Prep is back; Reagan and Glenn post upset wins

Prep is back; Reagan and Glenn post upset wins
December 17
00:00 2015
Photo by Craig T. Greenlee
Marcus Harris (4) led the Bobcats to a first-round victory over the Mustangs.



The Lash-Chronicle JV Tournament tipped off for its 24th year last Saturday. The daylong, opening round produced its share of intriguing moments in the six games played at Carver High School.

Defending tournament champ Winston-Salem Prep appears to be returning to form as a viable title contender. The Phoenix had one of its worst starts in recent years, which explains why it ended up as a ninth-seed. That really didn’t matter in round one as the Prep won easily over No. 8 Carver. The Phoenix has won three of last four tournament championships.

The two biggest surprises came earlier in the day. Glenn, the 11th seed, won convincingly over 6th-seeded Parkland. No. 10 Reagan advanced to the quarterfinals by virtue of a buzzer-beater 3-pointer in a thrilling win over 7th-seeded Thomasville.

“This year’s tournament looks very promising,” said Robert Wynn, who has served as director of the tournament since its inception in 1992. “Of the 14 teams in the field, 11 have winning records. I’m hopeful that people will appreciate the brand of basketball that’s played at the Lash-Chronicle tournament.”

The first round is now history. So all attention is turned to this weekend when the eight remaining teams do battle in the quarterfinal round. Will Prep win it again? Can Mount Tabor live up to expectations as this year’s No. 1 seed? Is there a genuine dark horse this year? The answers to most of these questions figure to be answered in two more days.

Here’s a recap of last week’s action.

PREP OVERPOWERS CARVER: Winston-Salem Prep didn’t play like a No. 9 seed in its first-round face-off against Carver. Entering the tournament, the Phoenix was 1-3 and didn’t seem to have its usual swagger.

Any doubts about Prep were erased early on in what turned out to be a one-sided issue. The Phoenix pressed and hounded Carver into committing numerous floor errors and the end result was a 70-32 win.

Tyren Hairston scored 23 points in his return to the Phoenix lineup after missing several days because of a toe injury. Zach Austin added 14 points, which included four 3-pointers, and Mike Montgomery contributed 10 points to the cause.

“We finally got a few practices under our belt and now we’re rounding into shape,” said coach Bill Tibbs of Winston-Salem Prep. “I liked how we played together tonight, but I’m not happy with our defense right now. We have a full week of practice coming up, so we’re going to be ready for (top seed) Mount Tabor next week. We have all our players now, so we’ll just come out here (for the upcoming quarterfinal round) and see what happens.”

As the first quarter progressed, things got progressively worse for the Yellow Jackets, who trailed by nine points at the end of the quarter. By intermission, Prep’s lead ballooned to 46-12.

“Turnovers, missed free throws and not getting back on defense hurt us badly,” said coach Roderick Fluellen of Carver. “Once we fell behind, it was hard for us to get back in the game. But the season is still young and we have time to grow as individuals and as a team.”

REAGAN STUNS THOMASVILLE: With 3.2 seconds left to play in the game, coach Jeff Noe of Reagan called a time out to set up what he hoped would be the game-winning play. The Raiders trailed Thomasville by a basket and needed a 3-pointer to snatch victory from defeat.

Zach Pascual took the pass on the left wing, squared his shoulders and hit a 28-foot bank shot from the left wing that gave Reagan a dramatic 62-61 comeback win over the Bulldogs.

“Our guys battled and they scrapped,” said Noe. “When you draw up a play, there’s always a 50-50 chance that it will work. This time, things worked out in our favor.”

The Raiders showed resilience in spite of suffering a disappointing loss to rival Mount Tabor the night before. In Noe’s mind, the comeback represents a big step in his team’s development.

“We kept telling them this (first round of the tournament) is a new day,” said Noe. “One of the things we talked about all game long was overcoming physical fatigue with mental toughness. When things mattered most, they found a way to win.”

Ryan Ayers scored a team-high 16 points to lead the Raiders, followed by Brandon Hanna, who contributed 15 points. Pascual finished with 13 and Shammond Dockery chipped in with 10 points.

GLENN SURPRISES: Based on seeding, Glenn (11th) wasn’t supposed to make it past the first round. Now, it’s clear that the Bobcats paid no attention to where they were seeded.

Marcus Harris poured in 20 points and Micah Bennett contributed 13 as Glenn topped No. 6 Parkland, 64-54. After starting the season 0-3, the Bobcats have won four in a row.

“Being mentally focused, that was the difference,” said coach Richard Daniels. “That’s what we were lacking earlier in the season. Parkland made a run late in the fourth quarter, but we stepped it up over the final two minutes.”

REYNOLDS PREVAILS: In the first half, 13th-seeded North Forsyth gave Reynolds all it could handle. But the second half was vastly different as the Demons shifted into high gear to win handily, 87-65.

Reynolds went up by eight in the second quarter. But the Vikings rallied and pulled to within a basket of the lead (42-40) on Aaron Worthy’s 3-pointer in the final seconds before intermission.

LEXINGTON DOMINATES: The fifth-seeded Yellow Jackets made short work of Atkins in this match-up. Lexington led from the opening tip and never let up in a 68-27 victory.

EAGLES SOAR: Thirteen East Forsyth players scored at least one field goal in an 81-14 blow-out win over Walkertown. Tanis Samuels and Avery Hall scored 11 points apiece for the victors and Jimmy Nichols chipped in with 10.


Lash-Chronicle JV Tournament

(All games played at Carver High School;)

(Parentheses denotes seed number)

First round scoreboard

(No. 3) East Forsyth 81, (No. 14) Walkertown 14

(No. 4) Reynolds 87, (No. 13) North Forsyth 65

(No. 5) Lexington 68, (No. 12) Atkins 27

(No. 11) Glenn 64, (No. 6) Parkland 54

(No. 10) Reagan 62, (No. 7) Thomasville 61

(No. 9) Winston-Salem Prep 70, (No. 8) Carver 32

Quarterfinals, Dec. 19

Reagan vs. (No. 2) West Forsyth, 3:30 p.m.

Glenn vs. East Forsyth, 5 p.m.

Winston-Salem Prep vs. (No. 1) Mount Tabor, 6:30 p.m.

Lexington vs. Reynolds, 8 p.m.

Semifinals, Dec. 21

Glenn-East Forsyth winner vs. Reagan-West Forsyth winner, 6:30 p.m.

Winston-Salem Prep-Mount Tabor winner vs. Lexington-Reynolds winner, 8 p.m.

Finals, Dec. 22

Third-place consolation game, 6 p.m.

Championship game, 7:30 p.m.


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Craig Greenlee

Craig Greenlee

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