COLO­NIALS WIN

CH fends off Carver 67-57 be­hind 43 com­bined from Min­ter, McNeil

The Progress-Index Weekend - - FRONT PAGE - By Nick Van­de­loecht wS­ports Editor

Colo­nial Heights Boys Bas­ket­ball takes sea­son opener over Carver Academy

CH­ESTER - Fac­ing a tall, talented and ex­pe­ri­enced Carver Academy unit, Colo­nial Heights Boys Bas­ket­ball - fea­tur­ing a talented and ex­pe­ri­enced cast of its own - took com­mand in the fourth quar­ter to win its 2018-19 sea­son-opener 67-57 over the Wolver­ines.

“I thought we would have more ex­pe­ri­ence at the guard spot and I thought that if we could just keep the ball in the right peo­ple’s hands and...get good reads, we’d get good shots,” Colo­nial Heights head coach John Thomas Jr. said. “We’re shoot­ing the ball a lot bet­ter this year, and our shot se­lec­tion is bet­ter.”

Lorenzo Min­ter came out on fire to un­leash 12 points in the open­ing eight min­utes and help his Colo­nials (1-0) take a 17-6 first-quar­ter lead over the Colo­nials.

But Coach Thomas did note that his team was a lit­tle ner­vous start­ing out, and while they opened the sec­ond quar­ter with an 11-point lead, he said they got away from play­ing de­fense, al­low­ing Carver (1-1) to charge back into the picture be­hind 15 points from Mikael Jaaber.

The Wolver­ines tied the con­test, but Min­ter con­tin­ued to de­liver, net­ting two free throws to send his Colo­nials back ahead at 29-27 before half­time.

The Colo­nials then gained sep­a­ra­tion in the early stages of the sec­ond half before seiz­ing con­trol in the fourth quar­ter with the help of nine points in the clos­ing eight min­utes from MJ McNeil.

Before the sea­son

started, Thomas said that Min­ter and McNeil had re­ally im­proved since last year, and both play­ers came up big with Min­ter scor­ing a game-high 25 points and McNeil adding 18 to­tal.

“What we tried to do is we tried to iso­late; we wanted Lorenzo to be able to cre­ate and pen­e­trate and MJ to take those lit­tle short jump shots and the oc­ca­sional three, and we felt for the most part that re­ally worked,” Thomas said. “We knew that they were gonna bring pres­sure; if we can han­dle the pres­sure, we can at­tack the bas­ket and get some easy buck­ets. That hap­pened for us tonight.”

Out­side shoot­ing was strong for the Colo­nials with Min­ter mak­ing four three-point­ers and McNeil and Grayson An­drews net­ting two apiece. An­drews chipped in 10 points.

“Grayson’s a steady player, man. You can al­ways count on him to do those lit­tle in­tan­gi­bles, get you some re­bounds, make some plays, block a few shots,” Thomas said. “That’s Grayson.”

New­comer Shan­non Henry con­trib­uted both of­fen­sively and de­fen­sively and played with a strong pres­ence in the post. He and Haden Crow­der each scored five points while Trevor Stoupa con­trib­uted four.

“He’s a lit­tle ner­vous, first game, he’s a 10th grader,” Thomas said. “I think he’s gonna be a re­ally good player. He’s gonna be good around the bas­ket, he re­bounds well, de­fends well.”

Jaaber led the Wolver­ines with 20 points while Earl Hill landed three three­p­oint­ers and fin­ished with 14 points.

Carver Academy will host its third straight home game of the week on Fri­day, Nov. 30 at 7 p.m. ver­sus Church­land.

Colo­nial Heights will re­turn to ga­me­time ac­tion on the road at Din­wid­die on Tues­day, Dec. 4 at 7:15 p.m.

[NICK VAN­DE­LOECHT/PROGRESS-IN­DEX.COM]

Colo­nial Heights’ Lorenzo Min­ter (right) and Haden Crow­der (left) go to con­grat­u­late team­mate MJ McNeil (#14) after a play in the Colo­nials’ 2018-19 sea­son-opener at Carver Academy on Wed­nes­day.

[NICK VAN­DE­LOECHT/PROGRESS-IN­DEX.COM]

Colo­nial Heights Boys Bas­ket­ball’s Grayson An­drews (right) passes the ball to a team­mate in the Colo­nials’ sea­son opener at Carver Academy on Wed­nes­day.

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