The 13-2 varsity basketball team has several crucial games coming up as they try to rebound from their second loss of the season.
The Raiders fell to the rival Carlisle Chiefs on January 19 in Martinsville. That loss brought an end to an impressive 10 game winning streak dating back to December 12. The streak was largely orchestrated by standout players Bennett Holley ('15) and Keith Oddo ('15). Holley has averaged 13.4 points per game for the year as well as 7.7 rebounds, while Oddo has put up 14.2 points and 4.5 assists.
The varsity's schedule includes New Covenant on February 3, Covenant on February 5, and Radford on February 7. Radford will be an especially tough game. The Bobcats are undefeated on the season with a record of 14-0. According to maxpreps.com, the scoring average per game of the two teams is almost equal, with 63.3 for the Raiders and 63.1 for the Bobcats.
After facing Radford, the Raiders play again the following Monday against the Bulldogs of Liberty Christian (LCA), the team that dealt them their first defeat of the year. The players will be looking for revenge and momentum as they enter their final few games of the regular season.
The varsity has a 13-2 (8-2 BRC) record as they enter the home stretch of the season.
"We feel pretty confident," Holley said. "We were on a winning streak until we lost to Carlisle, and we lost to LCA in overtime."
Liberty Christian has been one of the toughest opponents the varsity has faced in recent years. As well as downing the Raiders 64-60 in overtime this season, the Bulldogs have topped the Raiders 10 straight times in the last nine years, though five of those games were decided by less than five points.
"It'd be awesome," Holley said (about defeating LCA). "I've never beaten them in my career at North Cross. If we can get the win, it's a big win for us."
After the bout with Liberty Christian, the varsity squares off against Blue Ridge.
Coach Ed Green thinks Blue Ridge will be a tough test.
"They are loaded with talent," Green said about the Barons.
Green thinks that the team’s upcoming schedule will define its season.
"Definitely those games will prepare us," Green said. "If we're going to be great, we've got to beat those teams."