Tuscarora Basketball: Building for the Future

By: Michael Nerantzis
Leesburg VA- As people look back on this basketball season, it may be easy to say that it was an embarrassing fail, but in reality, the young Husky players gained experience they may not have gotten at other schools. Coach Justin Brown, who was originally an assistant at Potomac Falls, did a great job changing the way they played ball. “We’re really gonna work on teambuilding going into the spring and summer, and the basketball will come after that,” said Coach Brown.
Even though arch-rival Woodgrove beat Tuscarora both times this season and managed to compile a better record, most of their players came over from Loudon Valley, a division three powerhouse. That is a huge advantage for them because they had a lot of team camaraderie already built unlike the Huskies who essentially had to start from scratch with players from the two schools that flowed into Tuscarora, Heritage and Loudon County.
But, the Huskies do have young promising freshman talent in their two varsity players John Boris and Josh Middleton, and their star JV player, Cole Herdman. Cole, who has been a points machine all season, averaged 13 points per game in the final four of the season. All three of them have gotten a tremendous amount of playing time all season which will pay big dividends in the future because of the real game experience instead of just practicing with the big guys.
The highlight of the season for the boys freshman season was the last game of the year when they obliterated the Park View by thirty points. Coach of the freshman team Damian Days chimed in after the game, “It was a team effort, a total team effort.” The stats don’t lie either, the high scorer was the unexpected Neeraj Dalvi who finished with nine points. It is unusual to see your high scorer in a blowout only have nine points. Although they only finished 5-16 on the season, Coach Days, filled with exuberance of the teams win, had this to say, “It’s alright, call us 5-16.” Coach Days is a tech teacher at Tuscarora and is widely popular around the school, being a fan and staff favorite due to his ability to connect with students and his style of coaching. “He may seem off the wall, but he’s a really good coach,” says one of the Huskies basketball managers Alika Sledd.
A very important aspect of building a great basketball program is having a great fan base that comes to the games. In the final game against the Park View Patriots, the stadium was packed on the home side (our side) even though we hadn’t won a game. It wasn’t just parents and grandparents coming out for their last chance to see the team, it was the students who came out as loud and vibrant as game one. For the first couple minutes of the game, the Huskies gave the crowed something to cheer about with a 12-12 score until the Patriots went on a nine point run making it 21-12 at the end of the first quarter. Devin Ross, who scored four points in the first and ten in the second, was nearly half of the Huskies points in the first half. Although Devin didn’t play as big of a role in the second half, Tuscarora made the game interesting coming back from a ten point deficit to tie the game at 55. But then, like the first half, they let the Patriots start to run away with it. Capping off the 79-65 victory, Alec Domdkowski on Park View had electrifying one handed dunk near the end of regulation, which propperly summed up the season for the Huskies.