Reagan blows out West

Reagan blows out West
January 16
00:00 2015
(West Forsyth’s Kamonyi Becton scores inside. Photos by Cameron L. Leftwich)

A rivalry game that was supposed to be a suspense-filled thriller turned out to be a shockingly one-sided non-contest. Reagan encountered few problems in spanking West Forsyth in junior varsity basketball action on Jan. 9.

The final count was a surprising 66-45 blow-out win for the host Raiders (13-2, 4-0 Central Piedmont Conference). Given the history of these two teams, there’s little doubt that the Titans will be eager for the rematch meeting on their home floor on Feb. 3.

Coach Jeff Noe

Coach Jeff Noe

“This was by far our best effort of the season,” said Coach Jeff Noe of Reagan. “It’s the first time that we played a complete game for four quarters. I told our guys before the game that with a rival coming to our place, it was important that we protect our home court and that’s what we did.”

Based on what transpired in the opening quarter, it appeared that this match-up would be a back-and-forth affair. The West Forsyth backcourt of Da’Sean Harrell, Dwight Palmer and Mason Matrey was able to break down the defense with dribble penetration which led to high-percentage shots. As a result, the Titans stayed within striking distance and Reagan led 16-15 at the end of the quarter.

The second quarter produced a Raiders explosion that put the game out of reach for good. The Titans, outscored by a 15-4 margin in the quarter, attempted to respond, but had no answers. Untimely floor errors combined with cold shooting proved to be too much to overcome.

When Noe decided to abandon the Raiders man-to-man in favor of a 1-2-2 zone, the flow of the game changed dramatically in his team’s favor. The defensive switch shut off the driving lanes for the Titans and Reagan, who led 31-19 at intermission, took full advantage.

Malik Miles of Reagan takes it to the hoop.

Malik Miles of Reagan takes it to the hoop.

Malik Miles (11 points) was the only Reagan player to score in double figures. But he got more than enough help from the rest of the crew as all 14 players on the Raiders roster scored. “They put us in a bind in the first quarter with their speed at the guard spots,” said Noe. “We don’t normally play zone, but in this case, we had to in order to keep their guards out of the lanes. West Forsyth struggled and they missed some shots that they usually make.”

Reagan applied the finishing touches with a 7-2 run late in the third quarter to extend its lead to 47-27. West Forsyth had its most productive offensive output of the night in the fourth quarter (18 points), but by that time, the outcome had long been decided. Kamonyi Becton finished with 11 points to lead the Titans and Harrell contributed 10 points.

“We laid an egg tonight,” said Coach Jeffrey Williams of West Forsyth. “Our lack of aggression really hurt us. That’s the reason why we failed to execute at both ends of the court. Give Reagan credit, they played great. At this point, all I can say is that we’re off until next Friday (Jan. 16). In the meantime, we’ll go back to work and we will be prepared for the next game.”

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Craig Greenlee

Craig Greenlee

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