By Matthew Yoder
Rewind to early December. Following an opening night loss on its homecourt, Broadwater coach, Eddie Spencer, foresaw a difficult road ahead for his team, with games against tremendous competition. Last Friday, Atlantic Shores Christian entered the gym in Exmore as one of the teams Spencer was concerned about and those concerns were well founded as the Seahawks systematically dismantled the Vikings, 64-27.
The Seahawks came out firing, with Chase Larmon spotting Eric Henderson for a corner 3, then Henderson dishing to Kenyon Wilkerson for another triple. Logan Rawlings was on the receiving end of a beautiful pass from Larmon for a bucket in the paint, and the Seahawks quickly ran out to an 8-0 lead.
Travis Northam got the Vikings on the board with a jumper, and shortly thereafter added points to the ledger with a difficult baseline floater against a strong defensive presence from Henderson.
As Broadwater tightened the score, Atlantic Shores Christian established an offensive identity marked by patient, controlled ball rotation. The Seahawks were effective in seeking the best high-percentage shot available, but their accuracy from the field chilled for a time. Even as they amassed offensive rebounds, the Seahawks failed to put the ball in the basket. The Seahawks’ dry spell became a missed opportunity for the Vikings. Even after a pair of blocks by Clay Wardius in the low post, Broadwater could not transition with points on the offensive end.
The Vikings sliver of hope disappeared quickly, and the Seahawks went on an impressive run to end the first quarter, punctuated by a pair of fast break buckets from Nehemiah Cesar. The quarter ended with the Seahawks holding a 10-point advantage 15-5.
Atlantic Shores Christian accelerated its game in the second quarter. Rawlings found Cesar for a backdoor alley-oop, Henderson made a strong baseline move for a dunk, and when Larmon drew a charge on Wardius with 6:21 to go in the quarter, the Vikings’ big man exited the court in foul trouble. The Seahawks stepped up their defensive pressure, trapping at midcourt, and seemingly scored at will off turnovers. Without Wardius in the game, Henderson began to tally points in bunches and passed the ball effectively as well, feeding Marcus Scott for a layup on the fast break.
Another big for Atlantic Shores, Tiger Tan, came off a deep bench and made a jump hook, and after a three-pointer from AJ Shaw, the Seahawks built a 37-5 lead off 22 consecutive points.
James Gilbert stopped the bleeding with a layup for Broadwater, but the damage was done. The second quarter put the game to rest, as Atlantic Shores took a 35-point lead into halftime.
Seahawks assistant coach Ron Davis summed up what was evidenced on the court.
“When we share the ball we play really well,” Davis said.
The Seahawks were led by Henderson with 17 points, but every one of their 12 players who saw court time made contributions to the stat sheet. Atlantic Shores depth was not lost on Spencer.
“They are the top team in the conference, they are 15 deep, I’ve got 7, that makes a difference,” said Spencer.
A bright spot for the Vikings was the play of Levin Smith, an up-and-coming player who is already a solid contributor to the JV team. Smith was inserted in the second half and knocked down a couple of triples to register a team high, 6 points.
Spencer is excited about the play of his big man with range.
“He’s got a lot of potential,” said Spencer.