A Convincing 102-69 win over Smithfield puts the Wilson Boys in the state tournament
by Andy Hilton, recruit757
It’s been a long time since the Presidents were in the state basketball tournament.
Hippies, tie dye and free love hadn’t even come into style yet. The school’s campus was tucked behind Maryview Hospital, on Willett Drive back in those days.
The current building for Wilson High School hadn’t been built yet. Manor High School opened in 1972, but it wouldn’t be merged with and renamed to Woodrow Wilson High School until 1993.
1965 was the last time Woodrow Wilson boys basketball was in the state tournament. The current Wilson squad knows very little of that time in history. They do know hoops.
Wilson may have lost three of their final four regular season games, but the Presidents (17-6) have gotten hot at the right time. Wins over Jamestown (97-82) and Smithfield (102-69) have propelled them into the Region 4A Final and the VHSL Class 4 state tournament. Win Friday against King’s Fork (at King’s Fork) and the Presidents will host a state quarterfinal game next week.
“I’m proud of the kids. My seniors, they’ve been through so much losing. They stuck together,” said Wilson head coach Gerald Andrews after the team’s win over the Packers.
On Wednesday night, Smithfield was the host and they were rudely crushed by Wilson’s offense, 102-69.
Nasir Cross was dominant in taking the ball to the rim and scoring. Cross finished with 33 points, 14 rebounds, six assists and three steals. Khalil Davis chipped in 14 points, six rebounds, three assists, two steals and five blocks for Wilson. Michael Smith, Jr. and Keyon Stith would contribute 12 points each for the Presidents.
Cross explained the simplicity of his success against Smithfield: “My guys found me. My coach has been saying ‘just get to the bucket. Don’t shoot threes, just get to the bucket.’ Nobody is big enough to check me down low, so I just find my spots and put the ball in the hoop.”
Davis was more than satisfied to play a supporting role for Cross in his big night.
“We can’t take anyone lightly. If we play our game, we can beat anybody. All we have to do is play as one and play as a team,” Davis said. “We gotta take it one game at a time, but this feels good though.”
The game against King’s Fork is on deck and Coach Andrews’ next challenge is to keep his team motivated to win and take home court advantage for the opening round of the state tournament. The King’s Fork/Menchville game came down to the final seconds, and it was called the state championship game for Class 4. The gym was packed Wednesday night, and it’s sure to be rocking for the Region 4A Final.
“We knew that whether it was King’s Fork or Menchville, both teams are battle tested. We’re going to be the underdog,” the coach stated. “Wilson hasn’t been good for a while. We’ll be ready.”
– Andy Hilton