Family Matters: Taylors Lift Hopewell Past CHHS
By DAVID BREIDENBACH, Correspondent
Dec 17, 2012, 17:05
Hopewell junior Keion Taylor (32) attacks the basket as Colonial Heights junior Frank Dinoia defends during a Central District game on Friday. Boosted by Taylor’s 23 points, the visiting Blue Devils cruised to an 85-62 victory (photo by David Breidenbach).
COLONIAL HEIGHTS – If it isn’t one Taylor, it’s another (or another, or another).
In a Central District boys basketball game against Colonial Heights on Friday, the most unheralded of Hopewell’s four Taylor cousins, Keion, came through with 23 hard-earned points in the paint to lead the Blue Devils to an 85-62 victory.
Normally when you hear about a Hopewell win, you hear about Tabyus Taylor and his 3-point shooting or Octavious Taylor’s up-tempo trapping and harassing defensive play. Both were on display throughout this road outing too, but Keion Taylor’s inside presence hurt the Colonials the most.
The 6-5 junior came through every time the Blue Devils needed him in the low post and countered the best efforts of the Colonials’ big man in the middle, Doug Jackson.
“We knew it was going to be tough coming in here,” Keion Taylor said. “But I just had to make my shots tonight.”
And make them he did.
He picked up a number of baskets in transition on feeds from point guards Octavious Taylor and Isaiah Fernandez. His work against the likes of Jackson and Frank Dinoia in the deep post helped open up Hopewell’s outside shooting.
As a result, only one other player, Tevin Holloway, reached double digits for the Blue Devils. Holloway drained three 3-pointers and netted 11 points to lead Hopewell’s perimeter scoring threat.
At the same time, Donovan Ennis, Daniel Saunders, and Darrell Taylor – the youngest of the Taylor quartet – each scored nine points.
Despite the 23-point margin of victory, the Colonials were in contention for the first six minutes of play, and actually had a six-point lead when Ashton Reighard put together a series of 3-pointers from the deep corner.
But with two minutes left in the first quarter, Jackson and fellow forward Quinshawn Owens picked up their second fouls and both were pulled out of the mix.
The Colonials stopped getting good looks at the basket as a result of Hopewell picking up their full-court pressure.
“We had a whole bunch of turnovers,” said Colonial Heights coach John Thomas. “We knew Hopewell was going to press all night. I thought we started out all right, but Quinshawn and Doug got in foul trouble and we had to play some young players who we need to step up.
“They didn’t know to keep their heads up to break the press, and that got us into trouble.”
When Hopewell’s full-court pressure is rolling, you can bet it’s another one of those Taylor cousins leading the way. Octavious Taylor is the engine that powers Hopewell’s defense.
Three weeks ago, he teamed up with Ennis and Tabyus Taylor to put on a trapping clinic that turned a 15-point deficit against Prince George into a 10-point victory for Hopewell.
Then last week, against a very tough Thomas Dale team, foul trouble kept the senior Taylor on the bench and the Knights pulled away to win by nine.
“He really is the catalyst concerning our defensive pressure,” Hopewell coach Reggie Simon said of Octavious Taylor. “Usually, when I bring him in, the guys feed off his defensive energy. He’s really very, very aggressive, and sometimes too aggressive.
“I feel at times, because he is so aggressive, that the whistle blows before he gets there.”
The Colonials seemed to get things going when they were able to feed Jackson in the paint. Under the hoop, Jackson has an array of pivot moves, as well as great size and strength that make him nearly unstoppable within six feet of the bucket.
On several occasions, he employed an up-and-under move that drew his defender away from the basket, and gave him room to slip by for an easy two points. He was also very effective from the foul line, where he hit on 9-of-14 attempts.
Jackson finished the night with 19 points for the Colonials while Reighard had 13 and freshman Jacob Ezell had 10.
Colonial Heights guard Jacob Ezell (24) tries to regain control of the ball after a foul from Hopewell’s Tre’ Bryant (photo by David Breidenbach).
Simon changed things up by starting his second team and bringing in his normal starting rotation later. He wanted to give the reserves a chance to start since they had played well the night before, and he also wanted to see how his first team handled coming off the bench.
“We wanted to mix things up a bit,” Simon said. “I wanted to give them a chance to start a game and let the other group get a chance to come off the bench. When the second group came in, they gave us a lift. Then when the first group came in, we had another lift. It really worked out well.”
But it was Keion Taylor who put the game away with 15 points in the second half, 10 in the final frame. At that point, there was very little the Colonials could do to get back into the game as the gap moved quickly from 10 points to 23.
“I thought early on they did a good job handling the pressure and getting the ball in to Doug [Jackson],” Simon said. “He’s a really great offensive player in the post. We shot the ball well tonight and have for the last couple games. I hope we continue to improve.
“Next week, we will practice for the Fort Lee [Holiday] tournament.”
HOPEWELL (4-2, 3-1 Central): Ennis 9, Holloway 11, Saunders 9, T. Taylor 7, O. Taylor 4, Boney 0, Fernandez 4, Spencer 0, Monds 6, K. Taylor 23, D. Taylor 9, Witherspoon 0. Totals 32 14-24 85. 3-pointers: Holloway 3, Ennis.