On Thursday, November 30th, the Hatteras Hurricanes traveled to Manteo to face off against the Redskins for their second non-conference game of the season. Manteo was riding the momentum from their season opener, as they won big against Mattamuskeet, and they would look to use that confidence to secure another win.
In the practices leading up to the matchup against the Hurricanes, the Redskins worked on their zone offense as they expected to see a lot of 2-3 zone from Hatteras, however, Manteo would find most of their points throughout the game in transition, as they racked up a total of 16 team steals during the contest.
The opening two minutes of the game were ugly on both sides, as Manteo seemed a bit nervous for their first home game. Senior guard Henrick Kee, however, had nothing but confidence in his first shot attempt from beyond the arc in the corner, letting it fly through the net for Manteo’s first points of the game. The three-pointer from Kee was all that was needed to relax the Redskins as they would never relinquish the lead for the remainder of the game. Manteo jumped into their press defense and created havoc for the Hurricanes.
The length and speed of sophomore, James Gilreath, atop the press gave the Hurricane guards fits, as they could not see clearly past him, and made numerous poor passes down the court that were picked off by Manteo defenders.
Manteo did a great job of changing up their press defenses, and the defensive shifts within each press. Junior point guard, Claveon Rice, lead the way defensively with eight steals throughout the game. Rice also proved to be an offensive force as he went off for 29 points.
Even with the slow start in the first two minutes of the first quarter, the Redskins ended the first quarter up by a score of 21-7, in large part due to their stifling press defense. All five of the Manteo starters, Kee, Rice, Gilreath, Erik Bailey, and Wolfie Schultz chipped in to tally up the 21 first quarter points.
In the first quarter, Kee, Rice, and Bailey heated up from beyond the arc, but they quickly cooled off in the 2nd quarter. Manteo continued to take good open shots from beyond the arc but failed to convert them. This kept Manteo from setting up their press and getting their easy transition points. Manteo would only score eight points to Hatteras’s seven points in the second quarter but still went into halftime with a comfortable lead.
The second half of the game saw the entire Redskin roster chipping in. During the third quarter, no matter the line-up, the Redskins continued to press and drop into half-court man to man defense. Karizma Bryant provided defensive intensity and effort, resulting in easy transition buckets, while Colby Glod came in and found his outside range, knocking down a three-point shot that he has worked tirelessly to improve over the last year.
The Redskins could do no wrong in the second half. The confidence of the home team grew each time the ball went through the net, and in the fourth quarter, Rice really opened the game up with a personal offensive explosion consisting of consecutive threes and steals into converted lay-ups.
In the fourth quarter, Manteo put up 23 points while holding the struggling Hurricanes to just three points.
Hatteras fought hard every minute of the game and ever gave in, but the Redskins were too much for them to match up with. The game ended in a 71-24 victory for the Redskins.
Manteo will be put to the test next week with games on the road at both Northside and First Flight.
Coach Cleaver stated after the game, ” I was really pleased with our defensive effort tonight. Everyone is buying into the importance of defense and we are seeing the results, as it is kickstarting our offensive rhythm. Offensively, players continue to make the extra pass to get great shots. Schultz has been playing great behind the zone and really playing unselfish basketball, getting everyone involved for the best possible shot. Rice had a huge game for us and we will need him to continue to be aggressive on both sides of the ball for us to continue to be successful. I am looking forward to next week to really put our team to the test and see where we stand.”
Game photos can be found at http://www.leftfieldphotography.com/