Trojan defense shuts down Davidson in Ferriday win

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 31, 2005

VIDALIA &8212; Ferriday&8217;s high-pressure defense caused a young Davidson team fits.

Time after time, the Trojans forced turnovers and got easy fast-break baskets en route to a 63-45 victory Thursday at the Ronnie Brown Memorial Tournament.

&8220;We don&8217;t have any size inside, so we have to pressure and get easy baskets,&8221; Ferriday head coach James Davis said.

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The Trojans did just that to perfection. Playing a half-court zone defense and trapping pressure the length of the court, Ferriday controlled the game from the early going.

The Trojans led 19-8 at the end of the first quarter after Ferriday&8217;s Charles Jefferson finished the period off with two consecutive lay-ups, the second coming when the Davidson inbounds pass came right to him under the basket.

Ferriday struggled some on offense when it wasn&8217;t getting fast break points, Davis said. In the second quarter, the Trojans scored just six points though they held the Warriors to just five.

&8220;We&8217;ve got to work on our half-court offensive sets,&8221; Davis said. &8220;We can get the ball down low, but the guys on the wings were not being patient enough to get it there.&8221;

A third quarter run, in which Ferriday outscored Davidson 19-9, sealed up the victory for the Trojans. Ferriday led 44-22 entering the fourth quarter when both teams put some of their backups in to finish out the game.

Davidson outscored Ferriday 23-19 down the stretch, but the game was already in hand. The Warriors&8217; Ralph Johnson scored 11 of his 12 points in the final period, including the game&8217;s only three-pointer.

Both teams shot poorly from the charity stripe, with Ferriday making 13 of its 31 free-throw attempts and Davidson hitting just 10 of 30 tries.

Ferriday got a strong effort from forward Laderek Metcalf, who led the Trojans with 12 points despite some turnovers.

&8220;He played a strong game and kept working, but he can&8217;t turn the ball over down low like that for us,&8221; Davis said. &8220;I know he&8217;ll get better as the season goes on.&8221;

Davidson&8217;s Ramsey Bethel, the Warriors co-leader in points with 12, hit the floor after a layup attempt with seconds to go in the game and had to be helped off the court. Bethel may have reinjured a pulled muscle he suffered earlier in the season but the problem is not serious, Watkins said.

Watkins said his team will probably struggle this season, particularly in the early going against some of the teams the Warriors will see before the start of district play.

&8220;I&8217;d rather lose all these games prior to December (when district play starts),&8221; Watkins said. &8220;It&8217;s good for us to get this good competition so we can get ready for our district play.&8221;

Davidson simply needs experience, Watkins said. With only one player with significant varsity experience, this looks to be a rebuilding year for the Warriors.

&8220;I have three guys with one year of experience and one guy with three,&8221; Watkins said. &8220;For everyone else, it&8217;s their first year of varsity basketball.&8221;