W-S Certified opens up season with a win

Rashid Hines, No. 22 in red, goes up for a layup while being defended by Zalinor Banks, No. 6 in blue.

W-S Certified opens up season with a win
March 09
05:20 2017

Photo by Timothy Ramsey



The Winston-Salem Certified basketball team opened up 2017 play in the East Coast Basketball League with a statement victory against the Petersburg Cavaliers Saturday night at the Salem Baptist Christian School gym.  The Certified were down by as many as 10 in the first quarter but bounced back to win 119-107.

(Winston-Salem Certified offers a venue for basketball talent in the area who may have been overlooked by professional or college scouts.)

Getting off to a slow start offensively, the Certified struggled making shots leading to their double figure deficit in the first quarter.  With only seven healthy players available to play Saturday night, the Certified had little room for error.

As the game progressed the Certified began to click offensively while also turning up the intensity on the defensive end getting critical stops at critical moments. The game went back and forth throughout the second half, but the Certified pulled away late to earn the victory.

“For the first game of the year and us not having everyone available and not getting ample practice time you have to be happy to be able to come out with a win,” said Charles Thomas, Certified head coach.  “Everybody had to fight and play additional minutes and do things they aren’t accustomed to doing, but it was a total team effort and everyone stepped up.”

“This is big to come out the first game and win because we didn’t know what to expect.  For the guys to come out and play the way they played was big.”

Thomas spoke very highly of Marcus Brown for his defense, clutch shooting and leadership out on the court.  He also said Stephen Higgins played big for his team.  He calls Higgins the “glue guy” for the Certified.

The Cavaliers put on a good show for the crowd. Earl Gee, Jamar Cooper and Tommie Starks all played well and kept the Cavs in the game.  Cavalier head coach Kyle Dixon says he felt his team played well at certain points in the game but felt they could have played better.

“I think we could have played better defense and they out rebounded us and their hustle was incredible throughout the entire game,” Dixon said.  “Their coaching staff did a great job getting them prepared especially with the little things.  They were more prepared than we were.”

Dixon praised the play of Cooper who is a new-comer on the team. About Cooper he said, “Cooper is an outstanding basketball player and plays with a very level head.  He is consistent throughout every game and has been that way on every level.  All the hard work he put into his game showed tonight.”

Dixon says they will take this loss and learn from it.  He says ironically enough they lost to the Certified in the first game last season.  He says he knows they will get better as the season progresses and “represent the people of Petersburg” well.

Thomas says this was a good sign that his team was able to get this win while playing somewhat short-handed.  He says once they get back to full strength, they can really show the league what his team is made of.

“We are a gritty team and we play tough, Thomas went on to say.  “A team will always have lapses but you just have to pull it together and sometimes you have those spurts where it looks like magic out on the court.

About Author

Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

Related Articles


Featured Sponsor

Receive Chronicle Updates

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.



More Sponsors