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Spartans overwhelm Reagan Raiders

Spartans overwhelm Reagan Raiders
December 07
05:00 2017

Holding your opponent to only two points in the first quarter usually bodes well for teams’ probability of winning the game.  Last Tuesday Mt. Tabor not only held Reagan to two points in the first quarter, they continued their onslaught en route to a 76-52 victory.

Coming off a 30-point loss in their last game against Lake Norman High, Mt. Tabor was looking to redeem themselves against Reagan.  To rebound by beating an in-town rival by more than 20 points is the perfect way to get the bad taste of a 30-point defeat out of your mouth.

Mt. Tabor head coach Kedrick Carpenter says since many of his players were also on the football team, it will take some time for them to gel as a group.  He feels a win like this can propel his team in the right direction for the remainder of the season.

“This is our second game of the year and I am glad we played well versus how we played in the first game,” said Carpenter.  “By us going deep in the playoffs in football, a lot of our guys missed practices so we did not have much chemistry.”

“Coming in to today’s game we played a lot better on defense compared to our first game.  So we just went back to the basics by getting back on defense and helping each other out on that end of the floor.”

The Spartan players seemed to buy into what Carpenter was preaching about defensive intensity.  During the first half of the game, they swarmed the Raiders on defense by continually forcing turnovers, leading into fast break opportunities that turned into easy layups.

Reagan had their chances to get back into the game but missed an abundance of free throws in the second quarter.  The Raiders did settle down on offense during the second frame and trailed 29-14 at the half.

“It was obvious from the start that we have a lot of work to do,” said Reagan head coach James Stackhouse.  “We have a lot of new pieces that have not come together yet, I only have two players returning from last year and several that have never played high school ball before, so we are still trying to figure out how to play together on the court as a team.”

Coming out of the half, Tabor continued right where they left off in the first half.  Their strategy of attacking the rim while limiting their jump shots worked to perfection.  They answered every run Reagan threw at them.

With a 25 point lead heading into the fourth quarter Mt. Tabor did not ease up on Reagan.  Midway through the quarter the Spartans built a 30-point lead at 72-42.  Although they were defeated handily, credit has to be given to the Raiders for fighting hard to the final whistle.

“They obviously hit us in the mouth early and jumped out on us 16-2 but one thing we are not going to do is roll over and lay down,” said Stackhouse.  “We are gonna keep fighting regardless of what the scoreboard says because sometimes you’re not playing the scoreboard but you’re playing to get better and letting the chips fall where they may.”

Carpenter feels his team played well in the game but says they have room to get better.  He says he is a firm believer in driving the ball to the basket to get fouls.  He feels by shooting foul shots early and seeing the ball go through the basket opens up opportunities for open three point shots.

“I always tell them that hustle doesn’t take talent and you have to take pride in playing good defense,” Carpenter said.  “We are not as big as we were last year but we may be more athletic.”

Jordan Hunter is the only returning player for the Spartans.  Carpenter says he knows Hunter has the talent to play on the varsity level but feels he can learn more by playing the leading role on the JV level.

For Stackhouse he says it’s still early in the year and they have time to fix the issues they have on both ends of the floor.  He says he will lean on his two returning players for leadership and guidance as an example for the younger players.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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