Royals' Second Half Swoon Leads To Loss
By Blake Belden, staff writer
Dec 23, 2013, 07:30
Blake Belden/Hopewell News/ News Patriot
Trailing by one point as the clock neared zero, Cory Hill rattled a last effort three pointer off the back of the rim sealing the Prince George Royals' fate. Prince George (2-5) fought hard to surmount offensive roadblocks, however they came up short at home in a 48-47 loss to the Dinwiddie Generals (5-4) on Friday night.
After building an eleven point lead by the end of the first quarter, and maintaining a lead through halftime, the Royals struggled to connect with the basket during the second half. They only scored three points in the third quarter, all of which came from foul shots.
"The third quarter really killed us. Offensively, we couldn't get anything going...It wasn't for lack of effort. We were getting to the basket, [but] the ball wasn't dropping in the hoop. Sometimes that happens. So we had to count on our defense," head coach Travis Carr said following the game.
In the third quarter, Prince George's offense was the victim to multiple turnovers and blocks as they scrambled across the hardwood to score points.
Although they didn't get any field goals in the quarter, Carr commended the strength of the defense, which kept Prince George within a winnable margin, and allowed just five Generals to put numbers on the scoreboard.
"I was proud of our defensive effort...We tried to ride the win from last Friday, tried to play the same intensive defense, and I thought we played it throughout the game," Carr said.
Both teams were coming off a game against Petersburg, where Prince George pulled away with a one point victory and Dinwiddie lost by eight points.
In the second half, Carr decided to change from a zone defense to a man-to-man defense as a way to keep the Royals energetic and aggressive on the court. While Prince George certainly continued to play aggressively, they forced more fouls than Carr liked which gave Dinwiddie a free throw advantage early in the second half of the game.
The Generals shot less than 50 percent from the foul line, just 13 for 27.
Joe Lewis, who gave Dinwiddie their first lead in the third quarter with a set of foul shots, scored 16 points in the win and Jalyn Jarrett put up 10 points as well.
Quincy Cunningham led the way for the Royals with 12 points. Savonte Chappell also had 11 points and at least six rebounds in the loss.
Chappell and Cunningham were key elements in the game, barging through the paint to grab offensive rebounds and rally until the last second.
"As soon as I got back to the locker room, I told our guys how proud I was of them in that last minute or so when we had to crawl back with hitting shots, calling timeouts, fouling. We practice that game situation in practice, and my players are prepared to get a steal," Carr said.
For Carr, he doesn't let the early losses drown out the potential to overcome certain mistakes and become stronger as a team down the road.
"We build off of this as a family. We learn from it and we take it into next week's holiday tournament...and try to win that thing," Carr said.
Prince George will face Evangel Christian during the first round of the holiday tournament on Thursday. Dinwiddie isn't scheduled to play again until January 6 against Monacan.