Don't bother teasing Centreville guard Nick Tisinger about his height — he's heard it all.
"I was always the short guy on the team," he said. "I got all the short jokes, was picked on in youth leagues, all of that stuff."
Sure, he's only 5-foot 9-inches tall and his 150-pound weight isn't going to intimidate the centers he'll face this season, but his outside jump-shot?
Let's just say it's kind of a big deal.
The Lake Braddock boys' basketball team learned this the hard way on Dec. 4, when Tisinger unloaded two nothing-but-net three-point shots in the first three minutes of the game, helping the Wildcats to a 18-5 lead after the first quarter.
"Since I'm a small guy I've always needed to shoot to get around the bigger guys," Tisinger said. "Today I started well and it set the tempo for the game."
While the senior guard is modest about his personal output in the game, he isn't ashamed to admit hitting a three-point shot is one of his favorite moments in a game.
"When you make the three the crowd goes wild and it just feels great," he said. "It really gets you hyped up and the crowd gets behind you."
The outside shooting game of Tisinger and his fellow Wildcats proved to be the difference maker in their 54-41 victory against the Bruins, but the Wildcats also were able to spread the scoring across the entire team.
Seven players recorded points in the win and four had double-digit point totals.
"We like the depth of our team," head coach Drew Murphy said. "We're going to have different guys scoring each night. If one or two guys can't score, then we'll have others to do it."
The Wildcats defeated West Springfield on Dec. 2 64-40 and with the victory over Lake Braddock, improve to 2-0 on the season.
<sh>Meador Leads Lady Wildcat Comeback
<bt>While the boys played away from home on Dec. 2, the Centreville girls basketball team saw its season-opening game with West Springfield cancelled due to power outage at home.
With their opening game cancelled, Centreville started their season against Lake Braddock and their second half performance might have had enough electricity to power the school in case of another blackout.
After falling behind in the first half 16-14, the Wildcats were able to overcome their first-game jitters to defeat Lake Braddock 46-38.
"We were something like 4-for-33 [in shots] in the first half," head coach Wally Horton said. "We couldn't spit in the ocean if we wanted to. But we picked it up in the second half, and the shots started to go in."
Three-year varsity player and 2008-09 All-Concorde District selection Erin Meador said a mix of pre-game jitters and working as a team for the first time in a meaningful game proved to be difficult.
"We got all of our first game nerves out [in the first half]," Meador said. "In the second, things went back to how we thought they'd go."
Meador, who is one of the team's captains, addressed her team in the locker room about the poor first half play and then led by example in the second, ending the game with 17 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists.
"I had to make an example of myself," Meador said. "I had to fight for every rebound and point. I couldn't give up."
Meador's lead-by-example approach paid off and in the waning moments of the game, with a slim 41-38 lead over the Bruins, the Wildcats held on with strong defense.
"I'm proud of the way our girls battled back," Horton said. "The thing we have to remember as coaches is that this is a young team in terms of varsity experience. We're still learning who we are."
Young is a perfect word to describe the Lady Wildcats. The roster features three freshmen, one sophomore and five juniors who are growing into the varsity level of play.
"It's going to take time for [the younger girls] to get up to speed," Horton said.
But Horton was pleased with his team's opening outing and the hustle and hard work he saw in the second half.
"[The slow start] was pre-game jitters and it was our first game," Horton said. "We'll settle down when we find out who we are."