Walkertown survives early push from Carver to secure win

Walkertown survives early push from Carver to secure win
January 18
12:53 2018

Walkertown and Carver are two of the JV teams fighting for supremacy in the Western Piedmont 2-A conference.  Last Friday, Jan. 12 the two teams faced off in a game where the Yellowjackets started off well but eventually fell to the Wolfpack 61-54.

Carver came out of the gates utilizing their one advantage they had, which was size.  In the first quarter, Curtis Wilborn dominated in the paint seemingly scoring at will and grabbing multiple rebounds.  Carver also took advantage of open lanes allowing them to hit easy buckets leading to a 17-11 lead after one quarter.

Walkertown head coach Rodney White was frustrated with his team’s lackadaisical play in the first.  His team immediately responded in the second by quickly tying up the game at 19.  The Wolfpack stepped up the intensity and began to execute leading to defensive stops and clean looks at the basket. 

By the time the second quarter ended the Wolfpack had stormed back into the lead by the score of 32-29.

“I just told the guys that we played terrible in the first quarter and were still only down by six points which shows how good of a team we are,” said White.  “We made a couple of adjustments and made a few subs while playing good defense and that gave us the lead.”

Carver head coach Johnathan Stowe said he felt his team became a little full of themselves after taking a lead early in the game.  He thinks they did not stay focused and the game got away from them.

“I honestly don’t know exactly what happened but I think we kind of rested on our laurels a little bit because we were up in the first quarter,” Stowe said.  “We normally start slow so for us to start fast was a little different for our guys and that led to some mental lapses.”

The Wolfpack expanded their lead throughout the third by playing great defense.  Carver played well in stretches but never sustained any consistency due to the pressure of Walkertown.  By the end of the third quarter the Wolfpack led by double figures.

This game had all the makings of a blowout once the fourth quarter began.  Stowe rallied the Yellowjackets and they attempted to make a run during the middle of the fourth quarter trimming the lead to 7. 

Following the Carver run, coach White called a timeout to slow the run.  The Wolfpack held off the Yellowjackets surge to win by seven.

“In the second half we switched our defense to a 3-2 zone and pressured them a lot which led to turnovers, White said.  “We went up by 15 and they made a good run to come back towards the end but we sealed the deal like we were supposed to.”

Coming into the game White says he was concerned with the size of Carver especially with their big man Noah Leak out sick with an illness.  He says they don’t do a great job of boxing out all the time so that is something they will have to work on going forward.

Sitting at 6-0 in the conference the Wolfpack are in good position of finish on top.  With their only two losses of the season coming in the Lash/Chronicle tournament White feels those setbacks let his team know they can be beat on any given night but if they focus they can play with any team they face.

Coach Stowe felt his team handled the defensive pressure from Walkertown fairly well but thought his team began playing “hero ball” instead of trusting their teammates.  He says Brandon Clayton and Wilborn played really well by attacking the basket and attacking the boards.

This loss was the first conference loss for the Yellowjackets on the year.  They have another game with the Wolfpack coming up in early February, which could determine who comes out on top in the conference.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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