Well-equipped Demons could use some tweaking

Well-equipped Demons could use some tweaking
January 08
00:00 2015
(Photo by Craig Greenlee, Above: Taris Young (12) drives past Reid Fulk (25) of West Stokes.)

Reynolds has sufficient size, plus adequate speed and shooting to make its presence felt in the Central Piedmont 4-A Conference this season. The Demons entered the New Year with a 10-3 record which included noteworthy wins over Winston-Salem Prep (69-66) and Parkland (65-54).

The Christmas break, however, was not very kind to a Reynolds team that was the No. 2 seed in last week’s Champions Bracket of the Frank Spencer Holiday Classic. Coach Billy Martin’s squad stumbled out of the starting blocks in a 54-53 upset loss to seventh-seeded Lexington. On the following day, they lost 60-58 to rival Mount Tabor in triple overtime. RJR closed out the tournament with a 61-41 blow-out of West Stokes.

“We have a pretty good basketball team,” said Martin. “What we’re striving for now is to reach a level of consistency. The talent is there, so it’s really a matter of everyone playing with confidence and trusting one another.”

In the days leading up to the Spencer, Martin was concerned about his team’s psyche. The Demons suffered a disappointing 54-46 loss to Pinecrest on Dec. 17 and he wasn’t sure how they might respond in the opening round of tournament play. “I was afraid that they might have lost a little of their confidence,” he said. “But after today (against West Stokes), we know what we’re capable of doing.”

How far Reynolds goes this season will depend on how well the threesome of Akia Pruitt, Aaron Reynolds and Chris Freeman performs. Pruitt, a 6-foot-6 center, patrols the paint at both ends and averages 10 points, 7.5 rebounds and 3 blocked shots per game. Reynolds (9 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists) has evolved as a 3-point shooter who’s athletic enough to take defenders to the basket off the dribble. Freeman, a versatile swing player, averages 11 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists per game.

Even though this trio is a focal point, the Demons do have a solid supporting cast in place. Point guard Will Blackard has emerged as the undisputed floor leader and Tim Henry excels as a

Mike Hinton in action.

Mike Hinton in action.

reliable rebounder and interior defender.

Taris Young comes off the bench to provide quickness and savvy for the RJR backcourt. Sam Bryant and Mike Hinton continue to develop nicely as productive post players.

In this year’s race for the CPC crown, look for Reynolds to be right in the mix with contenders West Forsyth, Mount Tabor, Reagan and Parkland. The Demons could have a slight edge because they can flourish in an up-tempo game and execute their offense in half-court sets. Defensively, Martin likes going man-to-man, but his team can also pose problems when it goes to its 2-3 zone. “Now that we’re into the conference part of the schedule, it’s important for us to get off to good starts,” he said. “We play in a balanced league, which means that in order to win it, you’ve got to bring it every night.”

About Author

Craig Greenlee

Craig Greenlee

Related Articles


Featured Sponsor

Receive Chronicle Updates

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



More Sponsors