Regents’ boys basketball team headed to the state tournament at Timberlake Christian on a mission.
“The team really came together in the postseason,” said Regents coach Travis Johnson. “They really worked together and connected as a team. They learned to depend on each other and had each other’s backs the deeper we went into the season.”
That cohesiveness helped lead the Lions to the Virginia Association of Christian Athletics state title as they dropped Westover Academy 63-46.
The Lions jumped out to a 13-5 lead in the first quarter and didn’t relinquish it after that. Nick Stuart helped create that early lead with a first quarter 3-pointer and the senior captain played a big role in creating that crucial cohesiveness.
“He led by example and encouraged his teammates to stay together through the ups and downs,” Johnson said. “He is also a great vocal leader on the floor as well as in practice.”
After that opening frame, Landon Swingler went to work. Swingler finished with 29 points on the night and was particularly explosive in the second, scoring 15 of his 29 in that quarter to help push the Lions to a 44-20 lead by halftime. Swingler fought back this season from a meniscus tear early in the campaign and reached 1,000 career points as just a junior during the VACA final Saturday while earning MVP honors for a two-day stint in the tournament where he scored 51 total points in two games.
“I’m so proud of Landon Swingler,” Johnson said. “He dealt with that adversity with humble strength, still encouraging his teammates. Landon being able to come back by the end of the season and be the MVP of the state tournament and score his 1,000th point in the game is such a great accomplishment for him.”
Quinton Renigar finished with 10 points on the night while Stuart and Drew Martin had seven each. Lucas Rose chipped in eight points.