A 14-6 run to begin the second half was key to the GW Eagles 89-66 win over the Trojans last Tuesday night. In route to their victory, the entire 15-man roster scored, which is something the program hasn’t done in recent memory.
“In that third quarter, we turned it up a little bit. I was telling these guys, always from the beginning, to finish the fight in the beginning. Don’t wait until you get to the 12th round trying to finish the fight,” said GW head coach Jermaine Parker.
The Eagles focused on second-chance scoring opportunities “I tell them at any given time, do not let someone out-hustle you or out-work you,” said Parker, “It also comes to communication. But I love the fight. At the beginning of the season, when we started, that was something we weren’t doing. On the defensive end, we were not having the five guys in the paint trying to get the rebound. But now, we are coming around on that. We’re getting the just of it, and with the team being young and new, I think at the right time, they are doing the right things.”
With aggression comes with a chance of committing fouls. For Parker, he wanted his team to understand the difference of doing their job, as a player, to make their opponent earn it at the line, versus blatantly causing them.
“Sometimes, it gets to the place where they just become lazy. When you become lazy, and you’re relaxed, calm and not so loose; then you start to make those mistakes, and those fouls are going to come to you,” said Parker, “Because when it’s time to play hard or have to play tough, then you’re going to over exert yourself,” said Parker. “Those are the things we are working on in practice. I hate reaching. Defense is all about moving your feet,” said Parker, “ added Parker.
One minor problem that the Eagles struggled with was setting their own pace of the game. At times, the Eagles would go on a fast-break, but end their chance with a turnover. This was noticeable to Parker and wants his team to understand the aspect of setting the tone the right way.
“We’re a fast-paced team, but we can’t confuse fast with sloppy,” said Parker, “And I think at times because they feel I’m saying, ‘push the ball’ or ‘go fast’ and they play fast and turn the ball over. With our quickness and speed, there’s a lot of potential, as far as moving the ball up. When you get the rebound, push the ball upcourt.”
GW faced the Trojans back on Jan. 10th at Tunstall and defeated the Trojans 62-40.
Leading the scoring for the Eagles was Kapone Barley, scoring 12. Tyler McDuffie had 11 points along with two blocks . Ja’Kobe Dixon and Donavon Howard each had nine points apiece. Jarell Showers and Shawn Watlington both had seven.
Despite the loss, Tunstall’s Jaylen Crews lead the team with 25 points. Crews drained five three’s. Jamison Graves had 19 and D’dric Rogers had 12.
Due to heavy rain and flooding in Danville on Thursday, GW moved their game against Bassett from Thursday to Saturday afternoon. The two days of rest seemed to help the Eagles. GW would blowout Piedmont District rival Bassett 65-34, stretching their winning streak to seven games.
Playing on Saturday is an unusual occurrence. Usually, teams would play any rescheduled game during the school week. Eagles head coach Jermaine Parker said that it was the best interests of both schools to play Saturday.
Though it wasn’t the style that GW has played all season, it should be note-worthy that they held Bassett to just eight points in the first half; and only two points in the first quarter. Despite not moving the ball as they wanted, it showed that defense was the key to the game.
GW opened the second half on a 13-6 run, which made it 43-14 with three minutes remaining, and by the end of the third, the Eagles put Bassett out of the game with a 28-point lead at 48-20.
Ja’Kobe Dixon led the Eagles in scoring with 15. Second, behind Dixon was Donavon Howard with nine. Kapone Berley had seven, and Sha’Kobe Hariston Shawn Watlington both had six.