Semi-final games bring unexpected results

Kameron Hall of Reagan, No. 14 in black, passes the ball to his teammate.

Semi-final games bring unexpected results
December 29
05:00 2016

Photo by Timothy Ramsey



Thursday’s semi-final games were highly anticipated following the great basketball everyone was able to witness in the consolation games earlier that afternoon.  Unfortunately for East Forsyth and Parkland, they did not show up with their best efforts Thursday evening.

As the Number Two seed coming into the tournament, East Forsyth easily handled West Forsyth in the quarterfinals and seemed to have the momentum in their game against Mt. Tabor.  The Spartans had tough victories against Walktertown and Winston-Salem Prep prior to their game against the Eagles.

As soon as the game started, one thing was evidently clear: East Forsyth would have trouble with the size Mt. Tabor had in their front court.  Early on, Jakob Moore, Duncan Smits and Dillon Bullard were clear mismatches down on the block for any Eagle defender.  Combine their size with the matchup 2-3 zone the Spartans deployed and it was tough sledding offensively for East Forsyth in the first half.

The second half was no different as the Spartans continued to pound the ball down low.  To make matters worse for the Eagles, the Muse brothers, Andrew and Aaron, started to get hot from downtown. The Spartans cruised down the stretch and won 71-51.

“I take my hat off to Mt. Tabor, they are a real big team and they enforced their will on us tonight,” said East Forsyth head coach Rodney Minor.  “My guys fought but we gave up too many easy shots at the rim.  They needed a reality check and hopefully this loss will wake them up and let them know they have to respect the game every time they step on the court.”

Mt. Tabor head coach Willie Harrison said he thought his team handled the press very well and was happy with the play he received from his bench players. He says he wanted to run the zone defensively because he knew East Forsyth had players who could get to the bucket and he wanted to prevent that.

The Mustangs of Parkland came in with as much momentum as the Eagles.  As the Number One seed they previously defeat-ed Glenn in the quarters.  Reagan sought to continue their run under the radar as they aren’t a flashy team but maybe the most fundamentally sound team in the tournament.

In the first half the Mustangs could not handle the precision of the Reagan offense.  Parkland attempted to use their athleticism to get them back into the game but were out-executed in all phases of the game by the Raiders. Reagan led 36-18 at the half. It was more of the same in the second half as Reagan opened up a 20-point lead and never relented, winning the game by the score of 72-51.

“Both teams started off slow with a lot of turnovers but eventually we got rolling,” said Reagan head coach James Stackhouse. “We stayed patient, we stayed focused on defense and we remained disciplined because that’s what we always try to do.”

Parkland head coach Cory Baker added, “We have to focus on the fundamentals.  We knew coming into this game they were a smart group of kids and if we didn’t play right they would kill us on it.  I don’t think my guys showed up in the first half and we never bounced back.  I don’t think they are a better team than us but they played the right way.  Today just wasn’t our day.”

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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