SA girls to value defense

Published 10:01 am Friday, December 5, 2014

Assuming the seat on the girls bench that was vacated by his brother, Jeffrey Pope believes that he coaches the better of the two teams.

“We have a mixture of seasoned and young players that will need to come together and play with the same philosophy,” said the younger Pope, “but I’m very optimistic about this season.”

Pope acknowledged that this season is as much about the learning experience as it is about immediate results, but that doesn’t stop him from setting expectations.

“The goal is to become the best defensive team in the conference,” he said. “I know we’re not the most talented, especially with some loaded teams in the conference, but with the right determination and fortitude, we’ll cause a lot of problems for those teams.”


3 – The Lady Raiders return three starters from last year’s 10-10 team, and have promoted three others from last year’s Junior Varsity squad.

7 – It’s been seven years since the girls basketball team won the Virginia Commonwealth Conference regular season and tournament championship. The Junior Varsity has won three-consecutive titles in that same span.






Senior point guard Sarah Best will be the go-to option for Pope this season, looking to lead the team in scoring for the second-consecutive year. “She has a great shot and can develop plays off-dribble. She’s the one player on the team that I don’t mind handling the ball,” said Pope. “Quite frankly, our offense revolves around her.”

Sophomore forward Mason Pope may be the niece of the head coach, but she’s earned her starting spot, Pope said. “She’s aggressive and quick as anyone. She rebounds well and she’s the type of kid that can light up anybody that matches up with her.”


Varsity games range in starting times, and will be noted on a game-by-game basis. Bolded games are at home. The VCC Tournament will take place Feb. 16-21, and the VAIS Basketball Tournament will occur Feb. 23-28. Tip-off has yet to be determined.

Dec. 1-5 North Carolina Tournament (1-2 thus far)

Dec. 9 Brunswick Academy (6 p.m.)

Dec. 11 Friends School (6 p.m.)

Dec. 13 Denbigh Baptist (2 p.m.)

Dec. 29-30 Battle of the Border at Brunswick Academy

Jan. 1 Kenston Forest (7:30 p.m.)

Jan. 8 Richmond Christian (7 p.m.)

Jan. 12 Tidewater Academy (6 p.m.)

Jan. 20 Blessed Sacrament-Huguenot (7:30 p.m.)

Jan. 23 Brunswick Academy (6 p.m.)

Jan. 26 Broadwater Academy (7:30 p.m.)

Jan. 28 Halifax Academy (6 p.m.)

Jan. 29 Kenston Forest (7:30 p.m.)

Feb. 2 Richmond Christian (7 p.m.)

Feb. 5 Tidewater Academy (6 p.m.)

Feb. 9 Amelia Academy (7:30 p.m.)

Feb. 12 Blessed Sacrament-Huguenot (7:30 p.m.)