"It's All About The Game"
Avengers solve their way to a win
Ron Bailey, Publisher
December 4, 2014 - Prince George's Community College's coach, Xavier Joyner had a trick up his sleeve last night, one thing that could even the tables against the larger, visiting ASA team; a match up zone. One that seems to morph to offensive movement, and after getting stops is designed to free win players for fast break lanes.
It worked for awhile in the first half, but ASA College (7-1) solved the scheme with penetration and passing, eventually salting away a 95-76 win in Largo, MD.
Davon Taylor is being a force for ASA.
"It's all about sharing the ball, being very unselfish" said ASA head coach, Devonne Martinez at halftime, when asked about his team's offensive game plan versus Joyner's unique defensive set. That included making the sure the ball "hops very quickly...Just believing in each other ultimately".
Joyner, during intermission, focused upon another aspect of ASA's attack.
"Their success is (predicated) on what they do well. And I warned the team. It's transition threes" he said.
ASA shot 43.5% from beyond the arc for the game - some in fast break situations, others after drive and kick created looks, with former Central High School standout Davon Taylor coming off the pine to sink 3-4 long balls, 7-8 overall, and score a game high 21 points in 32 minutes of play, also tops for the game. He added six boards and two assists.
The visiting Avengers completed 55.6% of their overall shots. Gjaimeir Stanford finished with 18 points, five rebounds, four assists, three steals for ASA, while both Raphael Jennings (Archbishop Carroll) and Theo Brown tallied 13 points, the former adding five rebounds and four assists, the latter a quartet of caroms. Javonte Miles rounded out ASA's double figure scoring with 11 points, while also leading the squad and contest with seven rebounds.
PGCC, which shot 41.1% despite going 3-20 (15%) from beyond the arc was paced by former Takoma Academy standout Donnell Diggs' 17 points. Taylor's teammate at Central, Kenneth Pettaway, finished with 10 points and four rebounds for the Owls, while Patrick Johnson-Agwu (C.H. Flowers) rung up 11 points and six caroms for PGCC, now 2-6 on the year.
The Owls, to their credit, did make charges in the second half, including one stretch in which their hustle and a 1-2-2 press yielded back to back turnovers and subsequent buckets; for the game, they notched 23 takeaways, while giving it away 19 times.
Enter ASA's KC West. The former Spingarn and Laurel Prep student-athlete was instrumental in breaking the press, accepting the pressure and then finding open teammates.
"Coach always tells me I'm the best passer on the team" said West, who put eight points, five rebounds and team leading five assists in the scorebook. The plan against PGCC's 1-2-2 was "move the ball and get open shots".
Jennings also bought into Martinez' share the wealth philosophy.
"It just makes the team better" he noted. "Moving the ball gets better shots. And that's all we did, get better shots". ASA finished with 21 helpers to PGCC's 10.
Joyner, whose team next faces Northern Virginia Community College in North Carolina on Saturday, showed class in defeat, tipping his hat to the victors.
"ASA is a very good/unselfish team and they shot it well from three in transition" he communicated. "Transition is where they excel and we didn't control it effectively (the Owls gave up 14 fast break buckets). They outplayed us tonight on both ends of the floor".
The Avengers, based in Brooklyn, NY, stay in the Free State, having a game tonight with CCBC Dundalk, and matching up against B'More's Mt. Zion Prep in that city, Friday.
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