Boys basketball report: Norfolk Collegiate ready for postseason run, Western Branch grows up

Norfolk Collegiate’s boys kept things rolling last week as the fifth-ranked Oaks improved to 18-3 with three victories, including a big win over then-No. 11 Catholic in the Tidewater Conference of Independent Schools.

The Oaks were led by senior guard Rashaad Williams and 6-foot-7 junior wing Justin Burrough. Williams finished with a team-high 16 points and four steals. Burrough chipped in with 12 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks.

Norfolk Collegiate coach Junior Burrough, who starred for Virginia and is Justin’s father, said both players are important as the Oaks prepare for the postseason.

Burrough said when Williams plays well, so do the Oaks.

“When he’s his best version, I think he’s the best kid running around at the point-guard position around here,” Burrough said about Williams, who averages 14.5 points, 5.7 assists and 3.1 steals. “That’s what we really need from him.”

He also thinks highly of his son, who is averaging 11.8 points, 7.7 rebounds and 2.8 blocks.

“I think he’s the best wing player in the state. Maybe I’m a little biased, but I think he is,” Burrough said with a smile. “(Against Catholic) he wasn’t really being aggressive in the first half, (but) we got him to really move in the second half. So, I’m really proud of him on a personal level and as a team, because we needed him.”

Other key players are senior wing Brennan Chatman and junior wing Khalil Caple. Chatman leads the Oaks in scoring with 16.5 points per game, along with 6.5 rebounds and 2.3 steals. Caple, who scored a game-high 28 points in a win over Indian River last week, is averaging 13.9 points and 7.2 rebounds.

And as Williams pointed out, the Oaks — who travel to No. 10 Peninsula Catholic on Tuesday — are far from being done.

“We want to get a TCIS championship and a state championship,” he said. “So we still have a lot to do.”


Western Branch growing up

First-year Western Branch coach Charles Thomas knew there would be some growing pains this season as the Bruins have four sophomore guards with no varsity experience.

That explains the team’s inconsistency at times and its turnovers, but things are turning around.

Last week in a loss to then-No. 5 Oscar Smith, the Bruins committed 10 turnovers in the first half. But they settled down and committed just three turnovers in the second half and led late before losing by three points.

“I feel good, but I just want to concentrate on taking care of the basketball. But that’s our youth,” Thomas said. “But we’re actually better than we thought because I wondered how our young guards would hold up. But we’re going to be OK.”


Cox’s Nacey, Catholic’s Thorne reach milestones

Cox senior Ben Nacey and Catholic senior Brayden Thorne reached milestones last week as both players scored their 1,000th point.

Nacey was the Beach District Player of the Year and third-team All-Tidewater last season.

Thorne is averaging 14.3 points for the Crusaders this season.


Big games this week

King’s Fork will host an event Saturday that features seven teams in the boys 757Teamz Top 15.

The schedule: Nansemond-Suffolk Academy vs. Deep Creek, 11:30 a.m.; Grassfield vs. Meadowbrook, 1 p.m.; No. 5 Norfolk Collegiate vs. Kecoughtan, 2:30 p.m.; No. 2 Lake Taylor vs. No. 11 Menchville, 4 p.m.; (Girls) King’s Fork vs. Windsor, 5:30 p.m.; No. 1 Woodside vs. No. 10 Peninsula Catholic, 7 p.m.; No. 3 King’s Fork vs. No. 4 Hampton, 8:30 p.m.

Other big games this week:

Tuesday — No. 5 Norfolk Collegiate at No. 10 Peninsula Catholic, 7 p.m.

Wednesday — No. 2 Lake Taylor at No. 9 Maury, 7 p.m.

Thursday — No. 11 Menchville at No. 1 Woodside, 7 p.m.; No. 3 King’s Fork at No. 7 Oscar Smith, 7:30 p.m.

Friday — No. 8 Kempsville at No. 5 Norfolk Collegiate, 7 p.m.


Top performers

• Oscar Smith’s Travis Johnson scored 30 points to lead the Tigers past Western Branch.

• King’s Fork’s Zekhi Darden had 30 points and 15 rebounds in a win over Indian River.

• Lafayette’s Jarquez Garrett had 29 points, five rebounds, five steals and four assists in an overtime victory over York.

• York’s Brooks Morgan scored 29 points in a loss to Lafayette.

• Western Branch’s Ellis Wright had 28 points and 11 rebounds in a win over Deep Creek.

• Norfolk Collegiate’s Khalil Caple scored 28 points to help the Oaks beat Indian River.

• Lake Taylor’s Elijah Washington had 20 points, 18 rebounds and eight blocks to help the Titans beat Oscar Smith.

Larry Rubama, 757-575-6449,