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Mount Tabor puts it all together for convincing win over Winston-Salem Prep
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Mount Tabor puts it all together for convincing win over Winston-Salem Prep

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Mount Tabor is rounding into shape nicely as it enters conference play next week.

The Spartans rolled to a 77-38 win over Winston-Salem Prep at Spartan Gym on Friday night.

Of the 13 players who saw the court for the Spartans, 12 players scored at least one basket.

The Phoenix is also heading toward conference play next week.

Why the Spartans won

There’s nothing better than sharing the ball and the Spartans racked up 22 assists against just nine turnovers. Mixing up their defenses early, the Spartans jumped to a 16-2 lead and cruised from there. By the end of the third quarter, the Spartans were up 50-23.

Why the Phoenix lost

There wasn’t much going right in terms of working together, but it’s a young team that’s still finding its way. Once the Spartans delivered a staggering punch early, the Phoenix’ body language was never the same, nor was its shooting touch. At times the Phoenix’ full court pressure worked, but it didn’t work well enough.

Three observations

It’s weird to see about 15 fans in the stands, but that’s prep basketball in a pandemic. Each of the 15 players on the Mount Tabor roster is allowed one ticket to give to a parent to come to the game. The benches are spread out to maintain social distancing and the three officials, coaches and players all wore masks the entire game. As James Viola of the Spartans said: “We don’t want to shut down because this is all we’ve got to look forward to. We all need this, so we don’t mind the changes because we just want to play basketball.”

Coach Andy Muse of the Spartans kept changing up his defenses, starting with an extended 3-2 zone that resembled what Syracuse does, and also switching to a 1-3-1 and man to man. That didn’t allow the Phoenix to get into much rhythm. The Spartans have now beaten the Phoenix twice in nonconference play….

Viola and guard Finley Simmons, along with guard Jashawn Torrence, work well together. Viola and Simmons know each other well, since they’ve played together since the fourth grade at West Central Community Center. One of the tweaks to the Spartans for this game was bringing Viola off the bench, where he played some at point guard.

What they’re saying

“We’ve been working on not turning the ball over, so we played better tonight. We didn’t trap as much as we’ve done in maybe the last four or five years, but I think that helped us. We wanted to mix it up on defense so they didn’t have a steady dose of anything.” Coach Andy Muse of Mount Tabor

“I think we had a great passing effort tonight,” said Daniel Fulp, a senior power forward at Mount Tabor. “I know we didn’t have that many assists the last time we played them. We worked on boxing out and making the extra pass and we got a big win.”

“We’ve been getting off to bad starts, and I tried to put in a little more offense tonight but our bad start is what killed us again,” Coach Will Tibbs of Winston-Salem Prep said. “There are a lot of our players who are playing together for the first time and other than Zaire (Patterson) haven’t played extended minutes. We are just a new team and we are building.”

“I think we had like 21 turnovers last game so to only have nine is big,” said senior James Viola of Mount Tabor. “This is a big win and we are 2-2 after a tough loss to North Davidson but now we have to get ready for conference play because that’s what is important right now.”

Next up

Winston-Salem Prep: at Mount Airy on Tuesday.

Mount Tabor: Plays host to Western Guilford on Tuesday.

Box score

Prep ;7 ;4 ;12 ;15 ;— ;38

Tabor ;20 ;15 ;15 ;27 ;— ;77

Prep (1-3) — Camden Sanderson 9, Penn 4, Davis 6, Stevenson 5, Patterson 7, Jordan 7.

Mount Tabor (2-2) — Daniel Fulp 18, Oshae Fernanders 17, Viola 7, Torrence 7, Peterkin 6, Abhulimen 5, Simmons 4, Banks 4, Jackson 3, Campbell 2, Koonin 2, Britt 2.

336-727-4081

@johndellWSJ

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