By Matthew Yoder
By nature of the schedule, the road has been home to the Arcadia boys of late. The Firebirds have traveled great distances, securing victories against Salisbury Christian and Colonel Richardson, while running their win streak to a season-long seven games.
A loss this past Monday across the bridge against Norfolk Christian stalled the streak, but has not put a damper on what has already been a successful campaign in 2019-20. Three more games against Shore opponents, first with Northampton, then next Tuesday in Onley against Nandua and a season capping home matchup against Chincoteague, provide Arcadia the opportunity to run the table in league play, while also jockeying for position in the playoff push.
The Firebirds have got to this point largely playing from behind, but have shown great skill in remaining poised, delivering captivating comebacks and closing games with tremendous resolve. Arcadia has relied heavily on the play of a core group of seniors, who on any given night have stepped up and played intense basketball. From William Scarborough’s 3-point proficiency and court vision, to Lethon Williams’ speed and effectiveness to seek out high-percentage shots, the formula for victory has been clear. Defensive focus from Kamron Downing and Keith Grinage, and clutch shots from Jaden Hope have further sunk many opponents’ chances, and have given rise to expectations for a team that has thrilled many spectators this season.
The path to an undefeated season will not be easy, as Nandua and Northampton have provided strong challenges in previous matchups this season, and Chincoteague gave Arcadia all they could handle in an overtime affair just a couple weeks ago. That game in particular seemed to trigger a reset in the approach of Arcadia’s players henceforth.
Overtime contests and games played against larger schools on grand stages have undoubtedly alleviated any intimidation factor the Firebirds may experience moving forward, and the next week should be interesting in determining where the road leads from here.