football Edit

Bird Beats Meadowbrook 77-70

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>L.C. Bird High School is home to the 2012 Group AAA
Division 6 State Champions in football.
The Skyhawks also have a pretty talented basketball team that is
starting to come of age as they improved their record to 4-1 overall, erasing a
10-point half-time deficit to defeat the Meadowbrook Monarchs, 77-70 on Monday
night in an exciting non-district Central Region matchup.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Relying on a host of underclassmen to surround one of
their few returnees in senior guard JaVonte
Reddick, Bird made plenty of mistakes early.
style=> In fact, the Skyhawks turned the ball over 16
times through three quarters of play, including eight in the opening period,
and trailed for 24 minutes.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>However, a key 8-0 run to close the third quarter, holding
Meadowbrook without a point for the final 3:55 in the period, pulled Bird
within one. They would go on another 8-0
run in the fourth quarter to grab control down the stretch, not turning the
ball over once in the game's final stanza.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"I think I have eight sophomores on my team.
style=> I have no idea who's going to show up.
style=> That's a good thing and a bad thing.
style=> But every game is a learning experience for
these guys," declared L.C. Bird second-year Head Basketball Coach
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>Troy Manns afterwards.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"We expected some turnovers early.
style=> Big crowd, big crosstown rival, but as soon
as they settled down we knew we would be able to execute.
style=> With our pressure, we just wanted to wear
them down, and figured towards the end of the third quarter we may be able to get
into their legs a little bit and their bench a little bit."

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>With Reddick having a relatively off night shooting the
basketball, going 1-for-8 from behind the arc and getting in early foul
trouble, Bird turned to 6-foot-2 sophomore Kenny
Williams to carry the load. Williams
delivered, either scoring or assisting on eight straight points for Bird to
break a 62-all tie.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"They kind of had us there in the first half, but my
teammates and I play hard. After the
talk at half-time, we picked our play up," stated Williams, now having posted
back-to-back double-doubles in wins over Cosby and Meadowbrook.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>On the night, Williams finished with a game-high 29
points on 11-of-20 shooting from the field, 5-for-6 from the foul line, and
grabbed 10 rebounds to go with four assists.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>In the off-season, Bird graduated seniors like power forward
Christian Smith and point guard Harvey Freeman, plus saw sharp shooter Robert
Johnson transfer to Benedictine. All
three players were valuable members of the Skyhawks' team that won the Central
Region and fell to Norcom in the 2011 Group AAA State Championship game.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Williams knew he would have to raise his play another
level after getting significant playing time a year ago as a freshman.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"My Coach told me all summer that I would have to step
my role up and I just embraced it and went to work in the gym.
style=> Hopefully all my hard work will pay off,"
Williams noted.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>As long as he continues to progress, Williams seems
destined to be recruited by a handful of schools at the next level before he

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"Kenny's a special, special kid and the sky's the limit
for him," added Manns. "Even last year
when he came on the court, he never made mistakes.
style=> As a Coach, you're nitpicking and looking for
things. He's a slasher, can defend,
score and is definitely a Division I player."

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Reddick scored 13 points for Bird, making all six of
his free-throws in the fourth quarter.
Sophomores C.J. Mines, who
came in averaging 13.5PPG, Carlos Thrash
and Malik Johnson combined to
score 22 points for the Skyhawks. All of
those contributions were important with Meadowbrook getting 25 points and 12
rebounds from 6-foot-2 junior shooting guard
normal'>Brandon Cheeks.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>The Monarchs were done in by their inconsistent outside
shooting, converting only 4-of-24 field goals from three-point range.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>When L.C. Bird lost to James River 78-49 last week,
many began wondering what was wrong with the Skyhawks.
style=> It turned out to be a loss that has made Bird
hungrier and determined to prove they are better than that one result indicted.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"This group is a special group.
style=> They're tough, no matter how hard I get on
them. The next morning in school, they're
waiting at my classroom door, and they have such good chemistry and believe in
each other," said Manns, whose team has responded with two quality wins since
suffering that lopsided district loss.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"James River shot the ball so well [and] I can't take
anything away from what they did. They
had two size mismatches and we allowed them to take advantage of that.
style=> You hate to lose to have to learn, but we
learned so much from that game about how important it is to defend for the
entire game. It's like when you're a
little kid and your mom tells you don't touch the stove because it's hot.
style=> You can harp, holler and scream about things,
but you don't believe in it until you touch that stove and that's exactly what
these guys are going through."

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Bird takes on Dominion District foe Midlothian on
Tuesday night. Meadowbrook, which
dropped to 1-2 overall under first-year Head Coach
normal'>Jake Oliver, squares off against Central District foes Dinwiddie
and Prince George this week.

Postgame Audio with
L.C. Bird Coach Troy Manns


Bird 77:
Kenny Williams - - 29Pts. 11-20FG, 5-6FT, 10Reb. 4Ast.
JaVonte Reddick - - 13Pts. 3-11FG, 1-8 3's, 6-6FT
C.J. Mines - - 9Pts. 3-7FG, 2Ast.
Carlos Thrash - - 7Pts. 3-4FG, 2Ast.
Malik Johnson - - 6Pts. 3-4FG, 4Reb. 3Ast.

Brandon Cheeks - - 25Pts. 9-17FG, 2-9 3's, 5-6FT, 12Reb. 2Ast. 2Stl.
Terelle Whitaker - - 9Pts. 4-10FG, 5Reb.
Kharon Conway - - 9Pts. 3-6FG, 3-4FT, 5Reb. 4Ast. 2Stl.
Khalil Hardy - - 8Pts. 4-15FG, 2Reb. 3Ast.
Lavonte Hights - - 8Pts. 4-7FG, 3Reb. 2Stl.



115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";text-decoration:none;text-underline:
none'>Matthew Hatfield
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serves as State Basketball Analyst for
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Network. Check out
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and you can also read his work in the
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To contact Matthew, please e-mail
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