IWA is a force in Metro Conference

Published 8:21 am Friday, December 11, 2009

ISLE OF WIGHT—With all five starters coming back from a successful 2008-09 campaign, the Isle of Wight Academy boys’ basketball team looks poised to be a force in the Metro Conference this year.

The Chargers have jumped out to a 4-0 start heading into the 24-team Life and Breath Tournament this weekend at Wakefield School in the Shenandoah Valley.

“The competition is going to get a lot tougher quickly,” said Benjamin Vaughan, IWA head coach.

Heading back to the hardcourt are last year’s starting five — point guard Justin Vick, shooting guard Brandon Privette, forwards Chris Parrish and Daniel Brown, and center Brandon Black. Brown was an all-Metro Conference and all-State player last year with 14.5 points per game and 8.5 rebounds per game.

Coming off the bench with significant playing time will be guard Taylor Brown and Cody Gudger, a first-year senior at center. The Chargers will also have swing players (both varsity and JV) guard Evan Chappell and forward Josh Thomas.

On offense, IWA likes to push the ball with a balanced, team-concept offense. Three returners scored in double figures last year.

Defensively, the Chargers will press and use a pressure man-to-man.

Last year, the Chargers reached the Metro Conference finals against Atlantic Shores and made it to the second round of the VISAA Division III state playoffs before falling to Carlisle School, the eventual state champion.

Vaughan said he hopes the Chargers can stay competitive in the tough Metro Conference.

“Atlantic Shores is very good again. They have a number of new players and are heavily favored to win the Metro Conference. Williamsburg Christian and Hampton Christian will also be good. Hopefully we can compete with them,” he said.

In an interesting contest coming down the road, IWA will play Tidewater Academy at William & Mary Hall at 5:30 p.m. on Dec. 19.