Valley boys basketball team goes winless at LaGrange Play Date on Thursday

Published 10:50 pm Thursday, June 14, 2018

LaGRANGE — The Valley High School boys basketball team were shut out and went 0-3 at Thursday’s Play Date at LaGrange High School.

Valley lost the last two games of the day back-to-back against Heard County High School and Handley High School by double digits.

“We did good today,” Rams head boys basketball coach Marshon Harper said. “We did some good things, we did some bad things, I guess it’s just going to take time. You can tell we’re a young team.”

Email newsletter signup

In the matchup against Heard County, Valley sophomore Kintavious Dozier cut the Rams’ deficit to single digits by knocking down a three-pointer seconds before halftime. On some plays, four Valley players were standing around the three-point line while senior T.J. Winston battled multiple opponents in the paint to grab offensive rebounds.

He was very vocal in directing the team with four freshmen and only one other senior on the floor throughout the day.

“I told T.J. [that] everything you’re going to do, they’re going to follow,” Harper said. “So you need to lead by example. He’s been doing a great job of trying to lead, telling the kids not to get your head down, it’s only the summertime if you make a mistake just try to make up for it on defense. He’s been doing a good job.”

In the last game of the day against Handley, the Rams went down 9-2 early against the larger opponents. Freshman guard K.D. Hutchinson went down with 8:36 remaining in the first half. Hutchinson slapped the floor and bench after he hit the deck and clutched one of his knees. The guard limped to the sideline on his own power once he got up.

The Rams then made another run to make the game competitive again with 6:36 to go in the first half. Dozier then went down a minute and a half later but he would remain in the game once he got up.

A Handley player’s dunk with 22 seconds to go in the first half ignited the LaGrange crowd and opened up the floodgates for the Tigers. Handley pulled away to take a lead that nearly increased to 20 with 12 minutes remaining in the game.

The Valley offense began to get stagnant and settle for a handful of deep threes. Freshman B.J. Baker subbed in during the final minutes of the game to score four quick points and collect an explosive block as well. Baker followed up the run by throwing an inbound pass at the bottom of the backboard and then airballing a three.

“We just make a lot of mistakes, [there’s] not a lot of ball movement, there’s a lot of one-on-one,” Harper said. “But I think when we get time in the summertime and fall after the football season, I think we’re going to be okay. We’ve got some athletes, [we] just have to put the scheme together.”

The Rams boys basketball team has two more Play Dates at LaGrange next week before only having workouts remaining during the summer.