Kyle leads Region 1B honorees

Published 9:33 am Thursday, March 1, 2018

Dukes prep to face Indians in state quarterfinals Saturday

Cumberland County High School’s varsity boys basketball team received the top 2018 Region 1B accolades handed out for boys basketball, acknowledging the Dukes’ dominant run that they are aiming to extend into the state tournament starting Saturday, 7 p.m., at Prince Edward County High School.

Dukes making the All-Region 1B first team included senior forward Darius Kyle and junior center Christian Jackson, and Kyle was also named regional Player of the Year, just like his head coach 27 years ago.

Cumberland Head Coach Tyrone Mosby now has a coaching honor to pair with that player honor he earned in 1991, as he was named regional Coach of the Year.

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“It means a whole lot,” Mosby said of the coaching accolade. “The kids bought into the system that I had tried to establish. Being a leader and a mentor to them definitely falls in line.”

The Dukes (15-8) won their first regional title in 27 years and won all three of their regional tournament games by an average of 28 points.

Kyle was key to that effort. He has averaged 12 points, seven rebounds, two steals and two assists this season.

“His numbers don’t really stand out like Chris’ numbers as far as double-doubles, but his impact on the game, he’s definitely deserving of Region B Player of the Year,” Mosby said. “… I’m able to put him in multiple positions on the floor, offensively and defensively, and he definitely has an impact on the game.”

Jackson has averaged 15 points and 11 rebounds per game.

“(I’m) definitely looking forward to working with him another season,” Mosby said, “but this year, being his first year on varsity and being able to lead us in double-doubles, it speaks a lot about how he’s been working.”

Cumberland will face Region 1A runner-up Northumberland High School on Saturday in the Virginia High School League Class 1 state tournament quarterfinals, and Mosby has been able to look at some film to scout the Indians (16-6).

“They’re definitely athletic, quick, can definitely get up and down the floor,” he said. “They run a similar defense to what we run as far as a one-three-one, so we’ve got to come to play.”

The Indians won the Northern Neck District tournament and advanced through the Region 1A tournament as the No. 3 seed. They topped visiting No. 11 Essex High School 54- 51 in the quarterfinals after a first round bye, edged host No. 2 Franklin High School 68-65 in the semifinals and fell narrowly 54-52 to No. 4 Lancaster High School in the final.

Mosby noted Northumberland players to watch include junior point guard Delvin Palmer, junior forward Keon Redmond and senior guard Joseth Tarleton, who hit seven three-pointers in one game recently.

“We’ve got to make sure we know where he’s at on the floor at all times,” Mosby said.