Norfolk Collegiate coach Jim Markey is preparing for a big week.
The fourth-ranked Oaks host No. 2 Norcom tonight and top-ranked Cape Henry on Friday. Both games are at 7 p.m.
“We play them every year,” Markey said about Norcom. “And we got a nice little rivalry going with them. Obviously, they are very good.”
Norcom (15-0) has won 24 in a row, the longest streak in the state.
Norfolk Collegiate leads the series 3-2, including wins in the past two meetings.
Markey also is looking forward to Friday’s Tidewater Conference showdown against Cape Henry.
“That’s been a big game for years,” Markey said. “They’ve been on top the past several years.”
Cape Henry, the No. 1 team in the VISAA Division I rankings, has not lost to a South Hampton Roads team since Feb. 24, 2012, when Norfolk Christian beat the Dolphins 51-50 in the Tidewater Conference tournament semifinals.
The Dolphins lead the series against Norfolk Collegiate 11-4 and have won the past nine . The last time Norfolk Collegiate beat Cape Henry was Feb. 5, 2009.
“So it’s a pretty big regular-season game,” Markey said. “We’re looking forward to both games.”
Meanwhile, Cape Henry and Norcom have rescheduled their game – postponed Friday – for Feb. 8.
Bishop Sullivan senior Gerrard Simpkins has been on a tear for the ninth-ranked Crusaders.
He averages 19.9 points, seven rebounds, 5.2 assists and three steals this season.
But he’s averaging 25 points over the past five games, including a season-high 35 against Greenbrier Christian last week.
And he’s done that despite the Crusaders losing two of their top scorers for academic reasons.
“He knows teams are going to try to take him away every night in a variety of ways,” said Bishop Sullivan coach Chris Harris. “But he’s put in a ton of time to learn how to read what the defense is giving him. He’s not only leading us in points but also assists. He’s also one of our best rebounders as well. He’s locked in and just wants to win.”
The Crusaders (12-7) have won six of their past seven.
Lakeland coach Clint Wright has a good problem: He’s got plenty of players who can score.
This season, the Cavaliers have had five different players lead them in scoring. They also have four players averaging in double figures.
Deonta Knight, who has been the top scorer seven times, leads the team with 14.1 points. The sixth-ranked Cavaliers also have Jerry Goodman (11.4), Daquan Boyette (10.4) and Jamonte Ricks (10.1). And Quarante Budd also has led the team in scoring twice.
“They’re sharing the basketball and trusting each other,” Wright said. “If all of them have a hunger to score, then how does a team lock in on just one person? We’re simply going to find the open guy.”
The eighth Annual VirginiaPreps.com Classic, postponed by the winter storm last Saturday, was rescheduled for a pair of doubleheaders early next month.
On Feb. 6, Kellam will play Smithfield at 6 p.m., followed by Green Run vs. Norfolk Collegiate at 8. On Feb. 8, Oscar Smith plays Landstown at 6 p.m. and Cape Henry takes on Norcom at 8. All four games are at Green Run.