Knights Win Defensive Battle in the 30s

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>On one of the coldest days of the winter in Hampton
Roads, the chill filtered into the shooting hands of the players at
class=SpellE>Tallwood's gymnasium on Tuesday night when the Lions played
host to Kellam with sole possession of first place in
the Beach District on the line.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>The visiting Knights from Kellam
held on for the victory in the defensive struggle, 36-31, prevailing despite
committing 26 turnovers. At the half,
the score resembled more of a football game than a basketball one.
style=> Kellam led 14-7
even with 15 turnovers.
class=SpellE>Tallwood couldn't capitalize due to their frigid shooting,
misfiring on 21 of their first 22 shots and going 2-for-26 from the field in
the opening half.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>The two teams combined for more turnovers (40) than
either squad scored points, contributing to one of the uglier looking games
between winning programs seen all season.
Nonetheless, the Knights won't complain about the outcome as they moved
to 15-3 overall, 7-0 in the league standings and in the driver's set in the
Beach District.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"I'm disappointed with the way we played, but obviously
I'll take the victory because of what it meant in the standings and all that
good stuff. But that was horrible.
style=> That was just bad basketball for us, I can
tell you that," remarked Kellam Head Basketball Coach
Norman Hassell
following a contest that was at times painful for his eyes to watch.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"When I talk about bad I'm really talking about our
offense. Defensively, we did exactly
what we planned on doing and it worked for the most part.
style=> We just couldn't convert anything from fast-break
lay-ups, to free-throws to mid-range, 3 balls.
We couldn't put the ball in the hole.
We have so much work to do still, and you wouldn't think so at this
stage of the year, but that's where we are."

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>While Tallwood finished
shooting a forgettable 11-of-57 from the floor, just 19.3%, Kellam
wasn't much better. The Knights went
13-of-33 (39%) and struggled to put the Lions away due to turnover and foul
shooting. From the free-throw line,
class=SpellE>Kellam shot 8-for-17, including 6-of-13 in the game's final

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Fortunately for Kellam, they
had a star player on its side in 6-foot-5 senior forward
normal'> Snowden, a four-year starter headed to play his College Basketball
at Old Dominion. Snowden came in
averaging 21.1 points per game, tops in the Beach and second most in the entire
Eastern Region. Tallwood
had no answer for him.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>On what was a performance more solid than spectacular
and probably less than stellar for his standards by his own admission, Snowden still
managed to record a double-double for the 16th time this year.
style=> For the night, he tallied 19 points and 12
rebounds to go with his team-high four assists.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Another senior, 6-foot-2 guard
normal'>Tyler Vinsand, bailed the Knights out
with a couple of timely makes from the perimeter, which went a long way towards
preventing Tallwood from tying the game or taking the
lead. Vinsand's
eight points weren't a grand amount or a season-high by any stretch, but he
made 3-of-4 from the field and his team's only two three-pointers with both
truly being meaningful makes in a game where every basket was difficult to

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"We'll take a win any day, but you've got to credit
class=SpellE>Tallwood, too. Even
though we were sloppy, they played great defense," Vinsand

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"We just couldn't get anything to fall and that really
was the story for both teams.
Eventually, with help from Ramone and
class=SpellE>Janai [
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>-Powell] drawing attention from the
defense, we got a few good looks and I was able to knock them down."

was glad Vinsand had a couple of jumpers in him or
else they might've come up on the short end of the stick of things.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"He's a senior, a captain and a leader.
style=> He's got a deadly three-point ball and missing
shots doesn't mean anything to him," Hassell said of
class=SpellE>Vinsand. "We needed
his leadership tonight when everybody else was off, so that was big for us."

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>All year long, Kellam has
leaned on its scoring output from Snowden to carry them as well as their
collectively strong rebounding effort from the future Monarch, senior forward
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>Chris Smith and junior forward
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>Kobe Copeland.
style=> That trio combined for 22 boards and the
Knights finished with a 36-27 advantage in the rebounding category,
successfully chasing down many of the Lions' 19 missed three-pointers.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Afterwards, the Knights weren't in a celebratory mood whatsoever,
largely because they know they left a lot of points on the floor.
style=> Plus, they need three more district wins to
guarantee a second Beach Championship in three years.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>To defeat a Tallwood team
that beat them on their floor a season ago did exercise some demons and affords
gives them slight breathing room from the rest of the pack in the Beach.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"This one was extremely important.
style=> It was vital," said Vinsand.
style=> "Perennially, it's two teams going for the
Beach District title every single season.
For us to get over this hump, it's a huge win for us."

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>With the loss, Tallwood doesn't
fall completely out of the district title hunt, but will need some help to
force a tie-breaker game. At 10-8
overall, 5-1 in league play, the Lions will have to beat Landstown
and get Landstown to beat Kellam
in the regular season finale to have a shot at the city crown, plus the #1 seed
for the regional tourney.

href="">Postgame Audio with
class=SpellE>Kellam Coach Norman Hassell
Johnson's Photo Feature


line-height:115%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"'> 36:
Ramone Snowden - - 19Pts. 6-11FG, 7-13FT, 13Reb. 4Ast
Tyler Vinsand - - 8Pts. 3-4FG, 2-3 3's, 2Reb. 3Ast.
William Shook - - 4Pts. 2-2FG, 4Reb.

line-height:115%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"'> 31:
Darius Horton - - 12Pts. 4-18FG, 2-11 3's, 5Reb. 5Stl.
Tommie Flournoy - - 10Pts. 4-19FG, 1-11 3's, 4Reb.
3Ast. 5Stl.
Will Howard - - 4Pts. 2-8FG, 5Reb.



115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";text-decoration:none;text-underline:
none'>Matthew Hatfield
style='font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif"'>
serves as State Basketball Analyst for
style='font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";
115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif"'>, part of the
Network. Check out
text-decoration:none;text-underline:none'>Hatfield's Twitter page
115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif"'> for more sports related updates,
and you can also read his work in the
style='font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";
text-decoration:none;text-underline:none'>Suffolk News Herald
115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif"'>.
To contact Matthew, please e-mail
style='font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";
115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif"'>, and don't forget to listen to him
on High School Sports Talk from 10AM to Noon on
style='font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";
text-decoration:none;text-underline:none'>ESPN Radio 94.1
style='font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";
115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif"'> plus watch him on the
style='font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";
text-decoration:none;text-underline:none'>Cox 11 Sports Report
115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif"'>.

Sign up for premium access to with a 7-day free trial!
Check out our FREE top prospect listings:
Class of 2012 |
Class of 2013 |
Class of 2014  | 
Class of 2015 (Premium)
Follow all the hoops commitments via
Basketball Commitments Tracker (FREE!)
VIP Board provides the latest in recruiting updates plus in-depth top
prospects lists for football, basketball and baseball!