JV boys’ basketball off to hot start


Photo by Erik Kleinbussink

Freshman Chase Mitchell dribbles past two Walter Johnson defenders on Dec 9.

The JV boys’ basketball team has gotten off to a strong start, posting a 5-3 overall record and a 3-2 conference record. The addition of new JV head coach Dontrell Whitmore has the boys fired up and on a roll.

The boys opened up the season away at Northwest on Dec. 6. Both teams came out scoring the ball and the game was tied at 13 after the first quarter. The trend continued in the second quarter as neither team could get the edge over the other, each team going back and forth making tough shots. The game was all tied up at 28 going into half.

The boys came out energized to start the second half. Sophomore Jack Sullivan and freshman Chase Mitchell led the way, knocking down countless big time shots, and allowed the Patriots to take a three-point lead heading into the fourth quarter. The boys were able to hang on to the lead and win the game 46-41. “It feels good to win the season opener. Hopefully it a sign of how the rest of the season will go,” Mitchell said after the game.

Next up on the schedule, the Patriots opened up at home vs Walter Johnson on Dec. 9 a big game for the Patriots as it was their first divisional game of the season. Unfortunately the boys got off to a slow start and were trailing the Wildcats 13-8 after the first quarter, but battled back and were up 17-16 going into half. The Patriots opened up the second half on a 8-3 run and jumped out to an early lead but they were unable to maintain their lead and eventually would fall to the Wildcats 44-38.
After their first loss of the season, the boys headed to Seneca Valley on Dec. 13 to play the Screaming Eagles in a must-win game if the Patriots wanted to stay on top of the standings. And that is exactly what they did as the Patriots would pull out a 42-37 win over the Screaming Eagles led by Mitchell with nine points and freshman Nigel Gbekie with eight points.

The boys looked to ride the momentum into their next game against Damascus on Dec. 19. Unfortunately that would not happen as the team would come out slow, going into half down 32-24. The second half was worse with the Patriots not being able to get anything going and the Hornets continuing to hit shots from everywhere on the floor. The Patriots couldn’t handle Damascus’ size and would end up taking a bad loss 63-38.

The boys would look to shake off the loss and bounce back vs Richard Montgomery on Dec. 19. The Patriots came out on fire and never looked back, getting a must-needed win 57-49, and getting them back on track. Sullivan was the top scorer for the Patriots with 14 points and Gbekie added another 11 to help the Patriots pull out the win.

After Richard Montgomery, the Patriots headed to Whitman for another big divisional game. The Patriots were able to keep their streak going and defeat Whitman 69-61 in a back and forth battle.

Next up on the schedule the Patriots played cross county rival, the Churchill Bulldogs, on Jan. 3 game many of the players had circled after losing to them last year in a close game. The boys came out fired up, taking an early 9-5 lead in the first quarter. Churchill fought back hard, taking a two-point lead with two minutes left in the half. The Patriots would end up going into the half ahead, thanks to two big-threes from Sullivan.

Out of the break, the Patriots picked up right where they left out, jumping out to a 12-point lead with five minutes left in the quarter, and would finish the quarter up nine. The Bulldogs were not giving up without a fight though and cut the lead to four late in the fourth, but the Patriots were able to hang on, winning 62-51. “We have been working hard for this game and it feels great to be able to beat our rivals,” Sullivan said after the game.

Since beating Churchill, the Patriots have been on a two-game skid, losing to Walter Johnson 58-50 on Jan. 6 and losing to BCC in a heartbreaker 55-54 on Jan. 9. The Patriots currently sit at 5-4 and will look to get back on track against Magruder on Jan. 11 and division rival Richard Montgomery on Jan. 13.