Valley boys basketball locks up Notasulga, improve to 2-1 on season

Published 2:11 pm Wednesday, November 21, 2018

LaFAYETTE — With devasting speed, the young Rams of Valley High School ran over the Notasulga Blue Devils to earn a 72-46 win on Tuesday night at the LaFayette Tipoff Classic.

“We came out concentrating on defense,” Valley boys head basketball coach Marshon Harper said. “We have a bunch of guard and skill players, so we’re going to get up in your face, play man and play that way. I’m proud of my guys, they played hard.”

For the length of the floor, Valley defenders picked up Notasulga players man-to-man. The Rams showed true passion for locking up Notasulga from scoring as players like T.J. Winston and K.D. Hutchinson dove on the court for loose balls and didn’t lose track of the players they were guarding. At the end of the night, Winston, Quez Trammell, and Markavious Atkinson all finished with a blocked shot. Kintavious Dozier and Kalen Sherrell grabbed a steal in the matchup as well.

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“I told them that I’m not worried about offense,” Harper said. “If we play defense, then the offense is going to come. We’re going to get in your face, try to get some steals and try to get some easy buckets, but we can run back on offense. We have plenty of skill players, I’m proud of my guys, they’re working hard.”

Valley got off to a fast start with back-to-back threes from Hutchinson and Dozier. The Rams did a solid job of controlling the battle on the glass, led by Winston, as Valley led after the first quarter 19-12.

Offensively, the Rams attacked Notasulga’s 2-3 zone with its athletes Trammell, Hutchinson and B.J. Baker driving in the lane. The high-flying Trammell, Valley’s leading scorer, was met at the basket with lots of contact and struggled to get it going. He still finished the game with 12 points and four assists, flushing down a dunk in the final minutes of the game.  Hutchinson led all Valley scorers with 13 points and six assists, while Dozier and Winston added 12 points as well.

“We’ve adopted the name ‘Running Rams,’ so I told them that we have to run,” Harper said. “The guys that came off the football field have transitioned well. We’ve been running, getting them conditioned, and they’re up for the challenge. Everyone says we’re young, I say it’s a process. They’re playing hard, we’re going to give it to them each night, we’ll throw our name in the hat, and see what happens.”

Cutting down on turnovers is something that  Harper said he wants the team to improve on moving forward.

The Rams return to action next week with three home games against Beulah on Monday, Handley on Tuesday and LaFayette on Thursday.