Thursday, February 14, 2008

Basketball Notebook

Boys' Basketball Notebook
Court Report This Week in Northern Region High School Basketball
By B.J. Koubaroulis
Special to The Washington Post
February 14, 2008; VA24

W.T. Woodson senior Greg Whitaker knew what his problem was last year and how he could fix it.

"I just had to put the candy away," said the 6-foot-6 forward. "Last year, I was about the same weight, but I had some fat on me."

Whitaker has spent the past year transforming his body, dropping from 225 pounds to 210 and then using the school's weight room and track to build up his muscular 230-pound frame.

A much leaner, stronger and faster Whitaker has powered his way to a team-best 15.8 points per game. He also leads Woodson in rebounds (9.8) and blocks (1.4).Regarded by the Virginia AAA Liberty District's coaches as the league's top post player, Whitaker is third in scoring in the district.

"There are guys that go to the weight room because they know it's going to help them, and then there's guys that really like to go to the weight room. He really likes to go to the weight room," Woodson Coach Doug Craig said.

Whitaker goes to the school's weight room four days a week, and he holds this year's school records in the bench press (325) and power clean (265) and is second in the dead lift (455).

He has a parallel squat score of 355, according to the school's weight-training teacher, Jim Dutrow.Whitaker's transformation has helped the Cavaliers (15-5, 11-1) into first place in the district and has also drawn interest from college programs, including those at Mary Washington, St. Mary's, Randolph Macon, Gettysburg and Catholic.

"I'm not going to be the tallest player in college, so I had to put on some strength," Whitaker said.

. . .Seniors Kyle Condon and Tim Prowitt hope to take Potomac School (17-4, 9-1 Mid-Atlantic Conference) to its first state championship since their older brothers won it all in 2002.Peter Prowitt is a senior forward at Stanford, and Ross Condon, a former Villanova guard, is an assistant coach at Radford.

Behind their little brothers -- Kyle, a four-year starter at point guard, and Tim, a 6-foot-7 forward averaging 15.7 points per game -- the Panthers (17-4, 9-1 Mid-Atlantic Conference) are ranked No. 7 in the Virginia Independent School League Division II state poll.

The Panthers also have Division I recruits in 6-8 junior Brian Freeman (15.3) and 6-2 junior P.J. Miller (17.4), who were a big force in Saturday's 69-48 drubbing of Hampton Roads Academy (21-4). That victory has made the Panthers a contender for a state title.

"I just want to remind them that this opportunity is once in a lifetime," Potomac School Coach Sean Whalen said. "They have to realize the concentration it takes to win a state championship."

The Panthers have been focused, winning six straight and 10 of their last 11, including a season sweep of Flint Hill (18-5, 8-2).

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