Immediately after the 5pm Amelia Academy vs. Steward School contest took place, I decided to head over to the Midlothian area, making sure I arrived in time for another Thursday evening game at 7:15pm. The Midlothian Trojans took the very brief nine-minute drive over to Clover Hill High School to face up against the Cavaliers. I saw Midlothian play twice back in September during the Meadowbrook High School Fall League, while last night was my first time checking out the Clover Hill squad. An evenly-matched setup of the two teams, the game resulted as pretty exciting for the most part, with Midlothian hanging on to take home the win. The Trojans now have extended their record to 4-5.
Midlothian – 57
Clover Hill – 44
Some Game Notes
- In the opening quarter, both teams played at a similar patient pace to score off of half court sets. As the game went into the second period, however, the pace saw an increase in its speed and both teams started launching/making three-pointers from all over the floor. A bunch of back-and-forth traded baskets made it a five-point game by the end of the first half.
- Midlothian really stepped up their defense in the third period; the Trojans held Clover Hill to only five scored points in the quarter. This mainly resulted by Midlothian constantly picking off steals and shutting down open gaps, forcing Clover Hill to keep shooting from outside of the perimeter. The Cavaliers’ hot streak from the outside died down in the second half, while Midlothian didn’t miss a beat in their offense. By the end of the third, the Trojans had increased their lead to 19; the largest lead they would attain. I had a feeling the game was about to become out of Clover Hill’s reach.
- The Cavaliers had a different strategy entering the final quarter. They decided to go in a full-court press and benefitted greatly out of it. Turnovers started to occur more for Midlothian and Clover Hill took advantage by making their way to the rim before Midlothian had the chance to set up their half-court defense. Entering the fourth quarter down by 19, Clover Hill showed an admirable comeback and wing Carter Smith ’19 hit a corner three to make it only a six-point game with about three minutes remaining in regulation.
- Some free throws and outlet passes for finishes helped Midlothian escape with the win. However, I feel the outcome could’ve resulted in a different manner had Clover Hill earned some more calls and made a few extra perimeter shots. The Cavaliers gained some serious momentum in their comeback, making it a more exhilarating final eight minutes than anticipated. I thought the team looked best when they went into a press; they have enough athletic tools to make opponents uncomfortable.
Standouts from Thursday Night
Henry Davis ’19 – Midlothian: The senior two-guard exploded for what was perhaps the best shooting performance I’ve seen so far this season. Davis knocked down six three-pointers… a game-high. He did very well in moving without the ball to spot up for shots but also showed an ability to put it on the floor at times too. Defensively, he initiated the Trojans’ fast break offense at times by picking off passes thrown to the wing and/or high post area. His feel for the game simply looked better than everyone else on the floor around him. I remember him also making my standout list back during the Meadowbrook Fall League… college programs need to take note of the unsigned senior.
Corie Addo ’21 – Clover Hill: Addo had his home crowd on their feet from the very start after he used his slick handle to make a Midlothian defender fall to the ground less than thirty seconds into the opening period. That was just one example of the sophomore’s shiftiness with the ball, getting looks near the rim pretty much whenever he wanted; he can really create space. Still, his ability to make shots off of the bounce didn’t look as strong. I’d consider him more of a driver, currently. Addo came up big for his team in their comeback, taking Midlothian defenders to the basket constantly and drawing fouls. There’s a lot to like about the young combo guard: he has strength, a tight handle, and excellent body control.
Neil Richburg ’19 – Midlothian: The Trojans’ lead guard did well in using his quick first-step to get into the teeth of Clover Hill’s defense and earned the most trips to the foul line within Midlothian’s roster. He also had one of the strongest defensive games for the Trojans; not allowing his guarded man to receive passes easily. At one point, he absolutely shut down the left side of the perimeter with his pestering defensive play. Richburg definitely has the looks of a heady two-way guard. I feel that his impact will become even greater if he can show more of an outside shot to go along with his way of getting to the rim.
Tyla Bournes ’19 – Clover Hill: A stocky guy who can play multiple positions for Clover Hill, Bournes checked into the game and had a big role in the second half comeback. His impact didn’t just involve scoring, however. He defended, grabbed rebounds, and showed some of the most hustle for the Cavaliers in the final two quarters. It quickly became apparent how bad he and Addo wanted to win the game for their team; those two guys really put Clover Hill on their backs. With his frame, Bournes can muscle his way into the paint but also showed some comfort in stepping out to shoot the long ball. At his 5’11” height, however, playing as a lead ball-handler would be required at the next level. Right now, Bournes acts mainly as a utility wing.
Mason Schlensker ’19 – Midlothian: Schlensker set the tone early for the Trojans by his rebounding and finishing around the rim; he had the best first quarter out of the ten players on the floor. As the game continued on and his teammate, Davis, went off for his shooting clinic, Schlensker’s scoring wasn’t required much but he still continued to have a good night on the glass and helped put the game away in the fourth quarter with his patient finishes. Simply put, he made baskets when they mattered the most and gave Midlothian several second chances with his respected hustle.
Be sure to also check out my recap of Amelia Academy vs. Steward School, which took place on the same evening (1/3/19)!