Positives on the court
It was a challenging season for Central High School’s varsity boys and girls basketball teams, but there were key positives for both teams that I’d like to highlight.
When its core was healthy down the stretch, the boys team came on strong, winning three of their last five games of the regular season.
These victories included a 70-47 road win over Amelia County High School, a 58-50 home win over the Raiders four days later, and in between those games was a 70-61 home victory against Cumberland County High School which became the Region 1B champion Saturday in a 25-point win.
The Chargers finished with an overall record of 5-15, but they were hindered by injuries and illness early on.
Undoubtedly Chargers Head Coach Mike McGrath would have loved to have had his full roster healthy throughout the season. His son, John McGrath, who had been a starting guard in the program, missed the entire season after suffering a torn ACL during football season.
Including John, the 2017-18 Central roster featured 10 seniors, though only six of them had been in the program for four years.
The Chargers were eliminated from the regional tournament in the first round by No. 2 Riverheads High School, which was the other team playing for the regional title Saturday.
The Lady Chargers finished with a record that some might think leaves little room for positivity — 1-17. But there was much to leave Head Coach Scott Wilson encouraged.
“Going into the season, most of the players had never had any varsity experience, so we knew that it was going to be a learning season, looking to improve throughout, and that’s what we did …” Wilson said. “It may not have shown in the total amount of victories, but if you look back at how (we) began the season, we had difficulty just even breaking a press … And so my takeaway from the season is just seeing the improvement that the team made as a whole from the beginning …”
Wilson said he will have nine of his 12 players returning next season.
The Lady Chargers scored 30 points or more in four games, including their final two, the last of which was played against host Altavista Combined School, the No. 1-seeded team in the region.
Central’s lone win came Jan. 26 against visiting Randolph-Henry High School, 37-24.
Titus Mohler is the sports editor for The Kenbridge-Victoria Dispatch and Farmville Newsmedia LLC. His email address is Titus.Mohler@ KVDispatch.com.