The ULMS Knights completely shut down the Patriots from Greenville Middle School on Wednesday evening, as Upson-Lee earned a 32-15 victory, bringing their record this season to 3-3.
The Knights held the Patriots scoreless in the first quarter and held a 16-3 lead at half-time.
“I thought we played pretty good defensively,” said ULMS Knights head coach Tim Cook. “Realistically I think we should be 5-1, but it has been the little things that have hurt us this year. At times we have struggled to make the easy pass, or bucket in the paint, and we have struggled from the free throw line. It was good for us to get a victory before we take some time off during the holidays. We will take some time off, and come back after Christmas and start preparing for the rest of our season that starts in January.”
The Knights started the game in a full court man to man defense, and forced the Patriots to take bad shots and bad passes. The Knights’ Ja’Kordney Weston owned the boards in the first quarter, allowing Upson-Lee to get out in transition. The Patriots attempted to play the Knights in a 3-2 zone defense, but ULMS took advantage of the holes in the Patriots’ defense, and found themselves up 8-0 after the first quarter of play.
In the second quarter, the Knights changed things up a little bit with a 2-2-1 press defensively. Upson-Lee’s Raekwon King was able to get a steal on back to back possessions, turning those steals into four easy points. King, who finished with 12 points in the game, led all players.
It wasn’t until the 3:37 mark of the second quarter when Greenville scored their first points of the game, and at that point the Knights led 14-2. Upson-Lee took a 16-3 lead into the locker room at half-time.
In the third quarter, the Knights continued to turn up the pressure on the Patriots, taking a commanding 22-4 lead midway through the third quarter. At that point, the Knights began to empty their bench, getting every player on the team playing time. The Knights were outscored 8-6 in the fourth quarter, but easily held on for the 32-15 victory.
“Having the big lead in the third quarter enabled me to get a lot of players who haven’t seen much action lately in the game”, said Cook. “Here lately we have been in a lot of close ball games, and some guys have not seen as much playing time as I would like for them too see. Tonight, everyone got in the game and contributed in some way.”
King led the Knights with 12 points. Quay Battle added six points, Omar Johnson and Kelsey Ausbrooks each scored four points, while C.J. Barron, Kalen Puckett, and Ja’Kordney Weston each chipped in with two points in the victory.