The Lady Phoenix shine bright against Carver

The Lady Phoenix shine bright against Carver
February 08
05:00 2018

Rivalries were renewed once again last week as the Lady Phoenix of Winston-Salem Prep took on Carver on the hardwood.  After falling behind in the first quarter, the Phoenix buckled down on defense to pull out a hard fought 31-22 victory.

At first glance, the Yellowjackets seemed to take full control of the game from the tip off.  With a 10-2 lead after the first quarter that appeared to be the case.  Prep’s many turnovers in the quarter also contributed to the Carver lead.

Unfortunately for the Yellowjackets, foul trouble to some of their main contributors seemingly haulted their momentum.  Prep stayed afloat in the game by knocking down key shots from the charity stripe until their offense got on track.

“They were able to get two of our seniors in foul trouble, so I had to sit them down and they [Prep] was able to get a run,” said Carver head coach Antonio Noland.  “In total, we had three players foul out and they took advantage of that.”

Once Prep was able to gain a little traction by seeing the ball go through the hoop, they continued to press forward.  The Phoenix made the conscience effort to attack the basket, which gave them great looks at the rim. 

Carver then began to turn the ball over themselves, allowing the Phoenix to take their first lead of the game at 15-13 early on the second half.

“I told them they had to pick it up and play better by playing better defense,” said Phoenix head coach Calvin Davis.  “We had to step the defensive intensity up and we made stops when we needed them.”

It was still a tight game at 20-18 with 5:18 left in the fourth quarter.  Phoenix guard Tre’Zha Muhammad then went to work as she led the run that essentially put the game away for Prep.  Muhammad says they knew they had to play better following a sluggish first quarter.

“Basically we had to play better defense and stop making turnovers and put our all into it,” said Muhammad.  “I wanted to attack the basket because my shot was off so I just thought I could drive and get fouled and then make my free throws.”

“Our coach told us to keep playing and stay with your man and if we do we can win the game,” she continued.  “We just wanted to keep our heads up and fight and it worked out for us.”

Davis says he continued to preach defense during halftime to his team.  He felt they really focused in to what he said by implementing that on the court.

“I told them they have to get stops on the defensive end to win ball games,” Davis said.  “We also wanted to get to the basket and make free throws.”

Noland says there are positives and negatives that a coach takes from each game.  He felt his team fought hard but in the end they made too many mistakes. 

“We played good defense by holding them to only two points in the first quarter,” Noland said.  “We can build on our defense and the only reason we got back into the game was defense.”

After going winless last season, the Phoenix now have three wins on the season.  Davis says his team is learning how to play together and a win like this is great for the program.  He has a young group of girls and looks forward to seeing them grow.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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