Tuesday night, Williamsburg Christian Academy will face off as a #12 seed versus The Covenant School Eagles in Charlottesville. What are WCA’s chances in this opening round matchup? Let’s run the tale of the tape!
The Covenant School enters the contest as the 5th seed holding a 19-6 record to WCA’s 16-12 record. Covenant was 12-2 in their conference and lost their last game to D3 tournament #3 seed Eastern Mennonite. WCA won the Virginia Metro Athletic Conference crown with a big win over Grace Christian School.
Covenant is not extremely tall, with only two players measuring at 6’4”: their senior captains Nic Sanker and Will Maupin. WCA, of course, has the mountainous Geoffrey Wellons at 6’11”, as well as the wide-bodied 6’5 Jalen Vaughan and sleek 6’ 4 Trent Calhoun. Look for Covenant to play a guard-heavy speed game, which guards Connor Simmons, Brandon Herman and VMAC Most Outstanding Player Jakari Wilkins will need to vigorously defend. Junior Ethan Conrad could be a difference-maker as well with his sharpshooter skills.
WCA and Covenant played no common opponents.
Although Covenant has a more competitive conference which includes Tourney teams Eastern Mennonite and Carlisle, they have not been too successful outside of their conference against quality competition. The Eagles lot by close to 30 points to St Annes-Bellfield (STAB), and lost to D2 #2 qualifier Highland school and low-qualifier Virginia Episcopal.
WCA faced nothing but high-level competition during its opening games, and was shown how hard they would have to work to win, losing its first four games against Division 2 #3 seed Norfolk Collegiate, #8 Norfolk Christian, and D3 #2 and #7 Carmel School and Richmond Christian. They’ve also played Carmel and Richmond Christian a second time, #10 Christ Chapel, and Division 2 Sixth seed Hargrave Military Academy and Eighth seed Nansemond Suffolk. None of those games resulted in a win, but the team got a real feel for what kind of effort it would take to win a big game when it lost to Nansemond Suffolk by 2. WCA is peaking at the right time, having won 10 of 14 games, including a dominant win over a Peninsula Catholic team that has had success over many of the Division III opponents such as Walsingham Academy and Portsmouth Christian. In other words, they are battle-tested.
It’s never easy to win a game on the road, but WCA has been looking strong in its most recent games. A season of challenges has reaped a harvest of skills and the team’s defense, rebounding, hustle, and most importantly, teamwork have all improved by leaps and bounds during the course of the year. Here’s hoping the team sees a perfect storm of all those traits combined Tuesday night in Charlottesville. Good luck, Eagles and play hard!!
Game time is 6PM at the Covenant School located on Hickory Street in Charlottesville.