Men’s Basketball Successful Despite Record

While the Virginia Peninsula Community College’s men’s basketball team didn’t compile a winning record, coach Chris Moore said that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a successful season.

“It was a learning year. I feel like everybody involved got better,” Moore said after completing his sixth season in charge of the program.

In some respect, finishing 7-14 and earning the fourth seed in the New South Athletic Conference/Region X tournament was an accomplishment.

“We had a lot of adversity, way more adversity than I’ve had since I’ve been here,” said Moore, who also is the College’s athletics director.

That adversity included injuries, illnesses, deaths in the family, and personal situations.

“We never really got a rhythm and were able to build chemistry,” Moore said. “Every time that we thought we were doing well and clicking, something else happened.”

The Gators won three of their first four games but followed with a seven-game losing streak. They lost seven of their final nine games, including the last four.

There were bright spots, though, and the Gators had some good games and good individual performances.

Aidan Breathwaite and Jaylin Davis were named second-team all-region, and Davis also was named to the region’s all-rookie team.

 Moore’s team also was young, with only three players back from the previous year, none of which played a lot of minutes that season.

“I was expecting, and really looking for, a bunch of guys who had really limited experiences to come in and grow up super-fast,” Moore said. “We just never got to the point where we were able to grow up collectively.”

Moore already is looking ahead to the 2024-25 season, when he will have eight players returning.

“That’s the most returners I’ve had here ever,” he said.

Those include Breathwaite and Davis. Also returning is Keshaun Johnson, who sat out this season after being a second-team conference honoree the previous season.

“And then those other guys who played a lot of minutes this year are going to get a lot more time,” he said.

Among those are: D’Cameron Haynes and John Lane. He’s recruiting point guards and shooting guards, especially the latter.

“We did not do well against the zone,” Moore said. “Man-to-man, we were able to make some things happen. But because we didn’t shoot the ball well, zones were killing us.”

The team did go 4-2 in conference play, and drew big crowds for Gator Madness, the VPCC “Bridge to Program” game at Christopher Newport University, and the Dual Enrollment high school game. His players also were involved in community service projects.

“I’m really proud of these guys though. Even though the record might not say what I would have liked it for it to say, I’m just really excited about what’s to come,” he said. “So, I think when you look at these guys’ individual stories of how much they grew as people, as basketball players, and as students this year, it’s been amazing.”

In addition to the honors earned by Breathwaite and Davis, five players were named Region X all-academic honorees: Davis, Day’Von Faulk, Lane, Jerome Mitchell, and Evan Tanner.

Moore has never had a veteran-led team, and he’s drawing inspiration from Patrick & Henry, which won the conference/region title this year after struggling last season.

“They came together this year to win the league. It gives me some promise,” he said. “What we’re bringing back, I think it’s going to be a special group, along with what we’re bringing in. The record wasn’t necessarily what we wanted, but overall, it was a year that we were able to build on and be excited about the future.”

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