Prince George Upsets Manchester
By Ryan Lazo, sports editor
Feb 18, 2014, 21:51
Ryan Lazo/Hopewell News/News-Patriot
CHESTERFIELD — Following a Savonte Chappell basket just seven seconds into the game, a feeling of deja vu struck the Prince George sidelines. Manchester answered the Royals' game-opening basket with 11 straight points, forcing Prince George head coach Travis Carr to use his first timeout.
The start was eerily similar to the one which doomed the Royals during their season-opener all the way back in December when the Lancers jumped out to a 12-0 run while never looking back in the win. However, this time Carr had an answer.
With his starters struggling, Carr turned to his bench and they immediately took over. Shonquez Henry stepped on the court and almost as quickly as play resumed, he nailed a corner three-ball to end the Lancers' run. Then, Devin Rose and Chazz Jenkins each tallied baskets to end the quarter to cut the Prince George deficit to just four points.
And the Royals did not let the momentum gained go to waste in a dominating second quarter in which they outscored Manchester 23-to-5 en route to 62-49 victory, upsetting the No. 4 seed.
"Our guys are already to play coming off the bench," Carr said of his second-unit. "I always try to get them involved because they never know when their name is going to be called and we've been getting some sparks from Chazz and Shonquez."
There was no one who made a bigger impact off the bench than Jenkins in this game.
The swingman is normally known for his defensive ability to create havoc with his quickness and his otherworldly leaping ability, but on this night it was his offense which took center stage. Jenkins scored his first bucket off a steal before outracing everyone down the court for a lay-in and it was all he needed to get going.
Jenkins attacked the offensive glass at will, hauling in some much needed offensive rebounds for both himself and his teammates during the dominating second quarter. In fact, it was his rebounding which helped set up Cory Hill's long 3-pointer before the end of the first half.
Yet, Jenkins was not alone in helping the Royals (7-16) to a first-round upset.
Rose entered the game with Prince George struggling on the glass and defending penetration before immediately turning the tide around, impressing his head coach.
"Devin being a senior, he said that this is not going to be his last game," Carr said of the forward's 6-point effort. "We needed rebounding help there and I told him to go to the boards and he did a really good job out there."
However, it was not all smooth sailing for Prince George following halftime.
After recording four consecutive points, Manchester's (8-13) Justin Duhart responded with six-straight of his own including an emphatic slam-dunk, giving his team the momentum.
And by the end of the third quarter, the Lancers had cut the Prince George lead to just five points after forcing seven turnovers on the defensive side of the ball. It was the type of collapse that could cause teams to surrender, but Jenkins would respond with perhaps the biggest shot of the game.
With the lead down to just three, 47-44, it was Jenkins who received the ball at the top of the key before using a crossover to get into the lane before giving a hop-stop and releasing the ball through nylon plus a foul, causing the Royals' bench to erupt.
Ryan Lazo/Hopewell News/News-Patriot
His bucket set the stage for Savonte Chappell to take over down the stretch, scoring nine of his 10 points in the second half while Brian Fullman also dropped in nine of his 13 points over the final 16 minutes.
"No lead is safe it looks like and we haven't been in this type of playoff atmosphere where we had a big lead like that," Carr said. "They have to have that killer instinct because good teams are going to make runs ... We needed to make a play and that was a big play by Chazz."
The ability to make plays in critical moments is a trait reserved for teams that can compete on the highest of levels. For much of this season, Prince George has not been able to execute when it needed too, but through those failures have come lessons.
And these Royals have learned from those disappointments and it showed in a game where contributions were made up and down the lineup. From senior leaders in Rose and Fullman to the important pieces off the bench in Henry's 5-point effort and Jenkins' team-high 14-point effort.
"We have been waiting for this kind of play all season," Carr said of the effort. "And now that we are in the playoffs, I don't mind if we peak right now."
After knocking off Manchester, Prince George has won two games in a row for the first time this season, giving the Royals confidence as they aim to take down Meadowbrook and earn an a spot in regionals.