Phenom Hoops headed to the state of Virginia to check in at Virginia State University, where the VISAA semifinals were being held. Teams from multiple divisions came out to compete, looking for a chance to compete for a championship.
Check out the game reports from the day.
The Covenant School vs. Life Christian Academy
To start the day off, Life Christian and Covenant School battled it out at Virginia State University. The Covenant School found some early rhythm but Life Christian was able to get out in transition and really attack the paint with this length. Chantilou and Richardson led the way early, helping give LCA a narrow 34-28 lead at halftime. But LCA’s defense continued to turn up the pressure, allowing them their defense to create their offense and get easy baskets. Only hitting two 3-pointers in the game, the length and ability to get to the line, as well as transition baskets was too much in the end.
Final: Life Christian Academy 69 – The Covenant School 51
LCA: Kenard Richardson 17 points/ Ikechi Chantilou 20 points
Covenant: Jonas Sanker 24 points/ Nick Sanker 7 points
Eastern Mennonite vs. The Carmel School
Second game in Division III, these two teams came in ready to let it fly and that they did. Both teams weren’t afraid to show that they can shoot and knock down the outside shot. In the first half though, senior Aviwe Mahlong really helped set the standard early on with his play, showing his range and ability to create, as well as get after it on the boards, scoring 13 first-half points to help Eastern Mennonite hold a 31-22 halftime lead.
Carmel came out strong, looking to get their big man involved more in the offense, as he scored 11 of his 13 points in the second half. But Mennonite had an answer for each time Carmel looked to get back in. Holding around a 10-point lead though, Carmel started to pick up defensively, disrupting Mennonite’s offense. It helped Carmel climb back in and eventually tying the game up at 62 in the final second. But Mahlong came up big with two late free throws with 1.7 second, sealing the win and moving Eastern Mennonite on.
Final: Eastern Mennonite 64 – The Carmel School 62
EM: Aviwe Mahlong 21 points/ Adam Hatter 14 points
Carmel: Josh Campbell 16 points/ Elijah Roye 13 points
Middleburg vs. Blue Ridge
Two teams with loads of talent, one team made an incredible statement in this one. Blue Ridge came out strong and quickly built a double-digit lead. 2021 Michael Gray got the action started for Blue Ridge quickly and as a team, they made it incredibly difficult for Middleburg to find any success. They continued to make it difficult for Jaden House and Isaiah Folkes to score, as the Blue Ridge jumped out to a 34-15 halftime lead.
Their lead remained much the same, as it just wasn’t Middleburg’s day. But give credit when it is due, as Blue Ridge made it extremely difficult all throughout. Holding a 20-point lead throughout the third quarter, Blue Ridge cruised their way in impressive fashion against a very good Middleburg team.
Final: Blue Ridge 62 – Middleburg 42
Norfolk Collegiate vs. Highland
Two scoring powers between Jordan Battle and Angelo Brizzi stole the story and they didn’t disappoint. Both teams traded blows early and often. Norfolk held an early 16-13 lead behind the long ball, hitting four 3-pointers early, two of which came from Battle. Highland stepped up in the second quarter, holding Norfolk to 12 points while Salih and Brizzi got to the free-throw line and knocked down three 3-pointers.
Second half though, it was a battle between Brizzi and Battle. Battle hit several big-time shots from the perimeter while also finishing through contact. Brizzi used his speed and craftiness with the ball to attack, facilitate, and consistently get to the line. Norfolk held the for much of the second half but could not create much separation from Highland. Highland time and time again cut the lead down to two but could never get over the hump, as Norfolk Collegiate secured the 75-71 victory.
Final: Norfolk Collegiate 75 – Highland 71
NC: Jordan Battle 34 points
Highland: Angelo Brizzi 32 points
Paul VI vs. Trinity Episcopal
Two heavyweights battled it out for a chance to compete for a championship on Saturday. Both teams seemed to be trading blows and accepting the challenge their opponents were bringing. AJ Williams came out with the hot hand from deep, eventually giving Trinity a three-point lead at the end of the first. Trinity continued to play well, as Henry Coleman got in on the action. Trevor Keels and Jeremy Roach led the charge for Paul VI, with William Paige stepping up as well from three. At halftime though, Trinity Episcopal held a 37-32 lead.
In the second half, Paul VI looked to push the tempo and get on the boards better and they found success, quickly retaking the lead. Knasir McDaniel stepped up with his scoring in the second half. Trinity Episcopal did retake the 1-point lead in the fourth but Paul VI continued to attack behind Keels and Roach’s ability to knock down shots and create. Both teams battled but, in the end,, Paul VI secured the tough victory.
Final: Paul VI 76 – Trinity Episcopal 68
Paul: Trevor Keels 22 points/ Jeremy Roach 16 points
TE: Henry Coleman 24 points