Reynolds is the team to beat in the CPC

Reynolds is the team to beat in the CPC
January 07
00:00 2016



It’s still too early to know for sure, but the Lash-Chronicle Tournament could be a preview for JV basketball in the Central Piedmont Conference.

Reynolds came in as the tournament’s No. 4 seed and earned its ticket to the final by posting a convincing win over top-seeded Mount Tabor (77-70). The Demons, however, fell flat in the next round against East Forsyth and had to settle for the runner-up trophy.

“I’m satisfied with the progress we’ve made as a team,” said coach Mike McCulloch of Reynolds, whose team was 9-1 as of Jan. 4. “Now it’s up to us to continue what we’ve started.”

Reynolds may have a leg up on the rest of the CPC as a result of its two previous victories over the Spartans. In both games, the Demons were able to dictate tempo, which helped to neutralize the Spartans’ size advantage in the low post. These long-time rivals will meet for the third time this season on Jan. 29 at Mount Tabor.

McCulloch’s crew has the components to play at a frenzied pace, but under control. Even though RJR has just one true low-post player (Larry Borland III), it does better than OK with a roster that’s top-heavy with guards and swing players. At power forward, Rashon Bethea is an undersized 6-footer, but he’s tenacious and doesn’t mind doing the dirty work in the paint.

“Up to this point, we’re playing with an unselfish attitude,” he said. “Plus, our shot selection is good.”

Reynolds is equipped to do much damage with four players who are all capable of leading the team in scoring on any given night. Point guard Ian Henderson (Lash-Chronicle all-tournament pick) has the hoops smarts to make plays as a passer and as a scorer who can generate offense in one-on-one situations.

Henderson’s partner, Treviz Murphy, shoots well from 3-point distance, and he’s skilled enough to score on drives to the basket while making body contact and drawing fouls. Dashan Adams could be Reynolds’ best two-way player. Adams has an assortment of offensive moves and he frequently gets the assignment to guard the opposing team’s best backcourt player.

Freshman guard Mysta Goodloe has made an immediate impact as a scoring threat. McCulloch is quick to confess that Goodloe could easily be a starter. With this group, though, McCulloch believes his team is best served by having Goodloe as the sixth man. In the Lash-Chronicle championship game, Goodloe buried a couple of 3-pointers and scored 15 points to lead a comeback in a 68-58 loss.

“Mysta will continue to come off the bench,” said McCulloch. “There’s no question that he’s good enough to start. But he gives us such a spark with his ability to score. So, that’s his role on this team.”

As well as the Demons have played, they are not flawless. East Forsyth used a full-court zone press and the inside dominance 6-foot-5 center Connor Sparrow to shut them down in the Lash-Chronicle title game. It took most of the first half before Reynolds was able to handle the pressure with any level of consistency.

By the late stages of the second quarter, East Forsyth had built a substantial cushion and Reynolds wasn’t able to make a complete comeback. “We didn’t handle their pressure too well and that caused us to play at a different pace,” said McCulloch. “It didn’t help that our shot selection wasn’t what it usually is. Those are some things that we’ll work on.”

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Craig Greenlee

Craig Greenlee

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