Robbie Handelsman ’23
This past weekend the Varsity Basketball Team returned to the court for their first game of the 2021 shortened season in a double-header. The Tigers faced off against Virginia Episcopal School in a home game and an away game, finishing 0-2, yet with strong hints of promise throughout both games.
On Friday, the 22nd, the Woodberry Forest basketball team tipped off their two, twenty-minute halves game in a noiseless, empty gym. The Tigers got off to a hot start. Stevan Bajski ’21 led the Tigers’ strong start with ten straight points. Energy was the key factor to the Tigers’ success. In the first half alone, the Tigers took six charges (two from captain Jackson Tysinger ‘21) and recorded many stops. But, despite the strong start, at the end of the first half, VES led 41-48. An outstanding performance from Samuel Crosby ‘22 gave the Tigers many second-chance opportunities during the game, but VES came out of the second half hitting every shot, catapulting them to a victory over WFS, 86-138.
The Tigers knew coming into Saturday’s game that they very well had what it took to take down the Bishops. Captains Noah Adams ‘21 and Jojo Beal ‘21 led the Tigers to another impressive start, gaining multiple double-digit leads. WFS outscored the Bishops 45-36 at the end of the first half. But, as the second half began, VES switched their defense from man-to-man into a 2-3 zone, slowing down the Woodberry offense enough to get back into the game. The Bishops once again shot much better in the second half, and eventually took the lead. The Bishops ended up taking down the Tigers 85-96.
The Tigers have six more games scheduled to play this season. Regardless of the outcome of the first two games of the shortened season, the Tigers’ performance was entertaining and showed Woodberry the capability and promise of Coach Craig Dawson’s basketball team heading into the remainder of the winter season.