"It's All About The Game"
WT Woodson sticks to plan, gains state semis
Ron Bailey, Publisher
Cavs' Bowles again makes it happen.
March 3, 2013 - Facing a resurgent Battlefield High School (VA) Bobcat team, WT Woodson (VA) did what they have done all season long, calling upon sophomore point guard Eric Bowles to find teammates and/or score. Again he responded, basically delivering the Cavaliers a 65-52, Virginia AAA Northern Region championship, Friday night.
How did Bowles respond? Facing a second half Battlefield man to man defense its coach, Kurt Pauly admitted afterward was designed “to keep him out of the paint”, by sagging into the lane in help position, Bowles consistently found seams, where he either found open shooters or finished at the rim himself. Aiding the Cavs was a spread offensive formation, good at exposing/expanding defensive gaps, which Bowles exploited with his quickness.
Eric Bowles, on the attack.
“He did a good job penetrating and kicking it out” summed senior forward Alex Boock of Bowles’ performance. “He’s a big part of our offense”.
During his school’s celebratory din – Robinson High School’s cavernous arena was rocking - looking happy and satisfied, Bowles agreed the Bobcats lane packing was a successful tactic as “We couldn’t make a (outside) shot” in the first stanza - and the scheme led to Battlefield’s “little run in the second half”. Bowles went on to simply note “We had to come out and play our game” in response to Battlefield’s scheme.
He finished with 13 points, with senior forward Peter Murray dramatically capitalizing on two of Eric’s passes, allowing him to sink back to back three balls early in the third quarter. Those shots were key; prior to that Battlefield had crept into within three at 40-37, following a 26-14 halftime deficit.
Murray paced Woodson, a Fairfax County school, with 15 points, while Boock accompanied Bowles, scoring 13. Senior forward Tommy Stepka contributed 12 points for the team, now 25-4 on the season.
Battlefield (19-10 and hailing from Prince William County) was led in scoring by junior guard Trevor Blondin’s 18 points. Jamison Glover, also a junior backcourt player, added 17.
The first half was not memorable for Pauly et al, given multiple misses, defensive lapses and forced shots. Of the latter, Battlefield’s coach admitted “I thought there was a little bit of that”, but as the game progressed, his offensive system defined as “Freelance with structure” became more effective, despite Woodson’s size advantage.
Overall Pauly admitted “I was happy with our defensive effort”, which was of course undermined by Bowles’ work.
Now the Cavs are headed to the VCU’s Siegel Center in Richmond, where they Henrico, today at 3:15p. A victory in that semifinal would propel the team to Friday’s 9p ‘chip game.
“We’re excited. It’s maybe the first time our school his going to Richmond” shared Boock, clearly happy with the accomplishment yet understanding the work is not over.
And if the Cavs are to garner that heretofore elusive boys hoops championship, they will likely rely heavily on Bowles. Again.
for an album of exclusive photos.
When talked to earlier this season, Boock indicated prep school was an option going forward. It still is, yet one that's becoming a distant, as Susquehanna and Randolph-Macon, both DIII schools, are in hot pursuit. Proving that point was the former’s head coach, Jack Marcinek, in attendance last Friday.
In college, Boock will have to get stronger and work on his lateral quickness, thereby allowing him to guard perimeter players. Is a sleeper.
Trevoe Blondin – This 6’2”, 155 pound junior guard gets buckets, generally from the perimeter, where he can spot up and stop and pop, though he will drive. Seems to have a knack for getting his shot off.
Reportedly is not getting much recruiting love at this point, but his head coach Kurt Pauly is hopeful that will change. To make that happen, Blondin should work on his ball handling and separation moves, allowing him to be a true two guard in college. Also must get stronger.
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