CAPITOL HEIGHTS – In a heartbreaker, the Fairmont Height’s Hornets lost its second consecutive contest on Dec. 19 to Anacostia High School. Coming off a tough blowout loss to the out-of-conference Clinton Christian School, Fairmont Heights (3-2) sought to rebound at home against the Anacostia Indians. The Hornets battled hard but couldn’t capture the win, […]
CAPITOL HEIGHTS – In a heartbreaker, the Fairmont Height’s Hornets lost its second consecutive contest on Dec. 19 to Anacostia High School.
Coming off a tough blowout loss to the out-of-conference Clinton Christian School, Fairmont Heights (3-2) sought to rebound at home against the Anacostia Indians. The Hornets battled hard but couldn’t capture the win, as they fought from behind the entire game before finally giving out in the fourth, losing 74-63.
In the first half, Fairmont found it hard to keep up with Anacostia star forward Alvin Cox. The senior scored 13 points in the first quarter, matching Fairmont Height’s entire first quarter total. He added eight points in the second for a first half total of 21 points.
For the majority of the game, the Hornets literally had no answer on how to stop Cox’s scoring. His quietest quarter came in the third when he scored only a three-pointer, but also did a number of other things by the way of assisting and defending to keep his team ahead.
However, once the fourth quarter began, the talented scorer didn’t relent. He scored 12 of his team’s final 24 points and brought his game total to 36 points – his third 30-point output this season.
To compensate for his team’s inability to stop Cox, Fairmont Height’s Head Coach Chuck Henry had his players intensify their press and trap defense. In the second and third quarters, the Hornets, via half-court traps by the pairing of senior point guards Kevin Smith and Darrell Bolding, managed to force Cox into numerous turnovers.
The two guards took pride in initiating double teams and knocking the ball out of Cox’s hands to create easy fast-break scores in transition. Henry knew he could entrust this task to the two senior guards, describing them as the consistent leaders of the team. He noted that the overall team’s success, and even its goal of making the state championship game, is dependent on what they accomplish.
“They’re the guys that really are going to lead the team,” Henry said. “They handle the basketball a lot for us. They bring a lot of leadership not only on the court, but off the court as well.
“Everything kind of flows through those guys. They’re going to be vital parts to our season. If we’re going to be successful this year, and our success is based on what those guys do. And they’re going to continue to grow. Right now there learning a lot about the game they never learned before. Everyone is kind of talking about us, but we haven’t even scratched the surface of how good we’re going to be.”
With 10 of his 18 points coming in the fourth, Kevin Smith was the leading scorer for Fairmont Heights. As befitting of the team’s play, it was a rough offensive game for him, as he wasn’t able to get much of anything going in the first three quarters. However, once Anacostia broke open the game with a 16-0 run behind strong defensive play and quick scores, Smith took it upon himself to attack, attack, attack.
“Basically when you’re down and your team is relying on you, its heart over height,” Smith said. “You got to go in with the mindset that you have to score. Go ahead and do what you got to do”
He fought with intense passion and aggressiveness, going up with acrobatic layups and rebounds, but coming down hard after hard fouls. It was the fight shown by the 5-10 point guard that gave him a limp and a swollen hand, but gave his team and home fans some hope of a comeback win.
“Kevin is a competitor,” Henry said. “I don’t care how much you knock him down, he’s going to compete and play his heart out. As coaches we’re going to continue to push him and let him know he has more in his tank. Again, I don’t think we’ve seen how good Kevin Smith is going to be this year.”
The Hornets’ next matchup is against Friendly on Dec. 21, in one of their toughest challenges to date, especially with it being their first conference opponent.
However, reeling off of two consecutive losses, Henry knows his team is as motivated and confident as ever. A firm believer in the process, Henry believes the hard work his players display in practice will translate in to their next game.
“We’re not lacking motivation,” Henry said. “These guys come out and they work hard. Every day they come in here, they’re focused and ready to complete. Today we just didn’t have our best stuff, and sometimes you’re not going to have your best stuff. But you still got to compete hard. We did in spurts, but I don’t think we gave our best effort. But we’ll get better, and work to give a better effort every time.”