Thursday, January 17, 2008

Boys' Basketball Notebook

Northern Region Court Report
By B.J. Koubaroulis
Special to The Washington Post
Thursday, January 17, 2008; VA16

Yorktown's 61-55 victory over Edison on Friday ended one streak and continued another.

The Patriots had won the previous game in the series, a 57-52 victory in the Virginia AAA National District championship last season.

But the victory was the first for the Patriots (7-6, 4-0) over the Eagles in the regular season since 2002. Edison had won 10 consecutive regular-season games dating from a 55-44 loss on Jan. 18, 2002.

Yorktown Coach Rich Avila knows that another postseason meeting with the Eagles is possible this season.

"From what I've seen so far this year, there are six teams that can win the district this season," Avila said. "The district is wide open. [Friday's win] gives our guys a confidence that we can beat those guys."

Junior forward Simon Kilday scored 20 points to help the Patriots down their third consecutive National District opponent. Kilday, a 6-foot-3 forward, is averaging 14.5 points.

"The kid has a good IQ for the game," Avila said. "He understands the game and tries to play to his strengths."

Going into tomorrow's game against Stuart, Yorktown has won six of its past seven and four in a row.

"We are just hoping we can keep this thing going," Avila said.

Quite a Tandem

Robinson junior Brandon Kuter went from being a backup last season to standout this season, even though the player he played behind is still on the team.

Kuter was a reserve for Drew Aunon last season. Kuter, who is 6-feet-6, 205 pounds, and Aunon, who is 6-7, 210, have become more of a tandem this season. Kuter leads the Rams in scoring; he averages 11.7 points.

Kuter scored 11 points in Robinson's 52-41 victory over previously undefeated Chantilly last week.

"He's become more of a threat for us," Robinson Coach Matt McKeag said of Kuter. "He's getting the confidence now that he can really do some good things. Our focus is to get the ball inside early."

Jefferson's Special One

There is no official statistic for the biggest contribution senior center Spencer de Mars has made to Jefferson's turnaround this season.

The Colonials (6-6, 2-3 Liberty District) have rebounded after their 1-20 finish last season largely because de Mars, who is 6-feet-9, is averaging 12.5 points, 8.8 rebounds and 2.7 blocks per game.

He also alters between six and seven shots per game, according to Coach Ed Grimm, entering a contest against W.T. Woodson on Tuesday.

"People look at blocks, but they don't realize how important it is to have someone who will alter shots," Grimm said of de Mars, a first-year varsity starter who is drawing recruiting interest from several Ivy League schools. "Over the years, we've ended up losing a number of games by five or six points and when you have a kid that can alter shots, all of a sudden you've got a presence inside that is allowing you to win games by six points instead of lose games by six points."

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