, 2014

Red Devils prepare for season, one goal at a time

by Lisa Hinton-Valdrighi

Despite losing two starters from last year’s state semifinal team, the varsity Red Devils have their sights set on another bid for the Group A championship.

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From left, members of the Lancaster High varsity boys basketball team are (front row) Rick Gibson, Keith Craft, Jovante Davis, Brian Moody, Kedrick Lee and Keondra Owens; (next row) Brandon Morris, JT Walters, Jovante Smith, Dalton Moore, Melvin Gregory, Taj Smith, Michael Coleman and Aaron Manning. Photo by Lisa Hinton-Valdrighi

Coach Tim Rice returns three starters in seniors Michael Coleman, Melvin Gregory and Brandon Morris and says the “three coming back have that drive to get back to the Siegel Center.”

Rice says his team of 15 needs to set and reach one goal at a time.

“The first goal, of course, is to win the district,” he said. “I told them that’s our goal right now, just to win the district and then go from there.”

Rice took last year’s team to Virginia’s Group A, Division 2 final four, where they lost in overtime to eventual state champion Radford.

He lost two key players from that team, Joseph Betts and CJ Shepherd.

“We’ll miss the heck out of those guys,” said Rice. “CJ’s presence at point guard gave us a lot. He was key on offense and defense. Then there was Tay; he was the Region A player of the year.”

Back to lead Rice’s starting five are Coleman at guard, Morris at forward and the 6’7” Gregory at center.

Senior forward JT Walters and junior guard Tyler Colding are also in the starting rotation, but both are out indefinitely with injuries. Taking their places are senior guard Aaron Manning and sophomore guard Ricky Gibson.

Manning, who got considerable playing time last season, scored 19 points in Lancaster’s 72-47 season opening win over West Point last Tuesday. Coleman added 12 points and Gregory scored 10.

Coleman had the big game last Thursday when the Devils got by Caroline, 61-57. He led all scorers with 23 points. Gibson and Morris scored 11 each.

Rice will depend heavily on his subs and says “we’re going to be bigger and in some ways our bench is going to be faster and better than in the past.”

Getting time at guard will be juniors Brian Moody and Kedrick Lee and seniors Keith Craft and Jovante Davis. Going in at center will be juniors Keondra Owens, Jovante Smith and Dalton Moore, and playing forward will be junior Taj Smith.

The varsity Devils will head to Christchurch December 9 and 10 for the annual John Stone Tournament. They will be in action at home December 15 against Mathews.

From left, members of the Lancaster High junior varsity boys basketball team are (front row) Tyrell Henderson, DeVante Stewart, Johnothan Towles and Tykwan Redmond; (next row) Bridell Carter, Jonte Towles, Vince Stewart, Alexander Anderson, TreVon Taylor and Devante Haskins. Photo by Lisa Hinton-Valdrighi

Junior varsity

The JV Devils have gotten off to a 1-1 start after beating West Point, 49-35, in their season opener and losing a close one, 32-30, to Caroline.

“I was very, very surprised and pleased with how they played against Caroline,” said first-year head coach Malcolm Carter. “They showed me they had heart and good sportsmanship and that they are good athletes. They can win if they keep their heads and hearts in the game.”

DeVante Stewart and TreVon Taylor led Lancaster against Caroline with eight points each. Tykwan Redmond had six points.

Carter got scoring from eight of his 10 players in the West Point opener. Taylor led the pack with 12 points, Tyrell Henderson and Bridell Carter scored nine points each and D. Stewart had eight.

Also playing for the JV Devils this season are Jonte Towles, Vince Stewart, Alexander Anderson, Devante Haskins and Johnothan Towles.

JV/VARSITY SCHEDULE

Date Opponent

December 15 Mathews

December 17 Arcadia

December 20 Middlesex

December 27-28 at Altavista Tournament (varsity only)

January 3 at Colonial Beach

January 6 Washington & Lee

January 13 Essex

January 17 at Middlesex

January 20 at Rappahannock

January 24 Northumberland

January 27 Colonial Beach

January 31 at Essex

February 3 at Washington & Lee

February 7 Rappahannock

February 10 at Northumberland

February 15&17 Northern Neck District Tournament at Lancaster


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