Lions Roar Past FC, Move to 11-4

background:yellow;mso-highlight:yellow'>Final - - Tallwood
47, First Colonial 42:

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Needing to win to stay a game behind 6A-South
Conference 1 leader Landstown in the standings, the
class=SpellE>Tallwood Lions were able to protect home court Friday night
in a matchup with the visiting First Colonial Patriots, prevailing 47-42.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Both teams came into the game having been away from the
court for a while and it showed. It was
exam week for schools in Virginia Beach, and compounding matters was the fact
that snow hit the entire state, including the Tidewater area, hard to force
school cancellation for multiple days.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"Not being able to practice all week long kind of left
us a little sluggish. At the beginning,
it was hard to get any type of rhythm offensively," admitted
class=SpellE>Tallwood Head Basketball Coach
normal'>Tom Gunsalus, who's 129-64 in eight seasons
at the helm. "First Colonial was in the
same boat that we were. All Virginia
Beach schools shut down, and the rule is no school, no practice.
style=> I'm sure they were just as flat as we were."

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Though they trailed in the early moments and did not
shoot particularly well for any stretch of the ballgame, the Lions were able to
make the necessary winning plays and got crucial stops defensively that turned
into baskets at the other end.
class=SpellE>Tallwood was down both in the first and second quarter, but
once they gained the lead at half-time, they never relinquished it, even when
First Colonial pulled within two with 1:10 remaining.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"No matter who we play, we can't take anybody lightly,"
stated Tallwood senior
normal'>Will Howard. "We have to
continue to work hard in practice, take it serious, practice how you play and
give it our all. It's all about focus
and having the right mindset."

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Poor outside shooting couldn't derail
class=SpellE>Tallwood. The Lions
overcame a 1-of-14 night from three-point land, thanks in large part to the
play of Howard and senior guard Tyler
Peterson. Averaging 15.4 points and
4.9 assists per game on the campaign, Peterson put up 17 points with nine
coming in the third period.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>First Colonial wasn't much better from deep, converting
only 3-of-14 from beyond the arc. From
the field, the Patriots shot 19.2% in the first half, yet only trailed by one
at the half.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Junior 6-foot-3 guard
normal'> Simpkins of the Patriots didn't have his typical night
offensively, scoring 12 points for the contest and half of them coming in the
fourth period. Simpkins normally averages
16.3 ponts per game and was the focal point of
class=SpellE>Tallwood's defensive game-plan.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"Gerrard's definitely a tough
player and I told him that after the game.
He's the one that scores a majority of their points," Howard noted.
style=> "He has no reason to hang his head."

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>With the loss, First Colonial drops to 5-9 overall and
2-4 in conference play. Meanwhile,
class=SpellE>Tallwood moved to 11-4 overall and 5-1 in the conference.
style=> Their losses so far have been to
class=SpellE>Landstown, Green Run, Norfolk Collegiate and Woodside.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"The way I look at it, the only teams we've lost to are
ranked teams in the state," remarked Gunsalus.
style=> "We've been able to win the games that we
should win. Right now, we need to be
able to get over that hump to beat the teams that what we want to be able to
compete against to go to the regional tournament."

Player of the Game:
Tallwood F
Will Howard - -
font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Coming off the bench, the two-sport athlete
that also excels in football served as a super sub for the Lions.
style=> And with Tallwood
unable to find the touch from behind the perimeter, his minutes were crucial.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"He gave us good energy the first half and that really
helped us," admitted Gunsalus.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Howard, one of the top wide receivers in Hampton Roads
in 2013, posted a double-double with 11 points and 14 rebounds.
style=> Once inserted into the game, his presence on
the glass gave First Colonial trouble immediately.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"I definitely wanted to use my athleticism to make a
huge impact because that's what they look for me to do.
style=> I was playing both the '3' and the '4' and
knew I had to crash the boards hard," commented Howard, now looked upon as one
of the senior leaders alongside Peterson after being a role player the past
couple years.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"We've got a lot of young guys, so we're trying to put
them in a good position to be successful.
We're trying to make plays, bring our other teammates in and keep
winning games."



background:yellow;mso-highlight:yellow'>Keys to Victory:

- - Second Chance Points:
the night, Tallwood registered 17 offensive
rebounds. They had eight of them in the
fourth quarter, preserving their lead that would grow to as many as six points.
style=> That ended up being almost as many rebounds
as First Colonial finished with total on the night (20).

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>While Howard was the headliner in this effort, turning
many of his offensive boards into stick-backs, it was a group effort.
style=> Six different individuals got an offensive
rebound in the fourth quarter. That type
of hustle was crucial in not giving FC any momentum to mount a late charge and
possibly force overtime or steal the game in the closing seconds.

#2 - - Turn FC Over:
offensive rebounds, one glaring statistics did the Patriots in and that was
turnovers. The Patriots committed 17 of
them, six in the fourth period. It meant
they only got 37 shots off and had trouble establishing an offensive flow in
the half-court during the second half when seeking any sort of spurt to give them

made this possible by doing a couple of things.
For one, they applied the press in the right spots to make First
Colonial have to adjust or re-gain control after a couple of buckets by the
Patriots. The Lions leaned on their
guards - - Peterson, Will Barnard and
Tyrell Myles - - to pose problems.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"When we put our defensive lineup in, we've got two or
three good on-the-ball defenders that really can scramble and create a little
bit of havoc out there," believes Gunsalus.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"We've got such a big lineup when we start we've been
mixing in different types of zone. But
when we want to put pressure, we've got to bring those guards in and create that

#3 - - Ice it at the FT Line:
this day and age, free-throw shooting often plagues teams and making 70% or
better is seldom seen at the High School level.
Of their 20 attempts, Tallwood made 14 of them
and went 6-for-8 in the fourth quarter.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Peterson, who earlier in the month made 14-of-16 from
the foul line vs. Landstown, had another splendid
night there. He made all eight of his
attempts in this contest.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>When Peterson gets to the charity stripe, it's usually
a recipe for success.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"Sometimes he probably looks a little bit too much to
get to the foul line rather than trying to finish at the rim, but he's had a
great season for us," Gunsalus said of Peterson, who's
being recruited by some Division II and Division III schools, most notably
Virginia Wesleyan College. "We
definitely wouldn't be 11-4 without him."

style='text-decoration:none;text-underline:none'>Postgame Audio with
class=SpellE>Tallwood Hoops Coach Tom Gunsalus

Final Stats:

115%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"'> Lions 49:
(11-4; 5-1)
Tyler Peterson - - 17Pts. 4-16FG, 8-8FT, 2Ast. 5Stl.
Will Howard - - 11Pts. 5-9FG, 14Reb. 3Stl.
Quincy Jones - - 8Pts. 3-6FG, 2-4FT, 4Reb.
Tyrell Myles - - 5Pts. 1-1FG, 3-4FT, 2Ast. 2Stl.

Colonial Patriots 42:
style=> (5-9; 2-4)
Gerrard Simpkins - - 12Pts. 4-15FG, 4-7FT, 5Reb.
4Ast. 4Stl.
Shane Hohman - - 11Pts. 3-6FG, 4-4FT, 3Reb.
Marvin Trotman - - 9Pts. 4-8FG, 1-4 3's, 2Reb.
Brandon Schlick - - 7Pts. 3-6FG, 4Reb.
class=GramE>3Ast. 2Stl.



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
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Network. Check out
text-decoration:none;text-underline:none'>Hatfield's Twitter page
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and you can also read his work in the
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To contact Matthew, please e-mail
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