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Barons scrimmage Colonial Heights

South Boston News / November 20, 2019
The Bluestone varsity and jayvee basketball teams held a closed scrimmage with the Colonials of Colonial Heights on Friday night in Skipwith as they prepare for the 2019-2020 season.

Both teams got in a good workout. The games were run as a teaching and learning experience so stoppages in the action were frequent for both schools.

Bluestone didn’t begin practice until last Wednesday, and it showed throughout the scrimmages. Returning players were reacquainting themselves with their offensive and defensive schemes, while some of the freshman players and tryouts were working to remember what they had learned over the previous two days.

Bluestone’s varsity squad showed themselves to be pretty much in good physical condition during their five quarters of scrimmage. The players had good output on defense — displaying decent foot movement, recognizing when to trap, shutting down passing lanes, supporting weak-side defense and the like.

A good majority of the seniors on the team were just coming off football season so the offense was not in abundance. Most of the guys had solid summer workouts but were limited on shoot-arounds during football.

Senior center-forward Michael Harris is expected to be pivotal to the Barons’ success this season. Harris was named to the James River District All-District first team last season and was also an All-Region Class 2 second team honoree.

Seniors Larry Bullock, Datrione Shearin and Chad Hayes Jr. are also back on the court for the Barons. Bullock runs the point, Shearin is a shooting guard and Hayes is a grinder under the glass.

Victor Small, a sophomore, looked very good in the scrimmage.

He attacked the rim and played well on the perimeter, sensing when to drive the lane or shoot the jumper as well as when he needed to pass the ball. He has also stepped up his defense.

Bluestone had one injury in the scrimmage and that was to Nic Abernathy who twisted his ankle.

He has a jumper beyond the arc that is hard to stop and tremendous footwork that allow him to shake his defender, in man-to-man or zone play, and he can take advantage of drives to the bucket. Abernathy also reads the court well and can deliver passes that most players on the court just don’t see open.

The Barons did lose a senior player, Nile Atwater, who was very instrumental in the team’s success last year. Atwater transferred to Brunswick Academy so Bluestone will need to fill that void.

Bluestone head coach George Lancaster added another assistant coach to the bench this season, Louis Duncan. Duncan is a Bluestone graduate and former basketball player. Duncan will join assistant coach Steve Whitten.

Baron JV Scrimmage:

The jayvee team ran more of a game type situation than the varsity, though stoppages for teaching and learning were also present during play.

The players had decent offense on the night. More importantly the squad put forward a good defense, considering they only had two days of formal practice. Several times the guys noticed trapping situations, which can be one of the hardest scenarios to recognize and execute properly, especially with younger players.

A good portion of the team moved up from the middle school this year and the players are coachable and want to learn. With more instruction and playing time the jayvees should be very competitive this season.

Lancaster said he plans on having a tentative roster out this week. Bluestone basketball fans will get to see how the 2019-2020 teams look for themselves on Friday when the Barons host Sussex Central in a pre-season matchup that is open to the public.

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