Consolation round games entertain

Louis Estrada of Lexington dribbles past the Atkins Camel defender.

Consolation round games entertain
December 22
03:40 2016

Photo by Timothy Ramsey



The first round of the consolation game of the Lash/Chronicle tournament was packed with excitement last Saturday afternoon.  Don’t tell those teams they aren’t playing for a championship because all of the young men involved gave maximum effort.

First on the court was the matchup between the North Forsyth Vikings and the Thomasville Bulldogs. The Vikings fell to West Forsyth in their opening game.  Thomasville lost a heartbreaker to Glenn in their first round game.

As the two teams stepped on the hardwood, both seemed somewhat timid.  Missed shots and turnovers littered the first half of play.  After the intermission, the Vikings began to take control as they started the second half on an 11-0 run.  North Forsyth never relented the lead following that run and won the game 60-51. Richard Ryce of North Forsyth was a force in the paint, scoring 12 points and grabbing numerous rebounds.

Thomasville head coach Robert Moore Jr. says fatigue may have played a role in the defeat. He says they were coming off a week where his team played three games in four nights but takes nothing away from how well the Vikings played.

“Free throws and layups, we just couldn’t hit them and they cost us at the end of the game,” said Moore.  “We have to be more aggressive and attack the basket.  For next week we have to focus on not coming in last place because you never want to finish in last place.

North Forsyth coach Will Bell said, “I think we played well coming off of an emotional win last night, which I think had a lot to do with it.  The kids are listening, learning and executing and ultimately we are better than when we played West Forsyth last week.”

Atkins and Lexington were next to play.  The Camels were defeated handily by Reynolds last week and the Yellowjackets were beaten by Reagan to start their Lash/Chronicle  tournament.  The first quarter was low scoring at 7-6 as both teams were off the mark. In the second quarter Ty’reik McNeair of Lexington started lighting up the scoreboard and finished with a game high 32points.  It was not enough as the Camels’ full court press caused too many problems for Lexington.  Atkins stretched out the lead in the final minutes to win 66-55. “My guys hustled so it panned out for us tonight,” said Bronal Gary, Atkins head coach.  “Our press was a major part of the game.  They had a problem handling that so we stayed in it.  Going into next week’s game it’s going to give us confidence because it’s our first win and that can change the whole sea-son.”

Yellowjacket assistant coach Dionte Waite added, “Overall, we could have played better.  I think we kind of got complacent toward the end of the game, so we have to give a better effort.  I saw some good things but we still have things to work on, so if we can build on the good things and minimize the bad, we will be better for it.”

The last consolation game of the day was host school Carver vs. Walkertown.  Both teams were looking to redeem themselves after suffering double digit losses last week to Winston-Salem Prep and Mt. Tabor, respectively.  The game was a defensive battle most of the time until Carver seemed to get on track offensively during the third quarter. Carver led 31-23 at the end of three.  Walkertown never got within six for the remainder of the game. The Yellowjackets leaned on their stifling defense toward the end of the game and won by the score of 44-36.

Maurice Reid of Carver only finished with six points but his defensive pressure, rebounding and ball handling were instrumental in the win.  Head coach Raheem Martin had high praise for Reid and the rest of the team after the win.

“We have young guys so sometimes we struggle starting games, but today we played really well down the stretch, so hopefully that will help us out later on in the season,” said Martin. “We are going to press all game and we have guys who are really athletic and can finish in transition, so we try and put them in a position to do what they do best.”

Walkertown head coach Charles Thomas said, “We played hard, we just weren’t as efficient as we needed to be.  We emphasize and focus on defense and we have a better understanding of what we want to do and who we are as a team.  We have to execute for four quarters and not just part of the game.”

The Lash/Chronicle tournament will continue next week Dec. 22 & 23. The games will tip off at 3:30 p.m. each day.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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