Commonwealth District Playoff Preview

"Verdana","sans-serif"'> is proud to continue its AAA
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throughout the postseason all the way to the State Final at VCU's Siegel Center
in March.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>We now turn our attention to the Commonwealth District
Tournament, where three teams will join Mountain View in the Northwest Region
playoffs. Our predictions can be seen
below; over the past two years we've nailed 78% of our projections.
style=> Find out how we do by staying tuned to the
site through the entire playoffs!

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>It has been a banner season for the Mountain View
Wildcats and Kevin Brown, the team's
Head Coach since 2006 who was a standout player at North Stafford and went on
to play professionally in England. The
Wildcats are riding an 18-game winning streak, the longest among all Group AAA
teams in the state. They've enjoyed a
steady climb to the Commonwealth District regular season crown from being a #4
seed two years ago, to earning the #2 seed last season and not losing to any
league foe in 2012-13. Mountain View
does it with razor-sharp execution on offense, sharing the ball and defensively
by frustrating their opponents into submission with a hard to crack 1-3-1 zone.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>The catalyst for Mountain View is Brown's son,
5-foot-10 junior point guard Lucas Brown
(14PPG, 6APG), an All-District performer a season ago who has been even
better this year. Around him, the pieces
aren't shabby either with twins Tyrell
Mason and Tyrus
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'> Mason, senior
normal'>Joe Wilson and senior Xavier
Fisher. Tyrell scored 19 points in
the regular season finale, combining size at 6-foot-5 with smarts to give the
opposition fits. Tyrus
provides them with a consistent outside shooter to stretch the defense.
style=> Fisher may get the nod as most improved, and
Wilson is a reigning Second Team All-District performer that plays strong
offensively and defensively.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Three players are shooting over 75% from the foul line
for Mountain View, which is among the many major concerns for Orange County,
making the district playoffs for the first time.
style=> The Fighting Hornets fell by 51 in December
to the Wildcats and then by 28 in the regular season finale, so it shows the
progress they have made. Sophomore guard
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'> Clark had 20 points and three treys
against them this year in one meeting, while
normal'>Damien Clark is capable, which he showed when had 18 points and
four treys in an upset of Riverbend.
style=> That being said, they have been held under 40
points 10 times.

style=> Mountain View 63-30.
style=> On paper, this is a substantial mismatch.
style=> In many ways it's remarkable that Orange
County beat out a Brooke Point team that won the regular season district title
just two years ago for the eighth and final seed in the league playoffs.
style=> Their next step as a program will be
advancing in the postseason, but don't expect that to happen until 2014 or 2015
at the earliest. Maybe the most impressive
thing about Mountain View during their 18-game win streak is that only five
games have been decided by single-digits.
Each of the last two years they have lost in the district tournament title
game, falling to Stafford in 2011 and North Stafford in 2012.
style=> This is a very determined, hungry Wildcats bunch
playing with a purpose.



"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Champions of the Commonwealth District Tournament in
2011, the Stafford Indians are trying to get back to that point and they have
been hanging around in most every game.
That's rather impressive because Danny
Tryon's team graduated nine seniors from a year ago.
style=> Fortunately for them, they brought back a few
good ones with experience and skills, headlined by senior guard
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'> Harris.
style=> Known as 'Dada,' Harris brings speed in the
open floor and playmaking ability to the table.
Albemarle won the first regular season meeting back on December 18th by
a count of 55-52, but Stafford got revenge on the first of February, 58-52 in a
contest where Harris scored 15 of his 22 points in the second half.
style=> Senior forward
normal'>Evan Greening added 20 points in that victory.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>That wasn't Greening's only strong showing this
year. He stepped up with 15 points and
12 rebounds versus North Stafford and is a force on the backboards for this
team. Another senior guard,
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>Ryan Jones, stabilizes them at times,
and a player that could be an x-factor is
normal'> Evans. Inserted into the
starting lineup in early January, Evans struck for 20 points and four treys
against North Stafford, and in a game that figures to be nip-and-tuck
throughout, a couple of long range shots can swing things very easily.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>For the second year in a row, Albemarle enters the
Commonwealth District Tournament with a record of 12-10 overall, 8-8 in league
play, except this time they are the #5 seed instead of the #6 seed.
style=> They don't have a double-double machine like
Andrew Mann anymore, but they do have a couple of streaky scorers to watch out
for in Harmon Hawkins and
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>De Mallory, a tandem that combined for
30 points the last meeting. Coach
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>Greg Maynard was disappointed in his
team's rebounding down the stretch in the six-point loss to Stafford to start
February. If they can limit the Indians
to one shot and execute their sets in the half-court like they're hoping, then
there's a good chance they advance to the semifinals.

style=> Stafford 54-52.
style=> This is a tricky matchup for Stafford, and
like most 4/5 games in the district playoffs, it qualifies as a toss-up.
style=> What's unique about Albemarle is while they
aren't the most athletic or quickest team in the district, they have three
forwards that can play inside-out and shoot the ball.
style=> In fact, Albemarle made six treys in that
last meeting. Greening and Evans are
vital to the Indians having success.
Look for the loser to probably be stuck on 52 points since that was the
case the last time they met. Down the
stretch in a tight game, Harris may be difference with how he can create
scoring opportunities.



"Verdana","sans-serif"'>If it wasn't for the amazing run Mountain View is on,
everybody would be talking about what Colonial Forge is doing.
style=> Coach Jason
John's Eagles has the program thinking about capturing a district
tournament title in just year two at the helm.
Last season, this team was a #8 seed in the district playoffs.
style=> The Eagles are red hot, having won seven
consecutive games with their last loss coming back on January 11th to Mountain
View. Meanwhile, Riverbend
under Coach Eric Davis
style='font-weight:normal'>, had dropped six in a row until
defeating Albemarle 53-39 in the regular season finale.
style=> Colonial Forge won both regular season
meetings, each being somewhat of a defensive struggle at 42-40 and 49-37.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>For surging Colonial Forge, their go-to guy is
sophomore guard Marco Haskins, an
All-District performer as a freshman. It's
extremely hard to pull that off, but Haskins did, averaging 14 points per game
and he's hovering around that number again with four other sophomores seeing significant
minutes and three seniors. That's a nice
blend for Coach Davis. Senior forward
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>Ignacio Alleyne has
come into his own, posting a handful of double-doubles.
style=> For Riverbend, they
go as far as versatile senior Elijah
Brown (18.8PPG), the district's top scorer, can take them.
style=> Brown had 24 points and 10 steals against
Brooke Point and even put up 20 points vs. Mountain View.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>After Brown, there's a bit of a drop-off for the Bears,
but they are counting on junior forward/center
normal'>Buck Buchanan and Chris
Baird, who had 17 points and four treys in a game recently, to give them
production. Early in the year, Colonial
Forge seemed to be where Riverbend is now and that's
turning the ball over frequently. The
Eagles had 16 turnovers in the first half alone in a 10-point loss to Stafford,
but they've cleaned up their issues in that department pretty well.
style=> Riverbend turned it
over 30 times against Mountain View, and in close games they've struggled to
find ways to score when it's not in the hands of Brown.

style=> Colonial Forge 51-42.
style=> Surely getting that win over Albemarle had to
do wonders for Riverbend's confidence because
otherwise they would come in having lost as many games in a row as Colonial
Forge has won consecutively. My biggest
question in this matchup is can Riverbend manufacture
enough points to win? Brown can take
over a game in this district, but he needs his supporting cast to take some of
the load off his shoulders. Colonial Forge did go 7-of-18 from the foul line
the last time they squared off, so if they do it again, my guess would be the
win streak gets snapped. Ultimately,
class=SpellE>Riverbend is too turnover prone,
and as long as Colonial Forge's defense keeps Brown at bay, it's their game to



"Verdana","sans-serif"'>The North Stafford Wolverines are coming off their
first regular season Commonwealth District title in 31 years.
style=> They entered the campaign with high
expectations, but couldn't quite take down Mountain View, falling by seven at
home and one on the road. In addition,
the Wolverines were tripped up by Riverbend and
Colonial Forge in a couple of puzzling double-digit losses.
style=> In Massaponax, they
will face a team that has tested them twice this season.
style=> Darren
Hickman's Panthers fell to North Stafford back in December in overtime,
67-62. When they met again in January,
it was another narrow North Stafford win, 56-53.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>A couple of football standouts in Virginia Tech signee
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>Anthony Shegog
and James Madison signee Brandon
class=SpellE>Ravenel give the Wolverines some athleticism on the
court. Both are rated three-star
prospects by in football.
Senior Lyndon White (13.5PPG)
is their primary offensive threat with Jordan
Thompson and Usie
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'> Miller not lagging far behind.
style=> Miller has really hit the boards hard and
come up with some key ones throughout the year, yanking down 11 vs. Albemarle
for example. However, if multiple parts
among those five are off, they're in big trouble.
style=> When all five are clocking, they're mighty

lost its leading scorer from a year ago in Trevon
Jones, who put up 20 points per game and is now at Virginia Wesleyan College,
one of the national powers on the Division III scene.
style=> For the third straight year, the Panthers
find themselves as the #7 seed as they are still trying to get over the
hump. Junior guard
normal'>Aaron McFarland (13PPG) might
be able to get them over it before he graduates.
style=> McFarland, also a solid rebounder, makes 85%
of his free-throws and is a weapon from the outside with nearly 40 3's.
style=> Senior guard
normal'>Joey Foster is one of their main distributors and a key in this
game how he handles the ball pressure North Stafford throws his way.

style=> North Stafford 60-53.
style=> Brad Lear's Wolverines aren't quite the same
team we saw a season ago led by T.J. Jones nearly take them into the State
Playoffs. But what they do have is a
good mix of experience, senior leadership and some football guys who
athletically can pose problems for Massaponax.
style=> This figures to be a tight game for a variety
of reasons, though. Massaponax
has had eight games decided by five points or less, going 3-5 in those
situations. Each of North Stafford's
last seven games has been decided by eight points or fewer.
style=> It's a dangerous game for the Wolverines, but
in the end, I expect them to initiate enough contact to get the Panthers in
foul trouble and pull it out late.

Commonwealth District Tournament Picks:

style=> Mountain View over Orange County; Stafford
over Albemarle; Colonial Forge over Riverbend; North
Stafford over Massaponax

style=> Mountain View over Stafford; Colonial Forge over
North Stafford

style=> Mountain View over Colonial Forge

MVP: Mountain View's Lucas Brown



115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";text-decoration:none;text-underline:
none'>Matthew Hatfield
style='font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif"'>
serves as State Basketball Analyst for
style='font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";
115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif"'>, part of the
Network. Check out
text-decoration:none;text-underline:none'>Hatfield's Twitter page
115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif"'> for more sports related updates,
and you can also read his work in the
style='font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";
text-decoration:none;text-underline:none'>Suffolk News Herald
115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif"'>.
To contact Matthew, please e-mail
style='font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";
115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif"'>, and don't forget to listen to him
on High School Sports Talk from 10AM to Noon on
style='font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";
text-decoration:none;text-underline:none'>ESPN Radio 94.1
style='font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";
115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif"'> plus watch him on the
style='font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";
text-decoration:none;text-underline:none'>Cox 11 Sports Report
115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif"'>.

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