Inside the PD: On Tap tonight in the Eastern Region openers

On tap tonight as the Eastern Region tournament begins at home sites:


Churchland (12-12) at Kecoughtan (21-5)

WHERE: Kecoughtan High

WHEN: 8 p.m.

OUTLOOK: Upsets can happen, but it’s hard to imagine the Truckers keeping this one close, let alone shocking the region. Churchland has lost  three of its last four heading into tonight’s first-round game. The Truckers  have three players averaging in double figure: De’Andre Demiel (14.7 ppg), Lorenzo Cherry (11.1 ppg) and Lorenzo Rodgers (10.4 ppg). The Warriors’ Rodney Bullock (21.5 ppg) has lost his scoring lead but has been the district’s best player this season. Greg Alexander (15.4 ppg) is a fearless shooter and sophomore PG Marcell Haskett (9.4 ppg) is an emerging star in the PD. Truckers have given up at least 77 points  five times this season.

Hampton (20-6) vs. Norview (9-15)

WHERE: Woodside High

WHEN: 6 p.m.

OUTLOOK: The Pilots are the only team in the field with a losing record, so you have an idea  how things will go against  the defending state  champion. Norview got here by beating Booker T. Washington in the district quarterfinals. The Crabbers haven’t lost to a team other than Kecoughtan since Jan. 15. They have a lineup that  has been there and is led by G Anthony Barber (20.0 ppg) and G Jordan Baker (12.4 ppg). Hampton’s road to the state final was nearly derailed in last year’s first  round by Bayside.

Maury (20-4) vs. Phoebus (14-9), 6 p.m.

WHERE: Lake Taylor High, Norfolk

WHEN: 6 p.m.

OUTLOOK: The Commodores are young, but they’re here and they’re tough. They have a strong one-two punch in G Mike Basnight (15.3 ppg) and F Jaleel Ferguson (12.7 ppg, 11 rpg), the latter of whom didn’t play in the district tournament because of an ankle injury. Maury’s only losses this season have come to Norcom. The Phantoms are showing more cohesiveness than in  years past. G James Daniel III (21.7 ppg), F Josh Davis (17.4 ppg) and G Khaaliq Fletcher (15.9 ppg) are accounting for  nearly 80 percent of the team’s scoring.

Woodside (15-8) at Norcom (16-7), 8 p.m.

WHERE: Norcom High, Portsmouth.

WHERE: 8 p.m.

OUTLOOK: The Wolverines have been playing good ball of late, having lost twice (both to  Kecoughtan) in their last six games. Senior Trevor Lyons  (16.8) and freshmen Chris Orlina (15.7 ppg) and Devante Carter (11.4 ppg) lead the way. The Greyhounds have won seven in a row and have a strong backcourt in Malique Trent (19 ppg) and James Whitaker (14.8 ppg).


Booker T. Washington (8-10) at Woodside (24-1)

WHERE: Woodside High

WHEN:  8 p.m.

OUTLOOK: The obvious mismatch — the team with the worst record in the field vs. the defending state champion. The Bookers have three players averaging in double figures led by Joann Williams (14 ppg, 10 rpg). The Wolverines are coming off their third consecutive double-dip of a regular-season title and tournament championship in the Peninsula District. G Adrienne Motley (26.1 ppg) scored 43 points, a career high at Woodside, in last week’s title win over Kecoughtan.

Wilson (18-7) at Kecoughtan (21-4)

WHERE: Kecoughtan High

WHEN: 6 p.m.

OUTLOOK:  The Warriors are back  in the regionals  for the third consecutive year,  but this time they have a home game. The Presidents have plenty of talent. Monnazjea Finney-Smith (16.3 ppg, 5.8 rpg) is capable of filling the basket and has a deep range. They also have a promising 6-3 freshman in Janeen Camp has played a huge role with 12.3 rpg and 4.8 bpg. Kecoughtan counters with 6-2 Chelsey Romero (14.7 ppg), freshman Alexsis Grate (11.2 ppg) and Kierra Gray (7.4 ppg).

Hampton (15-8) vs. Maury (19-5)

WHERE: Norcom High, Portsmouth

WHEN: 6 p.m.

OUTLOOK: The Commodores pulled two  stunners in last  year’s regional tournament before  losing to eventual champion Woodside in the semifinals. And that was with a team made up largely of freshmen. Gianna Smith (15.9 ppg, 9 rpg, 58 3-pointers) is the top scorer, but Chanette Hicks (13.7 ppg) and Jayda Luckie (12.1 ppg, 4 rpg) are also dangerous. G Khadijah Berger (17.4 ppg) hasn’t had the same explosion since  returning from a knee injury, but she’s still  a play maker. C Dara Pearson (14.1 ppg) gets a  lot of looks because of Berger’s vision.

Warwick (13-10) at Lake Taylor (22-0)

WHERE: Lake Taylor High, Norfolk.

WHEN: 8 p.m.

OUTLOOK: With nine players who are either freshmen or sophomores, the Raiders are probably the youngest team in the tournament. Rookie Adria Strothers and sophomore Ylexus Traeger both average 11.4 ppg, and 6-4 Younique Upchurch (8.9 ppg) is a force underneath. But the Titans have a fast-tempo team led by Feyonda Fitzgerald (21.2 ppg), Jordan Mitchell-Harmel (12 ppg) and India McKeinney (10.2 ppg).


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