For the past three seasons, Melvin Allen's mind-set on the basketball court has been simple: shoot the ball.
The 6-foot rising senior shooting guard was one of Brooke Point's main outside threats last season and should play that role again this season. But over the summer, Allen's basketball world has been turned upside down as the shooter has been forced to play the role of distributor. His duty is not to score as much as it is to involve his teammates in the offense.
The "first game was kind of shaky," Allen said of his transition to point guard. As shooting guard, "I could shoot more. But my role as a point guard was to distribute the ball. I probably lost my role a little bit, shooting the ball more than I should have that game."
Not that he has forgotten how to shoot. Allen scored 28 points Thursday night in a 91-48 Five County League tournament victory over Central Virginia, which is made up of Fredericksburg Christian players. Brooke Point--which finished 11-11 last high school season and graduated three starters--has advanced to today's tournament semifinals at Stafford High School after finishing 7-2 during the regular season.
Rising senior Vince Love may miss today's 10:30 a.m. semifinal after a sprained ankle in the final moments of Thursday's game.
Hylton clinched a spot in today's early semifinal (9 a.m.) by defeating Spotsylvania, 77-75, on rising junior Mike Lindsey's two free throws with 11 seconds left.
The other semifinal spots were determined last night in games involving the top two seeds in the tournament, Stafford (9-0) and Culpeper (8-1). The championship game is today at 12:30 p.m.
For Brooke Point, Allen has been forced to play point because both of the Black-Hawks' returning point guards have missed nearly the entire summer league season. Rising sophomore Pierre Lacey, who started last season, has spent the summer preparing for the fall football season. Andrew Jones, a rising senior who started as the junior varsity point guard last season, has spent the summer traveling with his family.
"This gives him a better feel for the game," Brooke Point Coach Joe Kania said of Allen. "Any time you're a point guard you have to understand different facets of the game. Instead of just being a shooter, he's had the ball in his hands more to penetrate. So he's been able to handle the ball more, and that will help him in the wing position" next season.
Both Allen and Kania hope the summer's success is a preview of things to come. A number of last year's reserve players have improved with increased playing time this summer, including senior Chris Logan, who scored 22 points Thursday night.
"It's a great preseason because we get to see what teams we have to face and what problems we're going to have," Allen said. "It also helps us bond early as a team."
Gar-Field seniors Aaron Andrews and David Hooper represented the Indians in the Sleepy Thompson Summer League all-star game Thursday. Andrews, a 6-6 forward making his second Sleepy Thompson all-star appearance, scored 34 points. Hooper, playing in the contest for the first time, added 20 points to help lead the Blue team to a 114-105 victory over the Gray team.
"I didn't know what to expect," Hooper said. "I asked what do I do, and they said score."
Gar-Field played Centreville in the tournament semifinals last night. The winner will play in tonight's championship game at 8. The Indians were without starting point guard Q.J. Melchior, who was attending an AAU national game. . . .
In Metro South action, Potomac handed Woodbridge I its first loss of the season Wednesday, 69-55. Potomac (5-0) and Centreville (5-0) could be undefeated when they meet Wednesday at Potomac at 6 p.m.
CAPTION: Jeff Green of Central Virginia looks on as Brooke Point's Nick Blake has his eyes squarely on the basket, tries to prevent ball from being stolen.
CAPTION: Central Virginia's Joseph Duggins gets in way of pass by Danny Tryon of Brooke Point, which today plays in Five County tournament semifinals.
Metro South 1999 Varsity Standings