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Posted On: 11/15/18 12:40 PM
As we begin our final stretch into the much anticipated start to another high school season, it’s time to take a closer look at what to expect. In this series, we will be previewing various regions and classifications within the VHSL in an effort to highlight who we think are the top teams and prospects. Below we preview and predict Class 5, Region A.
Based out of the Hampton Roads area, Class 5 Region A has a mix of traditional powerhouse programs along with some up and coming programs as well. Norfolk powerhouse Maury (20-4 last year) come in as the favorites with a senior laden backcourt led by Chase Coleman and Bryan Phillips. Virginia Beach power Green Run (19-5 last year) are as deep a team in the region and led by senior All State guard Ashley James will be looking to finally get over the hump. Both Menchville and Norview sport some talented young prospects, mainly 2021s Allen Strothers and Jaylani Darden, and if they can grow up should be able to compete. Hampton and Kecoughtan always are well coached and have talent on the peninsula, and Kempsville and Indian River have some scrappy and talented pieces and could be teams that prove tricky to get by when the time comes.
Region Champion: Maury
Region POY: Ashley James | 6’2” PG | Green Run 2019
James has been a steady producer for Green Run over the past three seasons and has been a big reason for their success. This season as a senior, expect James to be their go-to guy, leader and what gives him the nod is that he’s probably one of the best on ball defenders in the area. His ability to get in the lane at will and shut down the opposing team’s best scorer is why he’s chosen as this year’s Class 5 Region A preseason POY.
1st Team All Region
Ashley James | 6’2” PG | Green Run 2019
Chase Coleman | 5’10” PG | Maury 2019
Allen Strothers | 6’2” PG | Menchville 2021
Jaylani Darden | 6’3” G | Norview 2021
Matt Mensia | 6’4” WF | Maury 2019
Jeremiah Lewis | 6’2” WF | Nansemond River 2019
2nd Team All Region
Jahn Hines | 6’3” WG | Norview 2020
Bryan Phillips | 6’1” PG | Maury 2019
Clarence Rupert | 6’6” PF | Maury 2020
Tyson Brown | 6’6” PF | Kempsville 2019
Jaden Keasey | 6’6” PF | Menchville 2020
Jeremiah Foster | 6’2” WG | Kecoughtan 2020
Underclassmen To Watch
Darden made his mark early in the 757 as he had multiple triple-doubles as just a freshman. A long and lanky stat-sheet stuffing guard who can handle in transition and has good feel, he’s able to impact the game in a number of ways on both ends of the floor.
Strothers is becoming one of the top young point guards on the east coast. He has a natural feel for the game, good size and length and he’s growing into his body and becoming a tremendous athlete.
Jacob Cooper | 5’8” PG | Green Run 2021
Cooper isn’t the biggest guy in the area, but he can flat out score the basketball. He shoots it well off the catch or the bounce, he’s able to run the pick-and-roll with a great middle game and he knows how to negate his size when finishing.
Elijah White | 5’9” PG | Kempsville 2022
It looks like White will get the keys to the Kempsville car early as he started in the Boo Williams Fall League, and he seems ready. He’s an ambidextrous point guard with a tight handle who stays low, gets in the lane and finds his shooters and scorers, making their lives easy.
Kanye Clary | 5’6” PG | Princess Anne 2022
Clary isn’t the biggest guy, but hopefully he’ll grow because he has some special abilities to his game. He has a tight and flashy handle that allows him to break down his defenders, and he’s lightning quick with his first step allowing him to get in the lane with ease.