Semi-finals are set in tournament

Winston-Salem Prep guard Jalen Crawley, No. 23 in black, fades away over three Mt. Tabor defenders.

Semi-finals are set in tournament
December 22
03:45 2016

Photo by Timothy Ramsey



Day Two of the Lash/Chronicle tournament marked the first time people would have the opportunity to see the top two seeds lace them up.  Parkland and East Forsyth lived up to their seeding but were tested mightily in both contests.

Coming into the game against West Forsyth, some of the East Forsyth players felt a little disrespected with their seed.  They thought as defending champions they would have returned as the Number One seed and sought to prove it against the Titans.  The Eagles started the game on an 8-0 run and did not allow the Titans to score until halfway through the quarter.

At one point in the second quarter, the Eagles led by 10 points and looked to run away with the game.  West Forsyth had other thoughts and clawed back to within one behind bullseye shooting from Raymond Mitchell, who hit two three’s during the run.  The game was tied at 26 at the break.

During the second half of play, C.J. Smith began to assert himself offensively, finishing with 9 points, but Savon Brintley lit it up for a game high 27 points and would not allow his team to lose.  The Eagles survive and advance with a 62-56 win.

“At first I thought we got off to a good start but we became stagnant on the offensive end,” said East Forsyth head coach Rodney Minor.  “Our focus wasn’t there but we came out with the victory more importantly and that’s what I’m happy about.  Next week I expect a dogfight, and I know it won’t be easy.”

West Forsyth head coach Jeffrey Williams added, “East Forsyth is a very good team and they are well-coached.  I thought we did a much better job of picking it up in the second half but we just kind of lost it in the end.  My guys know that they must play the whole game and if you let up they will take advantage.”

The game between Winston-Salem Prep and Mt. Tabor was next. This game was the epitome of a tale of two halves.  During the first half, Mt. Tabor looked out of sync. Defensively they could not stop Jalen Crawley, who poured in 15 points in the half, leading the Phoenix to a 28-24 lead at halftime.  Mt. Tabor adjusted during the intermission and held Crawley to six points in the second half and zero in the fourth quarter. The Spartans also used their size in the paint to score and rebound with ease, propelling them to a 56-47 win. Jakob Moore scored 12 big points for the Spartans that contributed to the victory.

Spartans head coach Willie Harrison says his team came out of the gates sluggish and may have underestimated their opponents.  He says they pulled it together and showed their true colors.  He thinks his team was cocky by the way they played early but turned it on late.

Prep assistant coach Jerran Foster said that once his team went up by double figures, he continued to preach attack but thinks he should have focused more on getting good shots.  He says they have to learn to play with a lead and play with more discipline.

With Glenn coming off of their miraculous 20-point comeback last week against Thomasville, they looked to upset number one seed Parkland.  The Bobcats gave their best effort, staying within striking distance all game.  Parkland eventually overwhelmed Glenn with their size and were victorious by the score of 53-47.

Parkland head coach Cory Baker says his team needs to communicate more on defense but was happy with their play in the final minutes of the game.  He says his team is finally buying in to their system and with the number one seed he knows they have a target on their backs but welcomes the challenge.

Chris Geter, Glenn head coach, said he thinks his team may have become overwhelmed with the moment.  He also contributed part of the loss to the fact his team committed over 20 turnovers. He says his team now knows that if they work together and cut down on the errors they can play with anyone.

The last game of the night involved Reagan and Reynolds.  This was a close game throughout the first three quarters with Reynolds leading by seven heading into the fourth. There was high quality basketball being played on both ends of the court.  In the fourth quarter mounting turnovers and clutch shooting proved too much for Reynolds to overcome. Reagan won 55-44 in a game where the score was closer than the final indicates.

Reagan head coach James Stackhouse says his team had to work for the victory because of the toughness Reynolds brings to the table.  He told his team to stay disciplined and felt as though Reynolds tired a bit in the end. He says next week he wants his team to play their game and “let the chips fall where they may.”

Mike McCulloch says he was disappointed that his team was unable to make a similar run as they did last season.  He said his team has to work on their rebounding but is hopeful his team can end the tournament with a win.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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