Size mismatch overwhelms New Kent, falls to Smithfield 77-60
When it comes to basketball, heart and the will to win can only carry you so far. For New Kent’s Trojans, it lasted for approximately one half.
A more physical Smithfield Packers team invaded New Kent Tuesday night, outrebounding the hosts 37-17 in the second half and forcing a number on turnovers as they toppled the Trojans 77-60.
Smithfield looked to runaway early in the contest, jumping out 8-2 with a combination of an inside game and a heavy press. New Kent’s Zack Manley back-to-back layups halted the Packers opening momentum, but Smithfield rebounded to compile a 20-12 lead late in the first.
But New Kent imposed their strategy of pushing the ball up the floor harder and trying to out-hustle the Packers. Trojan guard Ryan Curle’s close range basket followed by a three-pointer as the clock expired narrowed the visitors’ lead to three (20-17) heading into the second quarter.
New Kent gained its first lead 25-24 against Smithfield’s reserves early in the frame before the visitors returned their starters to the floor. Darius Savedge’s baseline spin and assist to Anthony Grey returned the lead to Smithfield. After Curle’s second three tied the game up at 28 apiece, the Packers orchestrated a run to take a 36-32 lead into the halftime break.
Woes plagued the hosts emerging from the locker room, as six turnovers by the Trojans resulted in a 12-2 run for Smithfield. Pressure and rebounding became difficult for the hosts, as any chance for an upset bid faded in the final two quarters with the Packers claiming the win.
After the game, Trojan head coach Ronnie Cox commented on the team’s effort in the contest.
“in the first half we used their pressure against them to get easy baskets,” he commented. “We had a lot of open shots.
“We were five of sixteen from the three-point line and sometimes you live and die by that,” Cox continued. “Today, we shot well but we just weren’t able to combat their size. We hustled and that really all I can ask for at the end of the day.”
Jared McCaughan led four players for New Kent (1-7) in double figures with 12 points. Curle contributed 11, while Manley and Ben Hudson both pumped in 10. Mitch Morse scored nine, three each from Jalen Banks and Robb Kinder, and Ke’Sean Taliaferro pitched in with two.
Smithfield’s Tory Robinson scored a game-high 21 points.