The atmosphere was intense and the energy was big in this inner city battle between two proud hoops programs. For the first time in eight years the Pride of Greensboro College edged out The Quakers of Guilford College 73-72 in an absolute dog fight.
Guilford County, North Carolina- Fans packed the Campus of Guilford College for the annual matchup between the two schools and the players didn’t disappoint. I want to highlight a few points that really stood out, it’s still early in the season but a highly competitive game like this reveals a lot
- Point Guard Play set the tone for both sides
Junior KJ Langley really managed the game for his side he showed nice balance, Lanlgey was aggressive offensively he kept the defense honest, and he controlled the tempo making sure everyone got into the right position. Langley has been around the program and he’s seen the up’s and downs, this year the Pride started with a bang and a statement win.
Langley knocked down a clutch three when given space, he also operated well in pick N roll sets taking whatever the defense offered up. Langley is creative in the lane he continuously drew pressure towards him, Langley earned trips to the line and found the open man at the last moment. Langley also came up with some big plays defensively, including a late rebound which led him to the line for two clutch free throws, Langley knocked down both to help seal the deal late.
On the other side Jaylen Gore was pivotal for Guilford he looks healthy after overcoming two torn labrum’s last season, Gore looks healthy he moved around well with the ball and utilized the entire floor. Gore scored the ball within the offense and contributed on both ends; he finished with 13 points, three assists, and four rebounds. Gore is a high I.Q. guard who values each possession, Gore really picked his spots and came up with some crucial buckets for the Quakers.
There were times this group went cold and Gore had to provide the spark, Gore was good in transition running the break and he impressed converting forced turnovers into points on the other end. Gore as the floor general orchestrated this high octane Quakers offense, a stat that can’t be overlooked is Gore’s rebounding effort, at the point guard position he crashed the boards exceptionally well. Defensively Gore is a tenacious on ball defender, when matched up against Langley these two really pushed one another.
2. Pride end eight year losing streak to Quakers
This win was big for a number of reasons but the biggest is overcoming a hurdle the program hadn’t been able to for some time. The Pride welcomed in a number of new faces but the group has gelled together fast, and their best basketball remains ahead of them. The offensive attack was balanced multiple players scored in double figures, and in front of a packed crowd this group won a tough non conference road game to jumpstart the season.
At times throughout the contest Greensboro trailed by double digits, but in the end they made plays down the stretch on both ends to secure the victory. Junior Michael Phifer (14 pts), and senior Carmoni Marks (12 pts), also came up huge for this team, both are seasoned veterans in the collegiate ranks and were unbothered by the noise. Sophomore Justin Minnis also came up big with (12 pts), off the bench, he shot the rock at a high percentage.
3. Guilford will bounce back
This is one of the most successful hoops programs in the entire state regardless of playing level, year in and year out they compete amongst the elite in division III. The Quakers are extremely deep and it should allow them to wear teams down throughout the year, they are balanced offensively and move the ball well. Senior Marcus Curry (20 pts, 10 rebs), and Junior Kyler Gregory (13 pts, 14 rebs), anchored a versatile and athletic front court.
Curry opens the floor up with his shooting touch, he connected on 3- of 5- from behind the arc, he moves really well without the ball and Curry only needs an inch of space to let it fly. Gregory is more of a slasher he’s sneaky athletic and displayed some explosion around the rim. Gregory is similar to Curry in their mobility, he earns easy buckets in transition and Gregory consistently beat his man down the floor.
The Skinny- Both these programs are extremely disciplined and well coached, they are two programs that pride themselves on competing hard on both ends. Both teams have serious offensive fire power, and depth to wear teams down as the season progresses.
Greensboro College (1-0,0-0), will go on the road to take on Virginia Wesleyan College in their next contest on Friday.
Guilford College (1-1, 0-0), will head to the Mary Washington Tournament to take on hosts Marry Washington in the first round on Saturday.