Coggins: Archrival delivers stunning blow, Jones looks for response
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on February 14, 2011 1:47 PM
Stewing seven days from an embarrassing loss to an archrival will leave any team seeking redemption in the next meeting -- if it happens.
And Wayne Country Day, no doubt, wants another shot at Greenfield.
The Knights smacked the Chargers in the mouth and swept the regular-season series in dominating fashion Friday evening. Greenfield ruined a senior night celebration that WCDS hoped would end with a share of the Coastal Plains Independent 1-A Conference regular-season title for the second consecutive season.
The Chargers, instead, were left with a bitter taste of defeat.
"This was probably the first loss we've taken this year that my guys are just totally hurt and devastated," said WCDS head coach Terry Jones. "I am anticipating this hurt within itself will cause them to tune in at a higher level (on the court)."
Greenfield forced 20 turnovers and held WCDS scoreless during two four-minute stretches in the second half. Even when the Chargers shaved an 18-point deficit to nine late in the third quarter, they just couldn't find a formula to slow down the Knights.
Every loose ball on the floor, every rebound -- seemingly every break -- bounced Greenfield's way. Jones said his team didn't respond throughout the night and uncharacteristically failed to attend to the little details necessary to claim a signature win over one of the state's elite programs.
"You have to be patient," said Jones. "We could never get into the flow (of the game) to match their runs. They did some great things defensively in the early part of the game."
Greenfield has experienced defeat just once in CPIC regular-season and tournament play during the past two seasons and that was to WCDS a year ago. To achieve another signature win over one of the state's elite programs, the Chargers must play near flawless basketball.
Tyson Pearson can't get into early foul trouble. The senior picked up two cheap fouls in the first 60 seconds Friday evening. He finished the game with five points and four rebounds.
Offensive production must come from someone besides Pearson, senior Josh Gregory (27 points) and junior Hil Tanner. The Chargers' other two starters combined for five points and the bench provided just one basket.
Sophomore Cody Neal watched from the bench in street clothes. The 5-foot-10 sophomore guard suffered an ankle injury against Trinity Christian-Fayetteville, and it hasn't healed as quickly as expected. Jones hopes Neal will play this week.
The second-seeded Chargers must get past Faith Christian-Rocky Mount in the CPIC tournament semifinals Friday. Top-seeded Greenfield opposes fourth-seeded Oakwood.
If the seeds hold, the rematch will take place.
WCDS must play at a comfortable tempo and attack Greenfield's defense at certain areas on the court. The Knights, who have the edge in athleticism and height, prefer the running game.
No question the third meeting, if it transpires, will be full of emotion and intensity during the early stages. The biggest concern is which team will sustain its energy level for 32 minutes?
"If we have a (Greenfield) matchup again, I hope that we'll find ourselves ready, we'll bring our best effort and we'll get the result we're looking for," said Jones.