Lash/Chronicle Tournament day one recap

Lash/Chronicle Tournament day one recap
January 05
14:26 2022

The best of the young basketball talent from around the county gathered at Winston-Salem Preparatory Academy last week for the David Lash/Chronicle JV Tournament.  14 teams in two brackets battled it our for three days to determine the champion of each bracket.  

The Chronicle Division consisted of South Stokes, Lexington, Carver, Atkins, Winston-Salem Prep and North Forsyth High Schools.  The Lash Division was made up of Reagan Mt. Tabor Reynolds, Walkertown, T.W. Andrews, Glenn, East Forsyth and Parkland High Schools.

The games tipped off on Tuesday, Dec. 28 and the first game of the tournament was Carver vs. North Forsyth.  As the No. 3 seed in The Chronicle Division, the Yellow Jackets came out with a point to prove against the Vikings.

Carver jumped on N. Forsyth early taking an 11-4 lead at the end of the first quarter.  Their 2-3 zone, physicality and hustle plays made the difference in the game.  By the third quarter, the Yellow Jackets had built a 20-point lead and didn’t let up from there.  

There were a few bright spots for the Vikings such as the fearless play of point guard Antwan Steele and the hustle and energy from J’Quez Jackson.  Carver continued to pour it on in the fourth quarter and won by the score of 57-18.  Carver head coach Miquel Raynor was happy to open up the tournament with a win.

“We got out, we played hard and we played good team basketball,” said Raynor.  “I think one of the highlights was in the fourth quarter where we had guys that don’t normally play get in the game and produce and see that the hard work they have been putting in, in practice thus far is finally starting to pay off.

“We were just together today; on the bench, off the court, before we got here everybody was just locked in and ready to play.”

Raynor says they have been working on their matchup zone defense for weeks in practice.  

“We have been working on it, trying to execute it to make it better and we still have some kinks to work out, but that was the game plan coming in,” he said about his defensive strategy.

The second game of the day was between No. 5 seeded Winston-Salem Prep Phoenix and the No. 4 seeded Atkins Camels.  The Camels came out in a full court press that bothered the ball handlers from Prep.  The press from the Camels caused several turnovers that helped them gain a 29-12 advantage at intermission.

In the second half, Prep began to play better defense and starting chipping away at the Atkins lead.  The Phoenix got back within striking distance at 32-25 midway through the third quarter, but any hopes of a comeback were quickly squashed as the Camels immediately answered with an 8-0 run to push the lead back to 15 at 40-25.  

In the fourth quarter, the Phoenix ran out of gas attempting their late comeback.  That fatigue led to turnovers and the Camels walked away with a 47-28 victory.  This victory was the first

“We finally picked up our pressure, because we have been trying to get our press right for the last few games,” said Desmon Baldwin Atkins head coach.  “We had some people out and some trying to understand the position, so we I feel like we are finally playing the way we want to play with Atkins basketball.”

The Camels showed a lot of heart to not let the big lead slip away even when the Phoenix were making their run.

“I think one of our biggest strengths is we have a lot of three-point shooters, and it can help us or hurt us and today it really helped us,” Baldwin said.  “I am looking forward to the rest of the tournament and I think the next game can be a good victory and hopefully we can go back to the championship like we did two years ago.”

Game three featured Reagan vs. Parkland, which was the first game of the Lash Division.  The Raiders were the No. 1 seed in the bracket and Parkland was the No. 8 seed, however, the Mustangs did not play like an 8 seed as this game was competitive throughout.

“We just came out a little sluggish and I think coming off of the Christmas break, guys were not in as good a shape as we have been in the past, but we gutted it out, made plays when we needed to, knocked down some free throws at the end and that’s all I can ask for,” said JD Oglesby Reagan head coach.

The Mustangs played with a lot of intensity and gave their all against the top seeded Raiders.  It was a close game throughout.  The Raiders implemented a full court press in the second half that enabled them to take a slim lead into the fourth quarter.  Even though the Raiders won by the score of 58-48, the score was much closer than the 10 points may indicate.

“My guys are resilient man,” said Oglesby.  “We’ve had a couple of close games this year and we have always found a way to pull it out in the end.  We’ve got guys that can do it from multiple spots, it’s not always the same guy.  Sometimes it’s one kid knocking down threes, sometimes it’s just rebounding, sometimes it’s finishing, sometimes it’s making free throws.  We’ve got a little bit of everything and they guys just gut it out and found a way to win.”

When the Mustangs made a run in the third quarter, Oglesby says his goal was to settle him team down to make sure they didn’t make any mistakes by pressing.

“Honestly, I just told them to play the way we’re supposed to play,” Oglesby said told his team.  “I think we got out of ourselves a little bit.  I think we got a little bit comfortable when we saw the lead that we had, and Parkland threw another haymaker at us.  We settled down and we played solid.”

The next game in the Lash Division was a high intensity game between T.W. Andrews and Walkertown.  Both teams came out of the gates with a lot of energy that led to some sloppy play and quite a few turnovers.

The Wolfpack settled down first and took control of the game in the second quarter.  As teams do, Andrews made a run of their own and closed the gap to 26-22 at the half.  Andrews actually took the lead early in the third, but the run was quickly answered by Walkertown with a run of their own.

“Really it was just having them play for each other and calming down, getting those nerves out,” said Kenny Anderson Walkertown head coach about what he told his team to settle them down.  “It’s our first time playing in front of a crowd like this, so just getting those nerves out, playing for each other and handling the ball is what we needed to do.”

Walkertown was locked in on offense and defense during the fourth quarter.  They eliminated the mistakes, took good shots and played good defense and that led to their 53-43 victory.  Andrews never gave up and played hard throughout.

“That team was scrappy, and they played hard,” said Anderson.  “They are just like us and they play together, but our guys were able to come up with some big stops towards the end and make some big layups, so I am proud of my boys.  Mitrend Curry and Twan Mitchell they played some pretty big minutes for us.”

Anderson is the type of coach that prefers to focus on defense over offense and says his squad works on it routinely in practice.

“We work on defense maybe more than we work on offense,” he said.  “My guys are good defensively and they have been showing it.”

Walkertown picked up their first win in the process and Anderson feels this type of victory could give his team some positive momentum going into conference play.

The fifth game of the day was arguably the best.  Second seeded Mt. Tabor took on No. 7 seed East Forsyth.  This was a well-played game between two well coached teams.  It was a tight game through the first and second periods with Tabor holding a 21-17 lead at the half.

It was a strong defensive effort from both sides and the young men had to work extremely hard to muster any offensive push.  In the fourth quarter, Mt. Tabor, led by Jadon Blair and Matthias Banks, made the plays the needed to win.  The Spartans squeaked out a 50-45 victory in the end.

“We did not take care of the ball, I know that, but we did play hard on the defensive end,” said Spartan head coach Taylor Rhodes.  “We had about two or three times and the end where I think we played better in man than we have in a long time.  They got hot in the end and I thought we were going to be able to close it out a little easier than we did.

“We have to play better without fouling, but overall my guys played with pretty good effort.  We were missing two guards tonight that really impacted our ball handling.”

During timeouts, Rhodes told his guys to not let the negative plays snowball into more negative plays by dwelling on their mistakes.  He told his team to slow down and cut down the turnovers and that was enough to get them the victory.

No. 6 Glenn vs. No. 3 Reynolds was the finale of the first night of the tournament.  This was definitely the most physical game of the day.  The Bobcats roster if filled with strong players that like to play a more physical brand of basketball.

There were plenty of mistakes that made the first quarter a turnover fest.  It seemed both sides made it a point to lock in defensively and that made for a close game.  The game was tied at 23 at intermission.  

The Bobcats stretched out the lead to double digits in the third quarter by forcing the Demons to play their game instead of them sticking to what they do best, which is running plays.  There were a lot of fouls involved in the second half of the game, but Glenn was able to outlast Reynolds for a 60-49 victory.

“It was rough, we have to stop fouling so much,” said Glenn head coach Rodney Minor.  “We fouled way too much and put ourselves in situation to where we are in dogfights every night.  I thought they did some good things, but ultimately I thought we left a lot out there.”

According to Minor he is working on the focus and discipline of his team.  He says he was proud of his team for their defensive efforts in the second half, but knows they have to begin to play well from the start of the game to enjoy a successful season.

Day one of the Lash/Chronicle tournament brought some highs and lows for many teams.  It set up a great day two where some teams were looking to bounce back from losses while others were hoping to continue into the championship round.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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