CH fends off Carver 67-57 behind 43 combined from Minter, McNeil
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.
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.
Colonial Heights Boys Basketball’s Grayson Andrews (right) passes the ball to a teammate in the Colonials’ season opener at Carver Academy on Wednesday.