VARINA, Va. -- Every team needs talent to win. That’s not an issue in the East End of Henrico.
Varina is building an athletic legacy with something extra.
“It’s love,” said Blue Devils boys basketball coach Kenneth Randolph. “Genuine love for whatever sport it is.”
Randolph spoke in the wake of his team’s 61-35 win over Loudoun County to grab the Class 4 State boys title, making Varina the first public school ever in Richmond to win both a football and boys basketball state championship in the same school year.
Alphonzo Billups, playing on his future home court, led the Blue Devils with 18 points, Christian Carden added 11 as Varina held the Captains to just 2 points in the third quarter and outrebounded their opponents 47-25.
“I think the kids did an awesome job” Randolph continued. “In the second half, they really locked in. If anyone knows about playing on high school courts and then coming to the Siegel Center or any college court, you know you’re just holding on for dear life.”
Amari Baylor had 10 points and 9 rebounds, one of several players who also won a football state title back in December.
“We knew coming out of football, we just had to bring the energy” Baylor said of the transition.
Loudoun County was led by Nicholas Alexander who had 12 points, their only player in double figures. Varina outscored Loudoun 17-3 in second-chance points and 24-7 on fast breakpoints.
“I think things slowed down for us defensively” Randolph added. “Both teams played fast, but defensively, we just locked in.”