Rothesay Netherwood looking to stay hot in home opener against Halifax Prep
Rothesay Netherwood will be aiming to remain perfect in their National Preparatory Association campaign when they take on Halifax Prep at home Friday night at 7 PM AT at the RNS Irving Gymnasium.
When these two teams battled on opening night of the NPA, the duo of Shyheim Malcolm (39 pts) and Kellen Tynes (28 pts) proved to be too much as RNS came away with a 105-72 victory over Halifax Prep.
Despite the victory, head coach for RNS, Damian Gay believes his team still has a lot to work on, especially when it comes to playing on both sides of the ball.
“We are VERY FAR away from where we need to be to have sustainable and consistent success. We are pleased with the wins but have not looked past the fact that we gave up over 160 points in two games. That is unacceptable and must improve.” Gay continued to say, “Tynes, Malcolm and the rest of our team played terrible individual and team defense. We have broken the game down extensively and it is overwhelmingly obvious that we evaluate our abilities too much at the offensive end. We need to be more of a defensive minded group and that will come with time.”
Gay really wants his team to focus on the defensive end in their upcoming game and will be making the proper adjustments in order for his team to excel in the proper defensive sets.
“We need to actually decide to play defense this weekend. We forgot there is two sides of the court last weekend. It will be addressed for this week and now it is time for our players to make the adjustments come game time,” said Gay.
Halifax Prep guard Brandon Muntu dropped a team high 27 points and Gay has made him a top priority in practice this past week.
“This kid came to play last weekend and it was my fault for not respecting him as much as I should. That is on me. He is certainly not their only threat, they have a lot of fire power for sure, but Muntu is a focus for us this weekend as we try to slow him down. It will be a team effort, not just one person’s job, but he is a priority,” said Gay.
RNS was lead offensively by Malcolm and Tynes who combined for an incredible 67 points. Gay was pleased to see them battle all night but wants to see more production from the rest of his boys.
“They were effective because they battled and competed as you should and were rewarded with positive offensive stats. It has to be more than a two man show for us though to actually be competitive on the national stage. We were a two man show last year and look at how that worked out for us,” said Gay.
Halifax Prep will be looking to bounce back in a big way travelling to New Brunswick and with the opening night nerves out of the way, the team should be able to settle in and hunt for revenge. Program director, Naofall “Ming” Folahan, is expecting a stronger performance from his boys Friday night.
“I expect our team to bounce back in a big way, a lot of our boys had those first game jitters. There was an amazing amount of support from the city of Halifax, which our boys aren’t use to playing in front of. We now know what to expect, the boys will come to play,” said Ming.
Ming and head coach Marcus Eaton were very pleased with how their team played offensively but it was defensively where they lacked a winning mentality.
“We just need to continue to get better as a unit in our half court defence everyday in practice. We will review film, and continue to improve everyday,” said Eaton.
Allowing a backcourt to score 67 points will never give you a good opportunity to win the game. Containing Tynes and Malcolm will be a huge factor.
Halifax Prep will be also getting forward Ryan Toney back for Friday’s game who is a huge piece of both the offence and defence.
“They are two very good players, who play off of each other extremely well. Our boys will need to play aggressive on ball defence, contesting every shot. Everyone is prepared to help when they drive to the hoop,” said Ming.
The rematch of opening night will continue to light the fire of the East Coast rivalry between these two teams but also showcase the amount of talent they have to offer.
Check out some of the highlights from opening night when RNS edged out Halifax Prep.
The rematch is set for Friday, Nov. 3 in New Brunswick at the RNS Irving Gymnasium. Tip off will be at 7 PM AT.
For the People that doubted East Coast 🏀@RNS_Hoops @halifaxprep made history. Let the talent SHINE for Canada! #ANationInspired @KellenTynes pic.twitter.com/u7BUofXrh4
— NPA (@NPACanada) October 31, 2017
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