Season ends, but future is bright for Kavs

Published 9:25 am Thursday, March 9, 2017

A difficult season came to an end for Kenston Forest School’s varsity boys basketball team when hot-shooting Southampton Academy recently edged out the visiting Kavaliers 48-44 in the first round of the Virginia Colonial Conference tournament.

“They made 19 out of 21 free throws,” Kenston Forest Head Coach Bart Bellairs said of the Raiders. “They shot the lights out. In tournament play, you’ve got to get to the free throw line, and you’ve got to make your free throws, and they did it.”

The sixth-seeded Kavaliers were also undermanned against No. 3 Southampton.

“We were without Mark Smith, who had an injury at the end, and then Elijah Warner had broken his hand,” Bellairs said. “He played, but he wasn’t as effective as he would have been.”

The coach was pleased with the effort put forth by his players, though.

“I was really proud,” Bellairs said. “We played very, very hard. We were down 10-0 and never quit.”

Kenston Forest came back from the early deficit and even took a 33-32 lead before a turnover and Raiders three-pointer reversed the momentum.

“It was a really great game to watch if you were a spectator,” Bellairs said.

The Kavaliers finished the 2016-17 season with an overall record of 3-17.

“I think they learned what it takes to win,” Bellairs said. “We’re very, very young. Our youth is very talented.”

The coach highlighted sophomore Tyler White, Warner, sophomore Javon Carter and Jah’Tavious Houston.

“And then when you add (6-foot-5-inch) Kenny Underwood, who’s going to play next year, the future’s bright,” Bellairs said. “So, what we tried to do was we knew we were going to take our lumps this year after losing six seniors, (and we tried to) just establish kind of what Kenston Forest basketball should be like.”

Bellairs, who is leaving the school and moving to Kentucky, expects to hand the reins of the team over to junior varsity coach Scotty Atkins.