 15-11 lead. It looked like another win over Rappahannock.

But it wasn’t going to be that easy as the Raiders played their patented steady offense and closed to within one by intermission time, 28-27. The first quarter energy by the Indians seemed to have evaporated. The two teams played the same tempos to open the second half and with four minutes left in the third period, Rappahannock was up by eight. At that point, the strangest thing happened and one of the rims came loose and play had to be stopped. It took over an hour to get things fixed and play to resume. If Indian Coach Michael Stevenson and his staff could bottle and sell what they told their players, they would be rich folks.

The Indians came out, came from behind and took the game on an 18-9 scoring bulge. Jerius Morris led the Indian attack with a game high 18 points. Following him in double figures were Denzil Plamer with 14 and Jeremiah Toulson with 13. Morris and Toulson both recorded “double-doubles” with 13 and 12 rebounds. Palmer had nine rebounds and five steals. Morris added seven assists and four steals, Toulson blocked two shots. The Raiders were led by Demetrius Parker with 13, Mark Delano with 12 and Jeremiah Lanier with eight. Shane Bryant hit all four of his free throws. This year’s Indian guys varsity team, with uniform numbers, has seniors Malik Carter (1), Jeruis Morris (2), Jeremiah Toulson (21), Markeem Waller (3), and Austin West (15); juniors are Nykell Anderson (20), Chase Fisher (22), Katrel Jones (11), JaQuan Norris (23), Denzil  Palmer (00), Luke Swann (32), and Kemijah Thomas (30).

The JV team, still with only five players, committed themselves well in a 29-25 loss to Rappahannock. The team of Hawthorne Blackwell, Anthony Gregory, Luke Pickett, Mason Swann and Shane Withers led up until half time. From that point, five against a team began to wear them down and turnovers became too much. Swann led the JV Indians with 14 points including two “treys” and two blocked shots.      

This past Saturday also saw the opening of the indoor track season with teams from Charles City County. Mathews and Northumberland will get  together here for a “Polar Bear” meet outdoors.