JAMES CITY – The Williamsburg Christian Academy boys basketball team started off well in last week’s nonconference defeat to Amelia Academy, but struggled to find consistency in a matchup featuring two of the best VISAA Division 3 teams. Three days later in a showcase at Norcom High, Eagles star guard Cle’Von Green did not play because of a shoulder injury and WCA lost by 29 points to Miller School, one of the top Division 2 squads.
On Monday for homecoming, Greene returned to the lineup and the Eagles strung four solid quarters together to roll over Hampton Christian 76-62 in Metro Conference action.
Five WCA players registered five or more rebounds including Greene, who tallied 12 to go along with 16 points, and Chester Makoi, who grabbed 10 boards and scored eight points.
The story of the game for coach Chris Brown, though, was the unselfishness of the Eagles (18-8, 9-0), who had 19 assists.
“We started fast and we ended fast," said WCA junior guard Ra’Shawn Cook, who scored a team-high 20 points with seven rebounds, six assists and three steals. “… Everybody played their role and nobody tried to do too much. And we played tenacious defense.”
It was one of Cook’s best outings of the season on a night his twin brother, Da’Shawn, was honored for eclipsing 1,000 career points on Saturday. The Eagles also recognized Greene, who went over 2,000 career points earlier this season.
Each Cook was on fire early when WCA built a 20-7 first-quarter lead. Ra’Shawn Cook converted a couple of transition buckets and a 3-pointer, courtesy of an assist from his brother, and Da’Shawn Cook nailed two 3s in the first period before finishing the game with 14 points and five rebounds.
“He’s a pure scorer,” Ra’Shawn Cook said of Da’Shawn. “He can shoot, go to the basket. But I can do it all, basically. I can play ‘D.’ He can play ‘D,’ too, but I’m more of a defensive player. And that leads to scoring and facilitating… Coach puts the ball in my hand to get everybody involved. That’s what I try to do.”
Brown said as much about Ra’Shawn Cook, noting the junior could go for 15-20 points per game himself, but the the Eagles don’t always need that with scorers like Da’Shawn Cook and Greene and an inside presence with Makoi, a 6-foot-9 sophomore.
“Since he’s been here, he’s just embraced his role as being a person we depend on stretching the defense,” Brown said of Ra’Shawn Cook. “He shoots that 3 for us, but he’s also one of the best at selling that 3 and can attack the rim with the best of them.”
Hampton Christian, coached by Bethel High and Wake Forest product Tony Rutland, ended the first half on an 8-0 run after going down by 22 midway through the second quarter.
Brown believes the Warriors are on par with Atlantic Shores Christian as the second-best team in the Metro.
But WCA didn’t bend in a third quarter highlighted by a pair of Makoi baskets down low and Ra’Shawn Cook’s acrobatic layup in traffic. Facing the basket, Cook jumped towards the rim with the ball in his right hand before switching to his left in midair and kissing it off the glass for two points.
The night was special for both of the Cooks, who continue to be in awe of their teammate, Greene.
Still a junior after reclassifying before this school year, Greene is on his way to breaking the 3,000-barrier, too.
“I’ve been playing against him since eighth-grade year,” Da’Shawn Cook said. “I’ve known him for a long time. His scoring just got better through the years. He can finish at the basket. He’s real athletic and if you leave him open, he can shoot. He’s just an all-around player and hard to stop him.”
“He’s too athletic for high school,” Ra’Shawn Cook said. “… That’s what separates him from a lot of players. He’s so underrated.”
Holtzman can be reached by phone at 757-298-5830.