By Ronald Frazier
Although Glenwood went 1-1 in the Gator’s annual “Border Wars” tournament on Dec. 28-29, the Gator’s head basketball coach Dusty Perdue was pleased with his team’s efforts in both games against teams with winning records.
“I am proud of our defense the past two days,” Perdue said of his team’s efforts. “Everyone that got into the lineup played and gave me a maximum effort and that’s why we won one and the second one was a tight game.”
“We got what we wanted, tough competition against non-region opponents to get ready for January,” Perdue said.
The Gators opened against Deerfield-Windsor of Albany and the Knights sported a 7-3 record against the Gators 5-6.
But the Gator defense put the clamps on Deerfield and won by a 51-35 score on the Dec. 28 behind the scoring of senior guard Anthony King. He finished with a game-high 18 points.
“Anthony played a great game for us,” Perdue said. “He was aggressive going to the basket and even hit a three-point shot.”
“We also got two big three’s from Brooks Barton in the fourth and Bryce Rosier’s two spin moves for scores seemed to give our team some energy and took some out of Deerfield,” Perdue added.
Rosier was also in double figures in scoring for Glenwood with 10. Deerfield star guard Shamir Wingfield had 17 for the Knights, but their 6-6 post player Ronald Bates was held to five.
In fact, Nathan Trzpuc, making a rare start for Glenwood, outscored Bates 6-5 and had two blocked shots as well.
“This was really a team win,” Perdue said. “We even were nine of 14 from the foul line, much better than we have shot from there in the past.”
The next night, the Gators faced 12-1 Highland Christian of Valdosta and lost 50-43. However, Perdue was not disappointed in his team’s effort.
“We knew going in that we could not run fast breaks on them so we slowed the pace down to make them play at our pace. We just didn’t score in the third period and that made the difference,” Perdue pointed out.
Glenwood had a three-point lead at the half 27-24, but that dissipated when the Eagles outscored Glenwood 12-3 in that third quarter.
Rosier was high point man for the Gators with 19 points as he hit four three-point shots in the game. The next scorer for Glenwood was Trevor Horne with eight. King, who led the team the night before, was held to six.
“Anthony lost some of his aggressiveness, and we play better offensively when he is strong to the basket,” Perdue said, after the game. “We also missed too many shots inside but there was no lack of effort. They wanted to race down the floor and we made them play set-up basketball.”
Highland had three players in double figures as they played only seven the entire night. Jace Levan had 17, while post player Xavier Godfrey had 15. Guard Xavier Rose had two three-pointers for the Knights and added 10.
The Gators had a week off as they had played in the Gatlinburg Winterfest tournament and went 1-2 including two games in overtime. After losing the first night in OT, Glenwood was mauled 69-35 on the Dec. 21 but came back and won 45-43 in overtime on the Dec. 22.
The difference in the second overtime game was the play of Glenwood’s bench. Nine players scored for the Gators, who had no double figure scorers, while the team from Paris, Ky., only had four players that scored in the game, and two of the four had 33 of their team’s 43 points.
“That overtime win was a good team win for us and the reason we play in those types of tournaments,” Perdue said of the trip.
Glenwood will not be in action again until the afternoon of Jan. 3, when they will host Macon East. All games were to start at 4:30 p.m., but that time has been moved to 1:00 p.m. as both schools do not have classes. They will then host Brookstone on Jan. 4 and then travel to Americus to play Southland Academy on Jan. 5.