Prep Hoops: Thomasville press causes problems for Red Raiders

Dec. 13, 2012 @ 01:29 PM

Smothering the T.W. Andrews guards with its halfcourt press, Thomasville held a steady lead throughout in a 74-58 dispatching of the Red Raiders Tuesday.
With a deep rotation of fresh bodies applying pressure, the Bulldogs never trailed by more than four and did not relinquish its lead after breaking a 13-13 tie. Four players recorded double-digit numbers in points. Demoris Payne had a team-high 13 points, Latrele Skeen had 12 with Ike Marsh and Cedric Green netting 10 apiece.
“We just tried to give effort,” said Thomasville head man Tony Clark. “We felt like their ballhandling was a little suspect and tried to take advantage of it.”
Andrews was managing the press well in the first quarter and felt good about the direction the game was going. Bennie Butler nailed a 3-pointer and went up and over a defender on the break for a left-handed slam, giving the visiting team an 11-8 lead at the time. His free throws after a THS basket kept the margin at three, until the trapping defense of the Bulldogs started to have success.
A 9-0 run started with Green swishing in a trey. Payne ran ahead for two fastbreak layups and Brian McElveen guided in a layup after a pick by Payne. In a minute’s time, the Bulldogs surged ahead at 19-13.
Thomasville held a lead of 12 in the second quarter that would be trimmed to seven at the half.
Holding the Red Raiders to six third-quarter points, THS built its lead to 53-39.
“The guys were doing the best they could and tried to score as many points as they could,” said Clark. “In the end it worked out for us.”
Andrews closed to within nine a minute into the fourth quarter, but the wave of Thomasville players kept the energy level up to wear down the Red Raiders.
“This is a brutal nonconference schedule we have and we are taking it a game at a time,” Clark said. “It was a good night for us.”
Butler had 28 points to lead TWA.
Thomasville will host Reagan Friday.

Sports Editor Zach Kepley can be reached at 888-3631, or kepley@tvilletimes.com.