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The Caroline High Cavalier varsity basketball team won two and lost one on Feb. 4 and 5.
On Feb. 4, Caroline sneaked past Courtland 43-41 with Jaron Clipper put on a rebounding exhibition as the Cavaliers out-rebounded the Cougars 38-19 on the Cougars’ home court.
On Feb. 5, Northumberland visited Caroline High School and the Cavaliers acted like anything but the gracious host by handing Northumberland a 78-55 defeat to help them remember their visit to Milford.
The tide turned as the Cavaliers visited James Monroe on Feb. 7 and were greeted by a JM team ready to avenge a 1-point loss at Caroline High School in January. The Yellow Jackets were true to their word as they defeated the Cavaliers 70-58.
Both James Monroe and Caroline opened the game in a 2-3 zone, but it was JM that showed they were there to play ball and they used their zone for three quarters of the game to shut down the Cavalier offense. In the first quarter, which JM won handily 18-3, Caroline did not make a single layup, all scoring coming from the charity stripe. With the center closed down, Caroline attempted to rely on their 3-point shot to score but was not able to make anything happen.
The second quarter evened out a bit when Caroline went into a man-to-man defense, but by that time, the JM players were running on confidence stemming from the large lead they had achieved. That same confidence carried them through the third quarter where they built up a 24-point lead. In addition to not being able to put up the points as they have in the past, the Cavaliers were robbed of rebounds the entire night as they had a hard time boxing out against the Yellow Jackets.
In the last quarter, Caroline woke up and played the type ball they have become known for this season as they poured in six 3-pointers and began taking over the boards, but it was too little too late as JM had built a substantial lead and used their speed and intensity to keep Caroline at a safe distance as they carried the night.
The rebounding of Antonio Edwards and Nick Cook sparked JM from the very beginning, pulling down double doubles with 20 rebounds and 12 points for Edwards and 19 rebounds and 17 points scored for Cook. But it was game scoring leader, James McFadden, with 19 points, who summarized the Yellow Jacket approach to the game when he stated, “Caroline’s a great team and they beat us by one point last time. We had a player injured. So I told the coach I would step up as one of the leaders of the team, and we did.”
Leading the Cavaliers was Will Howard with 19 and Aaron Lewis with 10.
Coach Antoine Johnson remarked, “We haven’t played like this since the beginning of the season. I’m not used to this. They showed great effort in the fourth quarter, but you cannot win games playing only a quarter of the game.”
Caroline 3 15 10 30 - 58
James Monroe 18 13 21 21 - 70
Caroline 21 10-18 58 Three pointers: 6 (W. Howard 3, A. Lewis 2, D. Young)
James Monroe 27 13-27 70 Three pointers: 3 (P. Burt, N. Cook, J. Mcfadden)
On Feb. 5, the Northumberland Indians came to Milford in what looked like at the outset to be a fairly competitive game as the Indians took apart the Cavalier zone. Caroline’s versatility in defense was put to work by the Indians as they came out shooting well, drawing the Cavaliers out of their zone as they found they were not able to allow Northumberland to have the outside shot.
Halfway through the second quarter while Northumberland was enjoying a 10-point lead, Caroline changed to a man-to-man defense and never looked back. The Cavaliers went on to erase the previous deficit and build a 7-point lead by the end of the half. Closing out the third quarter, the Cavaliers were well in control with a 60-38 lead, giving those who do not always get a chance to play to get in the game and be loudly cheered on by the regular players. Everyone on the team played and all but three scored.
Northumberland head coach Michael Stevenson stated, “We came out strong and then size and talent caught up with us.”
“They had some excellent shooters,” Coach Antonio Johnson commented. “The zone has worked for us before but it was not going to work for us tonight. We had to go man-to-man.”
Jaron Clipper led the Cavaliers with 17 points, followed by Darius Young with 13.
Northumberland’s Hakeem Shabazz also had 17 points as their high scorer. Malik Brown scored 8 points for the Indians.
Northumberland 16 10 12 17 — 55
Caroline 11 22 27 18 — 78
Northumberland Totals: 21 7-15 55 Three pointers: 6 (D. Harqum, W. Jackson, H. Shabazz 2, B. Walker 2)
Caroline Totals: 28 15-30 78 Three pointers: 7 (D. Carey 2 , W. Howard, A. Lewis, J. Monroe, R. Parker, D. Young).
The Feb. 4 game with Courtland High School was more of a chess match than a basketball game as Caroline wrapped up the second game against the Cougars this season, 43-31, giving the Cavaliers a sweep in this Battlefield District rivalry.
It was Caroline’s 2-3 zone that kept Courtland at bay as they worked it and kept the Cougars dependent on their outside shots. The zone flowed as one unit, never giving Courtland an opportunity to make their fast break happen. On occasion, players did get inside the zone. Jaron Clipper stood guarding the basket and pulled down almost everything that did not go in. Communication was key as the Cavaliers were constantly calling to one another and giving direction.
In the second half, Courtland picked up their intensity and put the Caroline zone to task. With both teams knowing they should and could win, they played as if every shot counted. With 2:43 to go in the game, the Cavaliers were behind by 3 points. Scoring the next 6 points to go up by 3, Caroline missed a free throw with 13.5 seconds to go and sweated out a missed shot by Kyle Talley of Courtland as the Cavaliers held on to defeat Courtland 43-41.
“I was real pleased with the effort the team put forth,” Coach Johnson commented after the game. “I told Jaron (Clipper) he needed to dominate the boards.”
And he did, pulling down 14. Rebounds were a large part of the Caroline victory as the Cavaliers out-rebounded the Cougars 38-19.
Jaron Clipper led all players with his double double of 13 points and 14 rebounds.
Terrell Robinson led Courtland with 11 points, followed by Jabari Allen and Kyle Talley each with 10.
Caroline 9 17 10 7 43
Courtland 9 13 11 8 41
Caroline Totals: 16 11–21 43 Three point shots: 0
Courtland Totals: 17 4–9 41 Three point shots: 3 (Talley 2, Fahrens)
Caroline was scheduled to play at Colonial Beach High School on Feb. 10 and host the Chancellor Chargers on Feb. 11.