Oscar Smith eyeing a state title game return with the help of a fantastic freshman

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CHESAPEAKE, Va. - After falling short in the state championship game last season, the Tigers had a bittersweet taste in their mouths. Although they suffered a 74-56 loss to Westfield in Richmond last season, it was the first state title game appearance for the Tigers.

Being a repeat contender would be a tough task for Oscar Smith (20-2) after losing seven seniors. However, head coach Lavar Griffin has found a core that works, and a fantastic freshman who leads all Virginia freshmen in scoring. "Being able to come together so fast, and do what we've been doing, it's been great," said Griffin.

Cameron Thomas has been known around Oscar Smith before he even arrived for his freshman year. "We knew he was special since middle school," Griffin said. They knew he was special, but they didn't expect 24 points per game special. "You can tell he's got a Mamba (Kobe) mentality," said senior forward TJ Taylor.

Thomas, who's quiet on the court, will make sure you hear him loud and clear with his game. "I've prepared myself very well for this moment just to be on the court and help my team win games," Thomas said.

The Tigers open up conference tournament play on Wednesday at home.