The smart money is on Woodbridge to emerge victorious from the Metro South boys basketball game Tuesday afternoon. That's because it will be Woodbridge I vs. Woodbridge II at -- where else? -- Woodbridge, at 4:45 p.m.
With several returning varsity players and a promising younger group, many of whom played for the junior varsity team that went 17-2, Coach Will Robinson decided to field two teams this summer, each fairly equal in talent.
"We have quite a few kids coming back and quite a few kids trying out for the team next year," Robinson said. "We wanted to give everyone an opportunity to play because we can't select our team until next fall."
One of the top Vikings who has not played yet is All-Extra guard Maurice Watkins, who has been hospitalized with pneumonia but who should make his summer league debut Tuesday.
Woodbridge I is 1-0 after a 43-41 victory over Stonewall Jackson. Woodbridge II is 2-1, with wins against Stonewall (44-36) and Osbourn (46-41) and a loss to Centreville (50-30).
The matchups Wednesday, with all three games at Woodbridge, are Seton-Woodbridge I at 6 p.m.; Centreville-Annandale at 7:15 p.m.; and Potomac-Mount Vernon at 8:30 p.m. Woodbridge I hosts West Springfield at 6 p.m. Thursday.
Stonewall, which lost its top five scorers off last winter's 12-11 team, could be one of the more intriguing teams this summer. The Raiders (0-2) have a freshman point guard, Tyc Snow, and an inside presence in 6-foot-5 sophomore Jaaron Greene. Antoinne Saunders and Jovan Ragland are the main varsity returners.
Osbourn Park, which went 3-19 last winter, won its first Metro South game, beating Robinson, 58-41. Sidney Sillah scored 15 points. Ricky Johnson, a transfer point guard who played sparingly at Potomac last season, is playing for the Yellow Jackets.
"We know we have a long way to go, but the kids are excited," said Osbourn Park Coach Eugene Baltimore, whose team will attend camp at Virginia Military Institute later this month.
Osbourn, off to a 1-2 start, picked up where it left off from the winter -- by losing a key player to injury. John Horton, who scored 23 points in the varsity opener in December before missing the next 12 games with a foot injury, rolled his ankle in the loss to Woodbridge II. He should be back in another week or two, Coach Mike Dufrene said.
Potomac is off to league-leading 3-0 start. Mark Cunningham and Jernavis Draughn have reached double figures in all three wins.
Seton, playing for the first time without graduated All-Extra center Matt Hilleary, dropped its Metro South opener, 77-37, to Potomac.
Defending Metro South champion Hayfield is not in the league this summer. Mount Vernon was the 1998 runner-up. Gar-Field is scheduled to play both in the next few days in the Sleepy Thompson League at St. Stephen's/St. Agnes in Alexandria. The Indians play Hayfield at 11:30 a.m. today and play Mount Vernon at 7:15 p.m. Tuesday.
Gar-Field looks to be perhaps the most active area girls team this summer. The Indians are playing in the Falls Church Summer League.
Summer league rosters tend to fluctuate, and a team might be missing standout players on any particular night. With that disclaimer, Gar-Field recently knocked off Robinson, the team that beat Woodbridge in the Virginia AAA state semifinals.
"We don't look at it as if we win or lose; it's just the start of preparations for a new year," Gar-Field Coach Fred Milbert said.
The team's summer league coach is Gar-Field alumna Cessy Sullivan.
SUMMER BASKETBALL STANDINGS
Metro South League
Woodbridge II 2-1
Woodbridge I 1-0
Mount Vernon 1-0
Osbourn Park 1-0
Stonewall Jackson 0-2
West Springfield 0-3
Five County Summer Basketball League
King George 2-0
Brooke Point 1-1
North Stafford 1-1
Fredericksburg Christian 0-2
CAPTION: Ryan Lazisky of West Springfield commits a foul as he tries to block a shot by Mark Cunningham, who has scored in double figures in all of Potomac's three victories in Metro South basketball league.
CAPTION: West Springfield's Adam Pavlik, left, does his best to impede the path of Jernavis Draughn of Potomac, which leads the league with a 3-0 record.