The quicker teams don’t always win basketball games. Speed, while a great weapon, can be overcome. But such was not the case on Friday night in Mechanicsville, as the Caroline Cavaliers stepped up in class to face, and defeat, Group AAA Lee-Davis 72-55 for their third straight victory.
Setting a frenetic tempo from the start, Caroline raced out to a 9-3 lead with two minutes and, after one period, found themselves ahead 22-9, paced by seven points from Jaron Clipper.
“From the start, we want to set the tone of the game through our defense,” Caroline head coach Antoine Johnson said. “When we play good defense, that allows us to play fast.”
That they did, forcing 17 Confederate turnovers in the first half alone, creating transition scoring opportunities. The Cavaliers (5-4) led 38-21 at halftime and never looked back.
Lee-Davis is now 3-6, having lost six of its last seven games. The Confederates were led by Ladarein Autry with 13 points, while Josh Brown added 10. They were clearly a team frustrated by its inability to find an offensive rhythm, disappointed at allowing the Cavaliers to impose their will on them on both sides of the floor.
Caroline was led by junior Will Howard, who had 16 points, and Daquan Pollard, adding 11. Pollard credits countless hours of practice for allowing his team to play their type of game successfully.
“It’s hard work, but we have to practice like you play,” Pollard noted. “When we play unselfishly, play as a team, and give it our all, this is what happens.”
Johnson echoed his point guard’s sentiments.
“The kids know if they have a lazy practice, they will have a lazy game,” Johnson opined.
There was nothing lazy about Caroline’s performance Friday, as they forced 26 Lee-Davis turnovers in all and successfully rotated deep into their bench to keep fresh legs on the court to fuel their defensive attack.
The Cavaliers look to keep their winning streak alive into 2013 when they host Eastern View in Battlefield District action Thursday night. Caroline is currently 2-2 in the district.
As for Lee-Davis, playing in the ultra-competitive Capital District, they must next find a way to stop the scoring and speed of Trayvonte Brown and the Hanover Hawks. The Confederates travel to Hanover Thursday, then head to Atlee on Tuesday, trying to find the formula to turn their season around.