Amazingly, we’re already one-third of the way through the Peninsula District basketball schedule. While that’s not enough to time to make any definite conclusions, we can make some early observations.
Here are how things look so far in the boys’ race:
1. Hampton (6-0, 6-0). The defending state champions remain awfully small, but they’re still the team to beat until proven otherwise. Anthony Barber (17.0 ppg) and Jordan Baker (14.8) are the top two scorers, but Cyonte Melvin (10.8) has emerged as a threat.
2. Kecoughtan (6-1, 6-0). Though Hampton is favorite the rest of the way, the Warriors have the best mix of size, talent, and depth. Rodney Bullock (21.7 ppg) is one of four players on the roster 6-7 or taller, and Greg Alexander (17.9) is an elite scorer.
(Oh, in case you’re wondering: The first Hampton- Kecoughtan showdown is Jan. 8 on Woodland Road).
3. Phoebus (5-1, 5-1). The Phantoms had to change some things with the departure of Troy Williams, but their only loss was by six points to Kecoughtan. F Josh Davis (19.0 ppg), a 6-5 transfer from Heritage, has been a nice addition.
4. Bethel (3-4, 3-3). The Bruins have had the toughest schedule so far with Hampton, Phoebus and Kecoughtan (the latter two on the road) among their first six games. G Rakeen Brown (22.3), the PD’s top scorer, is almost unguardable at times.
5. Woodside (3-3, 3-3). Two of the Wolverines’ three losses have been by five points or less, including 65-60 at Hampton. Woodside’s newbies will need more time to jell, but senior Trevor Lyons (14.7) is carrying the load.
6. Warwick (3-4, 2-4). The Raiders already have won two more district games than they did last season, which is a start. Led by sophomore G Lewis Freeman (15.6 ppg), Warwick should get a few more.
7. Heritage (2-4, 2-4). The Hurricanes were seen as a potential upstart this season but so far have been unable to pull any surprises.
8. Menchville (2-4, 2-4). Three of the Monarchs’ losses came by six points or less. They’re young, but only a fool would doubt Dennis Koutoufas’s coaching ability.
9. Denbigh (2-7, 1-5). The Patriots nearly pulled off the upset of the year Tuesday night. Instead, they lost in overtime to Phoebus.
10. Gloucester (0-6, 0-6). Not only are the Dukes’ winless, they’ve lost five games by at least 45 points.