On successive nights both the girls and guys basketball teams lost out in the opening round of the Class 1, Eastern Regional playoffs. Tuesday night, the Lady Indians fell to Mathews 76-11, and on Wednesday, the guys lost at West Point, 46-42. On Saturday, February 6, the Indians hosted their first indoor “Polar Bear” track meet which was deemed a “success” by Head Coach Trinity Bea.
On Tuesday, the fourth seeded Indians traveled to West Point to meet the top seed Mathews Lady Blue Devils. This past weekend’s weather was the coldest and nastiest of the year. But it wasn’t any colder than the Northumberland girls’ shooting. Mathews threw a full court man-to-man defensive press against the Indians. That coupled with an extremely poor shooting night set the Indians behind 17-0. Mathews dropped the full court press in the second quarter but went to a very effective half court trap. The results sent the two teams to the half-time locker room with Mathews leading 37-5.
Any hopes of some sort of offensive run by the Indians was snuffed early as the Mathews coaching staff kept up the half court trap until the contest ended. If the pressure wasn’t enough, the loss of confidence on offense took Northumberland out of the game and closed their season at 0-4. On Wednesday night, Rappahannock, the third seed team topped second seed West Point 44-14 to advance to the region finals.
Wednesday night, in the second game at West Point, the third seeded Indians faced number two seed West Point. On Monday night, fourth seed Charles City had closed fifth seed Rappahannock’s season, 57-44. The Pointers had a 6’8” center but the shorter more aggressive Indian rebounders held their own on the defensive board. West Point started with a rush and seemed ready to send Northumberland home quickly. But instead the Indians guys warmed to the task at hand and only trailed 15-14 by the close of the first quarter of play. In the second stanza, the two teams battled it out with the lead changing hands and the score tied at 21-21 with 4:31 left in the half.
It was tied again at 26 with under a minute left. Jerius Morris hit a free throw and on the exchange of rebounds, Chase Fisher nailed a three pointer from the right corner and the Indians led at half time 30-26.
West Point came out ready to pay and the Indians looked like another third period melt down was on hand. The Pointers changed defense in the locker room, denying the Indians the center lane to the basket. “We couldn’t get ourselves together offensively,” said Coach Michael Stevenson, noting the short practice and playing season for the Indians this year. Worse than that, leading scorer, Jerius Morris went to the bench with three fouls. The Pointers went to a full court press that was only moderately effective. The Indians hurt themselves with sloppy turnovers and by period close West Point was up 39-37. With one minute and forty seconds left the score was tied 42-42, a foul shot and big “trey” sent the Pointers in to the final against Mathews who beat Charles City on Wednesday, 71-50.
Jerius Morris led the Indians in scoring with 16 points. Chase Fisher scored nine on three “treys,” Jeremiah Toulson had eight and Markeem Waller seven points. Toulson also led in rebounds with eight, Morris and Austin West had seven. Morris had four assists, Waller three, four Indians had three steals each, Nykell Anderson, Toulson and Waller. Coach Stevenson had the following comments: “We played hard, we played well all night. I was pleased with the kids’ effort, for the short time we had together; they played well. A couple of balls dropped here and there and it’s a different ball game. A trying year, our kids came out and worked their tails off and made our county proud.”
The indoor track season got off on Saturday, the sixth, in what was termed a “Polar Bear” meet. Simply meaning it was held out of doors. The guys meet was won by Charles City with Mathews coming in second and Northumberland in third place. The girls did not have enough participants to take a team score. Both the other two teams have had at least three meets this season. The top three individuals in the eastern region will advance to Liberty University on March third for the state indoor track championships. The class one schools, of which Northumberland is one, will compete against class two schools in the championships.
On Saturday, for the guys, firsts went to Jay Bea in the shot put (he has a number one region ranking); Grant Biddlecomb in the 500 meters; Tom Neal in the mile; and Teagan Mullins in the 55 meter hurdles (ranking him second in the region). A second was recorded by Biddlecomb in the 300; with thirds going to Neal in the 1000; Mullins in the 55 meters and a fourth to Bea in the 55.
On the ladies side Camden Sisk was a double winner with victories in the mile and two mile events (she ranks third and second respectively in the region). Sophia Saparana took first in the 1,000 meters.
This week’s meet was cancelled due to the weather with the hopes of rescheduling.
Weather also caused the delay of the opening of the new “fall” season sports. Football Coach Aaron Lewis stated he hoped for thirty plus to come out. The Mathews football coach stated he only had eleven first day of practice. Rappahannock High (Warsaw) is the only other Northern Neck school planning on a football team as of this writing.