Tournament’s early rounds play out as expected

Tournament’s early rounds play out as expected
December 24
00:00 2015
East Forsyth power forward Dominique Jones shoots over the outstretched arms of Glenn’s Christian Herbin.
(Photo by Craig T. Greenlee)



With the exception of a couple of mild first-round upsets, all has gone as expected at this year’s Lash-Chronicle JV Tournament. The Final Four – Mount Tabor, West Forsyth, East Forsyth and Reynolds – just happen to be the tournament’s top four seeds.

Here’s a run-down on the Final Four teams and their prospects entering the month of January.

Mount Tabor

The one question about this team is whether or not it will play to its true strength. The Spartans have their share of big bodies in the post – Duncan Smits, Dillon Bullard, Jaylen Moore and Cole Foley. All four players know how to muscle their way for position to dominate the glass for second-chance points.

The backcourt tandem of Carson Antis and Quest Aldridge has played well, and figures to improve as the season progresses.

Mount Tabor’s inside size proved to be the key difference in its 94-84 win over defending tournament champ Winston-Salem Prep in the quarterfinals. The Spartans were at their best when pounding the ball inside.

While it’s true that Mount Tabor is formidable, it doesn’t mean that this team is invincible. The night before playing the Lash-Chronicle quarterfinals, the Spartans had a 67-65 road loss to Reynolds. Turnovers and missed free throws were heavy contributors to Mount Tabor’s demise.

“For us to play as well as we’re capable of playing, it’s all about how we dictate the ball game,” said coach Willie Harrison. “When to run, when not to run. Plus, we have to do a better job of paying attention to details, especially in the fourth quarter of ball games.”

West Forsyth

Of the four semi-finalists, West Forsyth came the closest to having to make an early tournament exit. Even though the Titans maintained control throughout their match-up against Reagan, they were pushed to the limit, but managed to survive with a 59-54 victory in overtime.

In the waning seconds of regulation, Ryan Ayers hit a 3-pointer and then he hit a pair of free throws to tie the game at 49 with less than a second left to play.

In the OT, JaQuan McMillian of West Forsyth secured the win with two critical steals which he converted into fast-break baskets. McMillian finished with a team-high 20 points. Power forward C.J. Mack turned in a solid performance at the defensive end and he also contributed 11 points to the cause.

Ayers was tops for Reagan with 24 points and Shammond Dockery chipped in with 10 points.

“We shot ourselves in the foot,” said coach Jefferey Williams. “But a lot of that was because of Reagan, and how they played defense. There’s a lot for this team to work on, both on the court and off the court. We’re playing with mainly all freshmen and one sophomore and they’re being asked to be mature for this tournament and for the rest of the season.”

East Forsyth

The Eagles suffered one regular-season loss (to Reagan), but other than that, they’ve been the dominant team. In the Lash-Chronicle quarterfinal round, East Forsyth pounced on longtime rival Glenn from the opening tip and cruised to an 80-69 victory.

Point guard Josh Mahaffey  led the Eagles with 16 points and backcourt mate Tanis Samuels scored 15 points. Connor Sparrow (13 points) controlled the paint at both ends of the court.

Marcus Harris was the prime offensive weapon for the Bobcats with a game-high 20 points. Paul Carlton added 10 points.

“We have an experienced team that’s very hungry,” said coach Rodney Minor. “When we can get the ball inside, it softens things up for our shooters. When we play to our potential, it can be very scary. We’re talented from top to bottom. This team goes two-deep at every position.”


The Demons had an easy time of it in a 67-51 victory over Lexington.

There were times, however, when they eased up and Lexington was able to pull within seven points of the lead (60-53) with about four minutes remaining. Perhaps this was to be expected. The night before playing in the quarterfinals, Reynolds beat Mount Tabor in a game that wasn’t decided until the final seconds.

In the tournament win, point guard Ian Henderson led all scorers with 15 points and Charlie Mensh finished with 12. Four other Reynolds players scored six points or more.

For Lexington, Saafir Craven scored a team-high 12 points, while Jayron Roberts and Nasheed Peoples contributed 10 points apiece.

“Coming in, I knew we would have to fight against a let-down from the night before when we beat Mount Tabor,” said coach Mike McCulloch. “Lexington cut into our lead and made us sweat a little bit.

“Looking ahead, the key for us is to play defense and box-out. If we try to rely on our athletic ability without boxing-out, we’re going to find ourselves in a lot of dog-fight type of games.”

Lash-Chronicle Scoreboard

(Parentheses denote tournament seed)

Quarterfinals results

(No. 2) West Forsyth 59, (No. 10) Reagan 54, OT

(No. 3) East Forsyth 80, (No. 11) Glenn 69 

(No. 1) Mount Tabor 94, (No. 9) Winston-Salem Prep 84 

(No. 4) Reynolds 67, (No. 5) Lexington 51 

Semifinals, Dec. 21

East Forsyth vs. West Forsyth 6:30 p.m.

Reynolds vs. Mount Tabor, 8 p.m.

Finals, Dec. 22

3rd-Place Consolation, 6 p.m.

Championship, 7:30 p.m.

First round results

East Forsyth 81, Walkertown 14

Reynolds 87, North Forsyth 65

Lexington 68, Atkins 27

Glenn 64, Parkland 54

Reagan 62, Thomasville 61

Winston-Salem Prep 70, Carver 32


About Author

Craig Greenlee

Craig Greenlee

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