Ramello Carter scored 20 points to lead Deerfield past Tattnall Square on Saturday night.
ALBANY — The Deerfield-Windsor boy’s basketball team started hot, cooled off, eventually fell behind, and then got hot again at the right time.
The lesson in all this: Don’t take any opponent lightly.
Led by Ramello Carter’s 20 points, the Knights defeated Tattnall Square, 57-52, on Saturday night at home to move to 15-3 on the year.
“We came into this game thinking it was going to be a piece of cake because of how bad we beat them the first time,” said Carter, who also had two assists and four steals. “We (now) know to take every opponent seriously.”
Deerfield’s Weston King grabbed 10 rebounds to go with 16 points. Pete Langstaff scored eight points, three assists and seven rebounds. Sam Shellhaas added six points.
Tattnall Square’s Andrew Layson led all scorers with 21 points. Grayson Brown also reached double figures with 12 points, while Conner Alfred chipped in nine points.
The Knights quickly jumped on the Trojans (10-7) courtesy of Carter’s hot shooting. He scored 12 first half points, including two 3-pointers, and gave the Knights a narrow lead of four points at halftime.
“I just tried to get myself going so I could get my teammates going, because when they see me going the whole team follows my lead,” Carter said.
The lead, however, was snatched away as the Trojans opened the third quarter on an 8-0 run thanks to quality field-goal shooting and their ability to force turnovers.
“We always preach to our guys to shoot the first three or four minutes of the third quarter,” Tattnall Square head coach Wes Parker said. “They’ve been doing that all year so we knew we were going to get a jolt (Saturday). I just wish we could have sustained it.”
Failure to sustain the spurt of good play was largely because of the Knights’ increased intensity on defense.
“I thought we were lethargic in the first half; second half we weren’t much better until the fourth quarter,” Deerfield-Windsor head coach Gordy Gruhl said. “I thought our defense picked it up. Any time you can win a close game you did something right so I was pretty pleased with our defense late in the game.”
Where Gruhl was pleased, Parker was displeased.
“They have extremely good ball pressure; their ball pressure gives people fits,” Parker said. “At times it gave us fits, and that was the difference in the ballgame.”
King, who had his hands full trying to keep the Trojans’ big men off the glass, commented on the offensive play of the guards as the difference maker.
“I played good but you have to give it to the guards,” he said. “They are the ones who drove in (the paint) and dished it off, and all I did was finish.”
DWS GIRLS 35, TATTNALL 33: After Tattnall Square’s Blair Smith knocked down her seventh and eighth free throw to tie the game, the pressure was on for Deerfield-Windsor’s Miranda Phillips to make two of her own.
With a seemingly calm disposition on the outside, she stepped to the line and made the go-ahead shot with 1.9 seconds left in the game as the Lady Knights knocked off the Lady Trojans, 35-33.
“I can’t lie — I was pretty nervous,” said Phillips, who finished with 11 points and five rebounds. “But I wanted to win for my team and coach so I tried to block everything out.”
Heather Lash led the team with seven rebounds and five steals to go with four points. Nyla Perry scored 10 points and four steals. Courtney Kelson added eight points, three assists and three steals.
After trailing the entire second half, Kelson drove left to the basket and went in for a left-handed scoop that gave the Lady Knights their first lead with 32 seconds to play in regulation. The play was preceded by a 3-pointer from Perry that put the Knights within one point of their opponent.
The Lady Knights are 16-4 on the season.