Last Updated: Apr 27th, 2015 - 11:04:56

Thomas Dale Earns Important Win Over Colonials
By David Breidenbach, Correspondent
Jan 8, 2014, 08:11

David Breidenbach/Hopewell News/News-Patriot
COLONIAL HEIGHTS—Coming into Tuesday night’s game against the Colonials, Thomas Dale Coach Eddie Goss felt his team needed to work together more in order to achieve success on the court.

In their first game coming out of the winter break, the Knights were one game under .500 at 3-4 and Goss felt they should have been at least 6-1. His goal was to get his players to play more team ball.

“Right now we’re 4-4, but I feel like we should be 7 and 1; we lost close to Matoaca and Thomas Jefferson. And we just kind of fell off against Meadowbrook and Bird,” Goss said. “We feel like we need to get everyone playing together, working more as a team than individuals.”

Mission accomplished.

Andrien White kicked off the 80-41 rout by taking the opening tip off and turning it into a dunk in the first few seconds of play. Before you could say
“Knights Win,” the Thomas Dale squad spurted to a 7-2 lead and then took off never to see less than a double-digit margin the rest of the way. Along the way, all 12 players scored and the defense absolutely stifled any chance the
Colonials had to catch up.

Four Thomas Dale players struck for double figures: Niles Tate led all scorers with 14 points, White had 13, Joe Smith had 11, and Christian Clark added 10. Only Jacob Ezell broke the double-figure scoring mark for the Colonials; Brian Madly had 9.

While the Knights’ scoring line was prominent, it was their team defense that Goss was most proud of. They came out charged up and stormed to a 25-11 first quarter lead, mostly by stopping the Colonials at mid court and then by not allowing any extra shots on rebounds.

When they chose to press, the Colonials struggled to get the ball up court and accrued several turnovers.

“We played extremely well defensively and when you have good defense you get easy buckets on offense,” Goss said. “If we are going to run up and down the court and play the press, we need 9 or 10 guys involved.”

Getting more players involved was a team goal, and they were able to do so especially in the first half when 10 players got floor time for the Knights.

When the lead expanded to 30 points, it was easy for Goss to get the rest of the squad involved.
David Breidenbach/Hopewell News/News-Patriot

The Colonials seemed to be searching for the right combination of players, but struggled at the guard position. The Knights’ full court pressure caused them problems, and they also had difficulty working the ball into the low post. When they got the ball down low, the Knights’ big players didn’t allow many second chance shots.

Winning is a must for Thomas Dale as they work their way through the VHSL’s new conference alignment. The Knights are still playing the Central District schedule, which pits them against smaller schools like: Colonial Heights, Hopewell, Petersburg, and Dinwiddie. Using the point system the VHSL has devised, the value of such victories over smaller schools costs the Knights. So winning and garnering a solid win-loss record is paramount to Thomas Dale’s playoff hopes. If they aren’t among the top teams in the conference, they will have to go on the road making any post season goals harder to reach.

“We are in Conference 3 with Varina, Cosby, James River, Patrick Henry-Roanoke, and Franklin County. But we are still playing the Central District schedule, so we’ve got to win. When it gets down to conference play we have to have a good record. We’ve got to win and have the best record we can at the end of the season,” Goss said.

THOMAS DALE (4-4) — Gregory 1, Booth 5, Smith 11, Harris 6, White 13, Gothe 6, Fleischer 2, Tate 14, Holliday 2, Clark 10, Ray 8, Robinson 2. Totals 36 5-13 80.
COLONIAL HEIGHTS (1-11) — Markins 0, Gwaltney 4, Anderson 0, Ezell 13, Nightingale 0, Desima 2, Williams 3, Madly 9, Cox 5, Morgan 2, Jones 0, Baker 0, Maloney 2, Crinkley 1, Blackwell 0, Goodine 0. Totals 12 14-22 41.

Thomas Dale 25 15 21 19 – 80
Colonial Heights 11 11 9 10 - 41

3-point goals — TD: Ray 2, Smith; CH: Ezell 3.

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