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Eagles top Spartans to kick off the new year

Photo by Timothy Ramsey

Eagles top Spartans to kick off the new year
January 11
03:00 2018

Coming off of Christmas break is the toughest part of the season for high school teams due to the lack of practice.  This was very evident in the game between East Forsyth and Mount Tabor last Wednesday. Jan. 3, as the Eagles squeaked out a tight 47-42 victory.

With this being the first game coming off of Christmas break, both teams seemed a little off as they attempted to get back into their normal routines. 

One would assume a low scoring game more than likely meant good defense on both sides.  In this case it was a lack of offensive efficiency and sloppy play that led to the low score of the game.

“We played alright but we could have played better if we had more execution,” said Kedrick Carpenter, Mt. Tabor head coach.  “It’s the simple things like getting to the 50/50 balls that we did not get that cost us.”

The same sentiments were echoed from the winning coach Rodney Minor of East Forsyth.  He says his squad lacks toughness at times but feels that is something they can fix as the season progresses.

“I thought we played sporadic and a bit lethargic and made it a dog fight,” he said.  “If we had made our easy buckets we would not have been in this dog fight.”

For most of the first half, it was a one or two possession game on either side.  Each time either team look to take control, the other would find a way to answer.  Mount Tabor went into the intermission with just a one-point lead at 25-24.

More erratic play followed as the teams began the second half.  Both teams were only able to muster single-digit points in the third quarter, with the Spartans still leading by two.

Late in the fourth quarter, Tabor continued to hold a slight two-point lead.  Down the stretch, the Eagles finally began to make the plays necessary by hitting clutch shots and playing solid defense.  The Spartans unraveled in crunch time, enabling the Eagles to snatch the victory.

“I have been telling the guys to just be patient, stay the course and don’t let anything rattle you and something good will come and that’s what happened tonight,” said Minor.  “Even though we shot the ball terribly tonight, the guys didn’t hang their heads, and to come out with a win was fortunate for us.”

According to Minor, the Eagles have two returning players from last year’s team but none of them played significant minutes for the team.  He feels he has a good group of guys that have come together quicker than anticipated.

Carpenter felt his guys did not play as a cohesive unit for the entire game as he would have liked.  He says once his guys went on a little run, they began playing individual basketball, which really hurt them in the final few minutes of the game.

“I want the guys to understand when you are up by six points with three or four minutes to go, it’s OK to run sets instead of going one on five,” he says.  “We were not focused and not being strong with the ball but we have to key in on the little things.”

Minor had high praise for starting guard Ty Lyles, who hit some clutch shots toward the end of the game. 

“That kid is a special talent and I have been waiting for him to come out of his shell because I know he can play,” Minor said about Lyles.  “Tonight I left him out there for extended minutes, which is more than normal, and he showed up by hitting some big shots.”

Minor says even though his team did not shoot well all night, he was proud his guys withstood the onslaught from Mt. Tabor.  He feels once he shows them the mistakes they made on tape, they can get back into the practice gym to make the necessary corrections.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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