Last Updated: Mar 31st, 2014 - 14:20:42

Petersburg Survives and Advances
By Blake Belden, staff writer
Dec 27, 2013, 14:43

Blake Belden/Hopewell News/News-Patriot
Petersburg moved on to the second round of the Fort Lee Holiday Tournament to engage in what should be a competitive rematch against Prince George, but their victory over George Marshall on Thursday night was riddled with identity issues and team inconsistencies.

After coming out guns blazing in the first quarter, the Petersburg Crimson Wave (4-2) lost their initial intensity during the rest of the game, as they struggled to hold on to the lead in their 59-50 win over the Statesmen. Petersburg head coach Rick Hite attributed some of this intensity loss to a weaker second string team.

"Our second group has got to give us better minutes. It was a clear drop off in intensity when we started getting into the bench. We can't have that if we expect to be successful," Hite said.

Excluding the first quarter, the Statesmen outscored the Crimson Wave 40-37, even cutting it down to within six points in the fourth quarter, but because Petersburg forced such an offensive disparity in the first eight minutes they were able to come out on top.

Hite said that the team has been characterized by bipolarities this season where they can either be really excellent or just the opposite, a flaw that needs fixing through stronger leadership, experience and a better understanding of each player's role on the team.
Blake Belden/Hopewell News/News-Patriot

"We talk about competing. Well, part of competing is knowing who you are, and if you're a shooter, shoot the daggone basketball. If you're a defender, defend the basketball," Hite said.

Gevon Arrington, whose early layup created a lead the Crimson Wave never lost, led four players who scored in double digits for Petersburg with 14 points, followed by Adonis James, Kaimonne Douglas and Resean Bolton who all had 10 points.

Petersburg earned the largest lead of the night, 16 points, in the second quarter, but lost control of that after George Marshall went on a 12-2 run, a run that only ended after James sunk a three-pointer that sent him to the ground.

At times, Petersburg's inefficiencies seemed to be the result of unnecessary passing which either forced turnovers or traded in open shots for much more difficult shots.

"It's a fine line [between] trying to be unselfish and selfish. And I thought tonight they were over the top in the unselfish category which put them in some bad predicaments and put our team in bad predicaments...They got a little hesitant because they weren't making shots. You can't play this game second guessing yourself," Hite said.

Although the Crimson Wave may have had certain confidence issues, they had no problem hitting three-pointers, where four players shot a combined seven for seven from behind the line.

Defensively, the Crimson Wave was an animalistic presence, forcing the Statesmen to make spastic errors or take bad shots, but Petersburg just didn't seem to capitalize on these turnovers, often charging too rapidly down the court and losing the ball almost immediately after they got it.

In the end, it's still a win and Petersburg, who has won the Fort Lee Holiday Tournament seven years in a row, has a winning record.

But they must overcome many mistakes if they are to vie once again for the championship title. Prince George has already beaten the Crimson Wave once this season, and Hite said if this isn't motivation enough to come out with ferocity in Friday's game, then he doesn't know what is.

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