By Taft Gantt ’20
The JV Basketball team’s turnaround from 3-16 to 7-1 just over a month into the 2019-2020 campaign is nothing short of remarkable.
In the first game of the season, Woodberry hosted Benedictine, the team it lost to by 54 points last season. The game came down to the wire, and the Cadets held on to win 46-43. But the JV Tigers didn’t look back from there, winning every game by an average of 25 points.
“The Benedictine loss was tough because we only had a few practices before we played them,” said Head Coach Gerald Wixted. “We didn’t execute much of anything in the big spots of that game. We have turned around our zone offense and it has become a major strength at this point in the season.”
After its opening three-point loss, Woodberry blew out Madison County, St. John Paul the Great, and Wakefield. The Tigers then traveled to Alexandria for a 53-29 beat down against Episcopal in a rowdy atmosphere. In the final game before Christmas break, Woodberry won 61-40 at Eastern Mennonite.
Coming back into the new year, Woodberry had just two days to prepare for rival St. Chris. But the Tigers did not show any rust en route to a dominant 54-34 win over the Saints. Third formers Wallace Hardison and Edward Woltz combined for 29 points. Two days later, the JV team traveled to St. Anne’s- Belfield, where they obliterated another Saints squad, this time 51-17. The Tigers gave up only four points in the entire second half, including a shutout fourth quarter.
The early success for the Tigers is in large part due to many talented additions, including four new boys in the starting lineup: Karsten Graham ‘23, Reid Seck ‘23, Hardison, and Woltz. Samuel Crosby ‘23 is the only returning player in the first five. Landon Ellis ‘23 and Robbie Handlesman ‘23 also play significant roles coming off the bench.
“This week we are going to avenge our only loss of the season, and the 54-point beatdown last year’s JV team endured,” said Wixted. “I guarantee it. You can quote me on that.”
The revenge game will take place at Benedictine on Tuesday, January 14 at 4:30 PM, with WFSPN providing a Livestream video broadcast.