Lady Raiders enjoy successful hoops season

Published 6:10 pm Tuesday, March 29, 2022

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By Chloe Bunn and Mollie Strozier

Southampton Academy

The Southampton Academy varsity girls basketball team, coached by Becca Fretz and Sarah Grace Best, put together an outstanding 2021-22 season that was punctuated by a Virginia Colonial Conference Tournament championship and a berth in the Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association Division III State Tournament.

In February, the Lady Raiders traveled to Richard Bland College of William & Mary in Petersburg for the 2022 Virginia Colonial Conference Tournament. The team started the tourney with a nail-biting win over Kenston Forest School, 41-35. Southampton then advanced to the tournament championship game against Brunswick Academy and earned an exciting 36-29 victory. 

The Lady Raiders continued their season March 1 by winning in the first round of the state tournament, beating Timberlake Christian School 52-35. 

SA brought home multiple awards after the conference tournament. Senior Ashtyn Dunn received VCC All-Academic, First Team All-Conference and VCC All-Tournament recognition. Senior Erika Shaffer received First Team All-Conference, VCC All-Tournament and VCC Tournament MVP honors. Senior Caroline Slate received First Team All-Conference and VCC Co-Player of the Year honors. Senior Emma Belmonte was named to the All-Conference Second Team, and junior Ann Morgan Matthews was named to the VCC All-Tournament Team. Fretz, the Lady Raiders’ head coach, was named VCC Co-Coach of the Year. Finally, the Southampton Academy Lady Raiders finished the season as VCC Regular Season Co-Champions and 2022 VCC Tournament Champions.

The SA varsity boys basketball team lost in the first round of the boys VCC tournament to Kenston Forest, however three of our boys were recognized in the awards ceremony. Sophomore Hunter Hurst received Second Team All-Conference recognition, senior Jayden Applewhite received All-Academic honors, and junior Ben Bilbrey was named to the All-Conference First Team.

Additionally, the Lady Raiders racked up some incredible statistics during their 2021-22 season. Belmonte finished the season with 131 points, 114 rebounds and 43 steals. Slate added 390 points, 206 rebounds and 25 blocks. Dunn scored 203 points and had 195 rebounds and 83 blocks. Shaffer contributed 151 points, 138 rebounds and 64 steals. Matthews finished the season with 48 points, 59 rebounds and 22 steals. Lastly, Claire Randall scored 40 points and had 53 rebounds and 28 steals. ​

On Thursday, March 3, the girls had the pleasure of stopping by the General Assembly and Capitol in Richmond on their way to their state quarterfinal game in northern Virginia. They were able to meet Del. Emily Brewer and Del. Otto Wachsmann. The girls toured the Capitol and had the opportunity to sit in the gallery and be recognized in front of the General Assembly. The team would like to give a special thanks to Martha Russ for putting this amazing opportunity together for the girls. They really appreciated it.

The Lady Raiders played Virginia Academy in the state quarterfinals. The girls played hard, never gave up and showed good sportsmanship throughout the game. They were not able to bring home the win, but they truly displayed what it means to be a Raider, and we are all so proud of them for making it this far. reports that the Lady Raiders finished the season with an overall record of 17-6, including a 12-3 record against VCC opponents.