Douglas Leads Petersburg Past Generals
By Ryan Lazo, sports editor
Dec 17, 2013, 23:00
Ryan Lazo/Hopewell News/News-Patriot
PETERSBURG — For the first eight minutes of game-action, the Dinwiddie Generals marched into William Lawson gymnasium and took the attack right to the Crimson Wave. There was no fear in a Generals' squad which eliminated Petersburg from last year's conference tournament, tallying a 13-0 run in the latter stages of the first period on the strength of Isaiah Gholson's 8 points.
But in the final eight minutes of the first half, the action sped up with both teams finding creases into the paint for acrobatic lay-ups while also finding nothing but nylon on long trifectas. The first 16 minutes of action saw a mind-boggling 15 lead changes in all.
Yet, it all changed over the first 1:37 of the third quarter as Kaimonne' Douglas went on a personal 11-2 tear, giving the Crimson Wave a six-point lead which they would never relinquish en route to a 80-71 victory.
"They got off to a good run. I thought Gholson came into the game and gave them great length," Petersburg head coach Rick Hite said after the win. "We knew he was a scorer, but we just couldn't find him in transition. He kinda sparked that first quarter for them."
And it was a coaching adjustment following Gholson's immediate impact which started to change the direction of momentum as the Crimson Wave (3-2) stared at a 23-16 deficit entering the second quarter.
While the Generals (4-3) shot the lights out of the ball in the first quarter, the Crimson Wave were reluctant to play any type of full-court pressure because of the risk for easy transition baskets. However, once the shots kept finding net, Hite knew a change had to be made.
The Crimson Wave went to a 2-1-2 full-court press with a heavy emphasis on trapping any opposing player, using the sidelines as an extra man. It paid immediate dividends for Petersburg as they forced the Generals into eight turnovers over the opening 2:40 of the second quarter.
"We wanted to pick up the pace a little on the defensive end," Hite said. "Make that conscious effort at getting deflections and just make every basket tough. I thought they made shots in the first quarter, but we weren't there to contest them and in the second quarter we did a really good job of just being there."
Although, the defensive effort did not change the tide by itself.
In fact, most of the credit falls on the shoulders of Douglas who is slowly becoming Hite's go-to scorer off the bench. Douglas may not be in the starting lineup when the tip is thrown into the air, but he logs starter minutes over the course of the game.
The senior guard fueled multiple rallies for the Crimson Wave, but none more important than the one to start the third quarter. Douglas opened up the scoring with a trifecta, then drove to the basket, drawing a foul where he made both free throws at the charity stripe.
But the feat which forced a timeout and a loud chorus of cheers inside the gym came from an off-balance 3-pointer on which he was fouled, made the shot and the free-throw to complete the rare four-point play.
"Kaimonne' is one of the best scorers around," Hite said of Douglas after his 30-point effort. "He finds a way. He plays at his own pace that I can't even describe because it would take me all day to describe it, but he just finds a way to score the basketball. Whether it's driving, floaters, threes and that's just who he is."
And it was Douglas' play which helped alleviate the losses of the Crimson Wave's two forwards and key scoring options in James Byers and Resean Bolton.
Both of Petersburg's big-men found themselves in early foul trouble, leading to long minutes on the bench. However, while Hite was unhappy with the way defensive miscues led to the fouls being committed, it's also a positive sign his team was able to withstand their losses and come out with a victory.
Ryan Lazo/Hopewell News/News-Patriot
It's a credit to the talented players Hite can send on the court and it starts with Gevon Arrington who dropped in 13 points, utilizing an array of drives to the hoop. Then, Adonis James showed off his outside shooting prowess to finish with 19 points on the night.
However, through five games, no one is sure what to make of this current Petersburg squad. They have alternated wins and losses through each game and have yet to consistently play a full 32 minutes.
It's an aspect which has not gone unnoticed by Hite. He recognizes his team's weaknesses and knows that it's still early in the season. Those problem areas can be fixed over the next two months of basketball, leaving the Crimson Wave in a good spot.
"If we are going to lose, we are going to do it in December," Hite said bluntly. "It's not going to be February or March. Everyone expects us to roll over everyone, but it's not going to happen."
While the level of play around the area has grown, eliminating the psychological advantage the Crimson Wave once had, they still possess one of the area's most talented teams, putting them in a position conducive to winning.