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Local state champ steadily improving

Posted on Monday, December 24, 2012 at 1:58 pm

Longwood’s Tristan Carey, during his final season at Colonial Beach High School, put on a show when he stepped on the basketball court. He was reminded of that at his team’s pre-game meal last Friday when some old articles circulated among the team.

Tristan Carey ended the night scoring 17 points, collecting seven rebounds and four steals.

In 2009, Carey made his last appearance in a Drifters basketball uniform at the Siegel Center in Richmond. Carey scored 37 points and collected 16 rebounds in all 32 minutes. This was the same game that earned his team the title of Group A Division State Champions—the first title in school history.

Last Friday, the reigning scoring leader of Colonial Beach High School didn’t hold anything back in his return to the Siegel Center when the Longwood Lancers faced the Virginia Commonwealth University Rams.

Coming into Friday’s game, VCU was facing Longwood’s leading scorer in Carey averaging per game 14.2 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.2 assists. In the opening minutes of the game in Richmond, Carey scored the first eight points for the Longwood Lancers.

“I take shots when I need to like if I see an open shot, but other than that I’ll give it up,” said Carey. “But if I’m on like I was hitting the first eight points I’m going to keep shooting until I miss.”

But VCU had their way around the basket jumping out early in the game taking up to a 12-point lead. By the end of the first half, the team shot over 50% from the field, at the free throw line and behind the three-point line.

VCU took an early first half lead over the Lancers and never looked back ending the game with a 93-56 lead. Carey ended the game scoring 17 points, collecting seven rebounds and four steals.

VCU coach Shaka Smart said Carey’s going to be a good player for Longwood.

“He’s a good player. Mike Rose did the scouting report and mentioned the last time Tristan was in the Siegel Center, in high school he lit it up,” said Smart. “He was someone we were definitely focusing on, but he made some tough shots early. I thought we got some hand up a couple times, but he ended up making it anyway.”

Carey’s coach Mike Gillian said he is well aware of his captain’s ability to shoot the ball.

“He’s done a really good job for us and he needs to continue to get better,” said Gillian. “He can make shots. He is capable of doing so much more. I know it and he knows it, and we have to put that all together now.”

“His improvement is there, but he needs to continue to develop as one of our leaders for us to be good,” Gillian added.

Carey said he hopes after such a long road trip against some tough teams before the Christmas break, the team will be focused.

“I felt like this road trip kind of set us back a little bit, but we’ll come back and be ready,” Carey said.

Former Colonial Beach boys basketball coach Steve Swope, and his family, were on hand to see Carey in action. Also in attendance were Carey’s family members and close friends.

“It’s always great for the support especially when coming back to the Siegel Center where we captured our first state championship,” Carey said. “Just to see those people after the game, it’s always good to have those supporters.”