With a dominant 72-28 victory over Toano Middle School last Monday, Hornsby Middle School’s boys basketball team ended its regular season undefeated.
According to coach Jamal Oweis, it’s an impressive feat, even for a team he describes as the strongest he’s ever seen at Hornsby.
“We played well last year, and we knew we had a good deal of talent coming up, but everything really came together this year,” said Oweis. “They play as a solid unit. It’s clear from the moment you look at this squad, they feed off one another, they encourage one another, and it has been a treat to have them.”
Along with a strong core squad of forward Demarcus Lawrence and guards Alex Chaikin and Carmelo Jefferson, Oweis credits a team focus on defensive play.
“We have a lot of talented players, but every school has talented players, so our key is philosophy,” said Oweis. “We start with defense first, you have a strong defense, everything else falls into place.”
Oweis and the team have high hopes for a strong postseason run, while also preparing for the hardest, and most important job a middle school coach has: preparing many of these boys for high school next year.
“I’ve been coaching for 39 years, I’ve had some great teams over the years, but these boys are arguably the best,” said Oweis. “I couldn’t be prouder of these boys, and I’m excited to see what these boys do on the high school level, both on and off the court.”
Hornsby will play its first postseason game at 4:30 p.m. Feb 4 in the Hornsby Middle School gym against the winner of the first-round game between New Kent Middle School and Tabb Middle School.
Sean CW Korsgaard can be reached at 757-968-1529, by email firstname.lastname@example.org, and on Twitter @SCWKorsgaard.