Closing out the drive

Abby Taylor (15) defended  a New Life Camp player while Caitlyn Holtzman (back) gave chase during KVA’s 48-23 loss on Friday evening.  

HENDERSON — The varsity basketball programs of Crossroads Christian and Kerr-Vance Academy were both in action at home on Friday evening, while Vance Charter and Oxford Prep looked to generate early-season momentum in volleyball.

Kerr-Vance Academy

The KVA men’s basketball program engaged in a tough battle with Woodlawn, but couldn’t overcome the consequences of a slow start and ultimately fell 57-50, suffering its first loss in the 2020-21 season.

“One thing I can say about our guys is that they are not going to quit until the end,” head coach Brandon Dickerson said. “We have to do better in getting out to a hot start, which was a problem for us last year, but we talked about that after the game on Friday. If we were ready to go at the tip, the game probably looks a lot different at the end.”

Dickerson said that Woodlawn’s superior size prevented the Spartans from finding cohesion on offense and led to several lapses on defense. But he applauded his players for persevering and finding some momentum in the second half.

Junior Jay-Quan Pierce led KVA in scoring with 16 points, while senior Joel Lewis followed with 12 points. Dickerson also praised junior Joseph Knott for making plays on both ends of the floor.

Even though KVA sits 1-1 on the year, Dickerson believes the program has the potential to win several more games this year and is confident that the players can do it as long as chemistry and communication improve.

“We need to gel as a team,” Dickerson said. “We’re only two games into this year, so there’s no need to hit the panic button, but we have to get better in our communication on both offense and defense. We have some senior leaders that we expect will help with that communication issue going forward, but if we can clean up the little things then I think we’ll be alright.”

The KVA women’s basketball program encountered similar issues before the men’s team took the floor on Friday, as they sustained a lopsided 48-23 loss to open the season against New Life Camp.

“If I had to give us a grade, it would be a B,” head coach Marcus Foster said. “We looked really bad in the first half, but with us having low numbers, we aren’t able to have traditional five-on-five scrimmages in practice. The girls played a lot better in the second half, and I think we ended up outscoring [New Life Camp] 23-14.”

Foster said that his senior class of Juliana Negron, Anna Blake Overby and Cheyenne Owen were crucial in keeping KVA’s morale high throughout all four quarters, and is optimistic that their leadership, combined with better communication, will make the team more competitive through the rest of the schedule.

KVA’s teams next take the court against St. Thomas More Academy at home on Dec. 1.

Crossroads Christian School

A tough non-conference slate for the CCS men’s basketball team continued on Friday evening, as the Colts had to settle for a one-sided 80-39 loss to United Faith Christian Academy.

“United Faith is one of the top teams in the state,” head coach Scottie Richardson said. “Last year they had three Division I players in the starting lineup, and this year they are tall and tremendously deep. We kept the energy throughout and I liked how we played, but we were just outmatched.”

A strong first quarter by United Faith, in which they outscored CCS 27-9, helped them to control the game through the final 24 minutes of competition. Crossroads managed to improve on defense, but could not generate enough points to overcome the deficit.

Senior Asher Fulk tallied 12 points for CCS in his first game back from injury. Junior Andres Prince, who averaged over 20 points in his first three games with the team, struggled to score points against United Faith’s defense, but he ended his night in double figures with 14 points.

CCS enters the Thanksgiving break with an 0-4 record, but Richardson believes his team has been properly tested by four strong, non-conference opponents and is confident that will translate into wins once conference play begins.

One more non-conference game remains for CCS, against a Greenfield team that Richardson knows will be another tough challenge with his program still developing cohesion on both offense and defense.

“Greenfield is going to be a little different than the bigger teams we’ve played,” Richardson said. “They don’t have the size that United Faith or Cape Fear [Christian Academy] possess, but they have two of the best freshmen in the state, and one of them already has offers from Wake Forest and Vanderbilt, so this will be a good matchup for us.”

United Faith’s women’s basketball program also made short work of the CCS women’s program by defeating it 56-22, which dropped the Colts to 0-3 on the season under the guidance of interim head coach Cammy Simmons.

The two CCS varsity programs will make the trip to Wilson for their matchup against Greenfield on Dec. 1.

Volleyball

Falls Lake Academy 3, Vance Charter 0 (F)

Roxboro Community 3, Oxford Prep 2 (F)