Southampton Indians boys basketball preview

Published 4:37 pm Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Sharone Bailey admits that his tenure as head coach of the Southampton boys basketball team has not been up to standard. In his two years at the helm, the Indians have finished no better than fifth in the Virginia High School League’s Division 3A Conference 25 standings — sporting identical 8-14 records in both seasons. But while the loss of seven seniors from last year’s squad would give the impression that team is rebuilding, Bailey has other plans.

“We’re going to try to compete for a conference title,” he said. “We have a lot of youth, and we just have to them get some game-time experience. We just have to wait to see how it grows and how the pieces fall together.”

One thing the Indians must avoid in order to make this season’s expectations a reality is to avoid a long losing spells following the holiday break. After starting the first month of each of Bailey’s two season at or around .500, Southampton proceeded to lose 11 of 15 and 12 of 16 games, respectively, to close out the year.

“We had a lot of injuries, and we have to stay healthy and take care of our bodies,” Bailey said. “We must stay focused throughout the whole year.”

Numbers to Know

3 – In his third year at Charles City, Bailey helped improve the Panthers’ record from 6-15 to 14-8. The eight-win differential propelled the team to the VHSL playoffs. The following season, Bailey was named the TriRivers Coach of the Year after leading Charles City to its first appearance in the Division II state semifinals.

7 – Southampton lost seven seniors to graduation last year, including all-district guard Shane Agunzo. He missed several games last season, however, opening the door for players such as Derrick Fennell to get meaningful playing time. “He’s very versatile,” Bailey said of Fennell. “He can play anywhere from point guard to small forward, and he’s put in the work this offseason to be a big contributor to our team.”

Cast of Characters

Darius Bell – Arguably Southampton’s best player, Bailey said that junior forward Darius Bell’s play will dictate how far the Indians go this season. “I’m expecting a big season out of Darius. I hope he can really step up and lead us,” Bailey said. “He’s grown 2 and 1/2 inches since last year, and he’s going to be factor in the paint.” The 6-foot-9 star sprained his ankle during the preseason, but the coach said it’s not too serious. “Getting him healthy is the most important thing. We’ll probably sit him these next few games and bring him back when he’s ready.”

Malik Haley – Starting at the forward position opposite of Bell, freshman Malik Haley will find the ball in his hands will every double team the former sees. Bailey has high hopes for the first-year starter who played significant minutes with the junior varsity as an eighth grader. “With this group of kids, I think we’ll do better than only eight wins again,” Bailey said.


Dec. 2 – at Colonial Heights L 61-59
Dec. 3 – at Charles City W 79-59
Dec. 5 – Franklin L 63-57
Dec. 7 – Windsor W 65-51
Dec. 9 – Park View
Dec. 11 – ARGS
Dec. 14 – at Sussex
Dec. 16 – at Brunswick
Dec. 18 – Greensville
Jan. 5 – Charles City
Jan. 6 – at Surry
Jan. 8 – at L.C. Bird
Jan. 13 – at Franklin
Jan. 15 – at Windsor
Jan. 20 – at Park View
Jan. 22 – at ARGS
Jan. 23 – York
Jan. 27 – Sussex
Jan. 29 – Brunswick
Feb. 1 – Colonial Heights
Feb. 3 – at Greensville
Feb. 5 – Surry