Thursday, January 08, 2009

Court Report: High School Basketball Notebook

Court Report: High School Basketball Notebook
By B.J. Koubaroulis
Special to The Washington Post
Thursday, January 8, 2009; VA08

Members of the Flint Hill boys' basketball team sat in the last row of bleachers at Paul VI Catholic's gymnasium early last month.

They wanted a good view of the court.

The Huskies made the three-mile trek from Oakton to the Fairfax private school to do some final scouting before their meeting the next day.Flint Hill's players watched as Paul VI suffered a 55-50 loss to Washington Catholic Athletic Conference power Bishop McNamara.

The next day, the Huskies extended Paul VI's skid, 64-58.The Dec. 20 victory put Flint Hill "in a position to say we can compete with anyone in the area," Huskies Coach Rico Reed said. "Some of our kids played along some of the kids at Paul VI, where some of my kids were reserves.

You're talking like Patriot League over Big East. The WCAC is renowned or known as the best conference in the country."No. 17 Flint Hill (8-2), which has won two of the past three Mid-Atlantic Conference titles, has become more than just a conference-dominator this season, playing a rigid out-of-conference schedule where it has earned victories over schools in five other leagues, including well-respected powers in the WCAC, MAC and Interstate Athletic Conference.

Saturday's 64-63 victory over Landon (7-3) gave the Huskies their third confidence-boosting win over an IAC team this season.

No. 17 Flint Hill (8-2) became the second team this season to hold McDonald's all-American candidate Christian Webster (27.4 points a game) to less than 20 points.

The Huskies are riding the return of four senior starters from last season's 24-6 MAC champion team: Chris Herlihy, Jeremy Glover, Doug Howard and Jawuan Lockhart."Chris Herlihy is really the backbone of what we do," Reed said of the 6-4 post, who has guard skills and sets screens and rebounds, but who also benefits from Flint Hill's up-tempo style and is averaging 13.8 points per game. "The rock is Jawuan Lockhart, because he is the toughest kid. He can be dominant by scoring, but on game day he sacrifices."

Glover, a 6-foot-3, 170-pound senior guard who is leading the team in scoring with 15.8 points a game, "has the strongest skill set on our team. His skill set is as good as any of the kids we've played against," Reed said.

Bulldogs, Majors Roll

Looking to replace some of the Virginia AAA Northern Region's most productive three-year starters, Westfield (9-1) and Mount Vernon (7-4) have not missed a step.Westfield, which lost the program's all-time scoring leader in Maurice Hubbard (Ball State) to graduation, won its holiday tournament, the Bulldog Bash, and entered the week on a seven-game winning streak behind Chris Kearney (19.9 points a game) and Peter Scanlon (11).

Without Marquel De Lancey (Old Dominion), last year's National District Offensive and Defensive Player of the Year, Mount Vernon won its holiday tournament and entered the week on a five-game winning streak.

Four players -- Skylar Jones (16.36 points per game), Robert Coleman, Derek Pruitt and Jesse Konadu -- are averaging at least nine points per game. Robert Smith has developed into a floor-organizer, and 6-foot-5 Kyle Ricks, who also plays football, has given the Majors an inside presence.

"We had a four-game losing streak early on to some quality opponents, but I think it has helped us come together and learn a lot about each other," Mount Vernon Coach Alfonso Smith said. "I really feel we have about eight guys that can legitimately start."

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