Northside basketball preps for a successful 2023

ROANOKE, Va. – It’s not often after a state semifinal loss, redemption almost immediately follows.

“That loss last year, we were thinking about that going into that game, so we had a chip on our shoulder, we came out with energy, we wanted it more than them,” senior Lawrence Cole said. “So we still have to see them again, we will be ready.”

The Northside Vikings beat the reigning Class 3 basketball champions in early December, a measuring stick for a season that has just begun.

“I think every day is a measuring stick and every game is. That was one of our early scheduled games, they have a really good program and we have a lot of respect for them,” Northside head coach Bill Pope said. “It’s a long way to go, it’s only December, and we know we have to continue to get better.”

Pope is known for his teams to press an entire game – a stifling defense that’s kept opponents under 46 points all year. But this year, they have more shooters than ever on the floor.

“This year we have a lot of guards, that helps us push the ball down the floor against teams, it’s quicker, so we push the pace against teams who can’t keep up with us,” Cole said.

Sophomore Mykell Harvey agreed. “We have everything, shooting, driving, passes, we have everything.”

Including the two sophomores in Harvey and Cy Young.

“Both of them played last year for us as freshmen, not only played but played in some very big moments too. They just have to continue their growth and that’s what we want to see. Where we are right now and where they are, and individual guy, our goal is to make sure they improve,” Pope said. “We feel like we have really good guys on this team, and we’re really excited about them. What we have is what we think we can do something with.”

Next up, Northside will face Hidden Valley on Wednesday in the Northside Invitational.

About the Author:

Brooke Leonard is the newest addition to the 10 Sports team, joining in June 2019.